How Do Media Portray Multiple Identity Organizations?

Robert Heckert, Jelle Boumans, Rens Vliegenthart


Evaluation in the media is key for an organization’s external legitimacy as well as for internal commitment. The media’s portrayal of a multiple identity organization might be even more delicate. Multiple identity organizations generally have an identity in both the normative or ideological domain, and the utilitarian domain. These value systems are often not compatible. The research question is how news media portray multiple identity organizations. To answer this question a quantitative content analysis has been executed of media messages about a multiple identity organization, Sanquin Blood Supply Foundation, covering a span of 20 years. Newspaper coverage often showcases the toilsome reconcilability between antithetic identities, cultures, and values living together in 1 organization. We conclude that a more or less negative portrayal by the media can be added to the list of potential undesirable implications of having a multiple organizational identity.


multiple identity, media, content analysis, ideological identity, utilitarian identity

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