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Date / Heure
Date(s) - 02/06/2016
12 h 30 min - 14 h 15 min

HEC Montréal


Michael G. Pratt

O’Connor Family Professor
Carroll School of Management
Boston College

Salle/room: Transat


« Organizational death” has become an increasingly pervasive phenomenon. To illustrate, in the United States alone, over 800,000 organizations filed for bankruptcy in 2015 (US Bankruptcy court data). Given that work occupies a central part of most people’s lives (Ibarra, 1999; Ashforth, 2001; Pratt et al., 2006) it is not surprising that individuals are often deeply affected by the loss of their firms. While scholars have recognized the importance of understanding how people may cope with such a loss (Shepherd, 2009; Bell & Taylor, 2011; Walsh & Bartunek, 2011, 2012), relatively little is known about how individuals mourn the death of their employing organization. Focusing on the post-bankruptcy reactions and career experiences of former Lehman Brothers’ bankers, we build a model of organizational mourning. In particular, we explore two very different types of mourning « pathways, » and discuss those elements that appear to have played critical roles in understanding not only what these bankers held onto and what they let go of from their Lehman experience, but also how they attempted to recover from their loss. We view the « holding onto, » « letting go, » and « recovering from loss » processes as involving identity work. For some, identity is recast in form that largely mirrors the one they had before the bankruptcy and death of Lehman Brothers.  For others, identity elements are recombined to create something quite new.  Associated with this identity work processes are very different career trajectories.