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Tradition and identity change in public sector science organizations

Simpson, Barbara and Hibbert, Paul (2008) Tradition and identity change in public sector science organizations. International Journal of Public Administration, 31 (9). pp. 1110-1126. ISSN 0190-0692

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This paper addresses a gap in the organizational studies literature by developing tradition as a theoretical and empirical construct that parallels dynamic conceptions of identity construction. It draws on the 80 year history of the New Zealand public science sector to illustrate both the enduring and emergent nature of two specific strands of tradition. The authors conclude that if identity is conceived as a multi-dynamic process, then tradition comprises those aspects of identity that are distinguished by their long constructive and reconstructive timeframes.