Constructing organizational identities on the web:a case study of Royal Dutch/Shell


Coupland, C. and Brown, A. D., 2004. Constructing organizational identities on the web:a case study of Royal Dutch/Shell. Journal of Management Studies, 41 (8), pp. 1325-1347.

Related documents:

PDF (JMS_Shell_06_04_04_Fourth_and_Final_Submitted_Version.pdf) - Requires a PDF viewer such as GSview, Xpdf or Adobe Acrobat Reader
Download (140kB) | Preview

    Official URL:


    In this paper we analyse two of the e-mail exchanges that had been posted on Royal Dutch/Shell’s Web site in order to investigate how organizational identities are constructed through processes of description, questioning, contestation and defence. Organizational identities may be regarded as ongoing arguments between insiders and between ostensible insiders and outsiders, who deploy various persuasive techniques in their efforts to render hegemonic their versions of an organization’s identity. Making plausible through persuasive rhetoric is a complex task, and requires a discourse analytic methodology and an analytical focus on whole utterances, in order to explicate how identity-as-argument is enacted. The research implications of our paper are twofold. First, by focusing on language as an opaque phenomenon, taken-for-granted ways of being persuasive are made strange and hence more visible. Second, our understanding of organizations as situated in ongoing, multi-focused arguments, illustrates a new way of conceptualising the polyphonic, genre-relevant nature of institutional identities.


    Item Type Articles
    CreatorsCoupland, C.and Brown, A. D.
    Uncontrolled Keywordsweb site identity,discourse,argumentation,royal dutch shell,organizational identity
    DepartmentsSchool of Management
    Publisher StatementJMS_Shell_06_04_04_Fourth_and_Final_Submitted_Version.pdf: ©Blackwell Publishing. The definitive version is available at
    ID Code11655


    Actions (login required)

    View Item

    Document Downloads

    More statistics for this item...