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"The Good, the Bad, and the Ambivalent: Managing Identification Among Amway Distributors"

Michael G. Pratt


First Author :

Michael G. Pratt
Business Administration
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
1206 S. Sixth Street, M/C 706
Champaign, IL 61820

Abstract :
An ethnographic study of a network marketing organization examines the practices and processes involved in managing membersí organizational identification. Specifically, it argues that this organization manages identification by using two types of practices: sensebreaking practices that break down meaning, and sensegivng practices that provide meaning. When both sensebreaking and sensegiving of practices are successful, members positively identify with the organization. When either sensebreaking or sensegiving practices fail, members deidentify, disidentify, or experience ambivalent identification with the organization. A general model of identification management is posited, and implications for both theory and practice are offered.
Manuscript Received : 2000
Manuscript Published : 2000
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