Date of Award

Spring 1-1-2015

Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Arts (MA)



First Advisor

Timothy Kuhn

Second Advisor

David Boromisza-Habashi

Third Advisor

Jody Jahn


Practice theory and identity have been of recent interest to organizational communication scholars, but not often are the two considered in tandem. In order to expand the view of what is academically considered as organization, work, and work practices this study applies a practice perspective, specifically structuration theory, to identity and identification in a tension centered research model. At the end of this study the following issues will be addressed: (1) how rules, resources, and structures influence identification and identity work; (2) which sort of identities seem to be preferred and by whom; and (3) how do nonprofit identity practices create, reify, or maintain organizing tension? This study will contribute to the academic inquiry of identity and explore the organizing tension found specifically in nonprofit organizations.