Research has provided important insights into the role of stakeholders in negotiating and shaping organizational identities. However, it has not comprehensively considered how professionals interpret and attribute feedback from external stakeholders and incorporate this information in their professional self-concepts. Based on 148 interviews with police officers from across Europe, we explore the mechanisms through which external stakeholder feedback shapes police officers’ professional identities. Specifically, we outline the attributional processes commonly exhibited by officers when interpreting negative feedback from citizens and the media. We find that attributional processes act as a buffer against negative stakeholder feedback, allowing officers to maintain positive perceptions of their profession and avoid disidentification. We discuss the multi-level implications of these findings for stakeholder relations and professional outcomes at individual, relational and collective levels.,
75th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2015
Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

Horton, K., Belschak-Jacobs, G., Bayerl, S., Rothengatter, M. (Marloes), Elliott, K., Gascó, M., … Rus, D. (2015). A balancing act: How to avoid professional disidentification when faced with stakeholder critique. In 75th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management, AOM 2015 (pp. 820–825). doi:10.5465/AMBPP.2015.91