Who Are We Now? Organizational Identity and Generational Change in a Community College
Rene Ramos, Sunddip Panesar Aguilar, Erick Aguilar

Community colleges are complex institutions with wide-ranging goals and missions. The problem is there may be perceived generational differences in the sustainability of the organizational identity (OI) of these increasingly important institutions. Research questions examined (a) the revelatory power of institutional archives vis-à-vis OI, (b) intentional and unintentional actions taken by leaders which shape OI, (c) processes affecting the evolution of organizational memory, and (d) the impact of organizational membership on OI. The study used an intrinsic case study design to examine archival documents and interviews of millennial generation community college leaders at a large community college. The subject institution’s archives were shown to be a rich source of OI, yielding 10 core themes. Interviews with 30 millennial generation managers mirrored most of these themes, and yielded additional OI themes, suggesting OI is being reinforced and gradually transformed by the new generation of leaders. The study informed recommendations and implications for leadership, including mentoring programs to promote knowledge transfer between older and younger organizational leaders. The study also contributes to the subject institution’s strategic planning process and may assist other institutions contending with workforce generational change.

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