The organizational saga and organizational identity

Burton Clark, a sociologist who studied higher education as well as other institutions, refers to the long-standing characteristics that determine the distinctiveness of an organization as forming an “organizational saga.” As Clark (1970) puts it: An institutional saga may be found in many forms, through mottoes, traditions, and ethos. It might consist of long-standing practices or unique roles played by an institution, or even in the images held in the minds (and hearts) of students, faculty, and alumni. Sagas can provide a sense of romance and even mystery that turn a cold organization into a beloved social institution, capturing the allegiance of its members and even defining the identity of its communities (p. 235).