I communicate, therefore I belong: Processes of identification among organizational representatives

Stephanie L. Dailey*, Jeffrey W. Treem, Jacob S. Ford

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Scopus citations


Although research has explored employees’ organizational identification, few scholars have investigated liminal workers’ identification. This gap is problematic because nonmembers represent organizations and their attachments may influence their work. To understand this poorly understood phenomenon, we conducted interviews with agency social media writers who were not employed by organizations they represented online. Contrary to practitioners avowing that only internal employees can communicate via social media, we found agency writers adopt multiple identification lenses, which lead to different work practices. These results contribute to organizational, stakeholder, and consumer-company identification research and help social media writers better communicate on behalf of organizations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)270-299
Number of pages30
JournalBusiness and Professional Communication Quarterly
Issue number3
StatePublished - Sep 2016


  • Identification
  • Organizational communication
  • Social media

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Business, Management and Accounting (miscellaneous)
  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)


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