Driving down memory lane: The influence of memories in a community following organizational demise

Boram Do, Matthew C.B. Lyle, Ian J. Walsh

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)


In this paper, we explain how defunct organizations influence the communities they leave behind through ongoing processes of communal memory work, a twofold social process through which members of collectives develop shared memories of a defunct organization and behaviorally engage with its mnemonic traces. We explore how individuals’ shared construal of their environment shapes their emotional orientation towards their past, which in turn gives rise to particular forms of memory work. We further show how communal memory work influences changes in an organization’s role in a community’s identity and members’ construal of their environment. We develop our theory through an analysis of a case study of South Bend, Indiana, in the 54 years following the closure of the Studebaker Corporation’s automotive factory in 1963. We close by discussing the implications of this work for memory scholarship.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1307-1329
Number of pages23
JournalOrganization Studies
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2019 Sept 1

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Author(s) 2018.

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


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