Family Ties: Examining the Family Identity Metaphor in Short-Term Organizations
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Rush, Katherine Ann
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This research examined the nature of the “family” identity metaphor in short-term organizations and also explored how this metaphor shapes members’ organizational identification, roles, attachment, conflict, and transition. Qualitative data was gathered in the form of in-depth interviews with undergraduate students who participated in short-term organizational groups including Greek like leadership, summer camp staff, and study abroad cohorts. Through grounded, interpretive analysis, a four-part typology of family experiences was developed and explained using examples from the data. This study provides scholarly and practical insight into the development of healthy and unhealthy family cultures in organizations and seeks to increase understanding of the difficult transition that often follows membership in such meaningful, family-like environments.