Institutional Pressures and Organizational Identity: The Case of Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau in the GDR and Beyond, 1945-1996

Katrin Schreiter, Davide Ravasi

Research output: Contribution to journalReview Articlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)

Abstract

This article explores the case of Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau (DWH) - a furniture and interior manufacturer founded in 1898 - through state socialism after 1945 and reprivatization in the 1990s. Our analysis suggests that the firm's survival through multiple systemic disruptions was partly due to the preservation of a unique identity despite heavy institutional pressures for conformity. DWH adopted a mixed conformity strategy that attempted to pitch multiple concerns (cultural-aesthetic, ideological, economic) of political authorities against one another to buffer sociopolitical pressures, thus ultimately conforming to some (identity-consistent) demands, while violating other (identity-threatening) ones. This allowed DWH to successfully navigate tensions between sociopolitical expectations and the need to preserve a collective sense of distinctiveness and continuity over time.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)453-481
Number of pages29
JournalBUSINESS HISTORY REVIEW
Volume92
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Sep 2018
MoE publication typeA2 Review article in a scientific journal

Keywords

  • conformity
  • Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau
  • GDR
  • institutional pressures
  • organizational identity
  • planned economy
  • product design
  • sociopolitical legitimacy

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Institutional Pressures and Organizational Identity: The Case of Deutsche Werkstätten Hellerau in the GDR and Beyond, 1945-1996'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this