Evaluating the identity of an organization, as it is perceived by its members is an issue largely debated in organization studies (for a review, see Schultz, Hatch & Larsen, 2000). However, the present instruments are either too qualitative in nature, or too general and offer too little information on the matter. The present research proposes a new instrument for assessing the identity of organizations, instrument based on the assumption that the identity of an organization is a form of shared knowledge between the organization's members. Starting from this assumption, we put forward an instrument based on Q-methodology and do a preliminary validation. This validation lies on the theoretical assumptions of cognitive diversity in groups and on the predictions stemming from Q-methodology's basic assumptions. First, the literature on organizational identity will be discussed, taking the theoretical perspective of organizational identity as shared cognition. Second, the effects of cognitive diversity in groups are discussed and a set of hypothesis are set forward. Finally, an empirical study is conducted to test the hypotheses and the results are discussed in the framework of group diversity and shared cognition.
Keywords: cognitive group diversity, identity of organizations, Q-methodology, shared cognitions