Organizational Identity Photoessay (100 points): Much of our discussion will be about how organizations craft public identities. This assignment asks you to examine the organizational identity of an organization through an ethnographic approach. First, pay attention during your shopping experiences at the ways in which particular organizations create a public image or identity at their own locations. Second, take photographs of the ways in which such organizational displays are rhetorically arranged. Finally, arrange a photo essay that includes captioning of the photographs. Include enough photographs to make your argument about the image of the organization. Captions for the photographs should include references to course concepts and theories. Websites will NOT be accepted for this assignment; you MUST physically go to an organization/store to complete the task. Some criteria for this assignment:
Organizational identity and marketing are NOT necessarily the same thing! Pay close attention to our discussion in class about this.
Photographs about sales or buy one get one free are not about organizational identity. Ground your essay in course concepts to recognize the difference.
Composition of your photographs matters. Make good choices and have a sense of style.
Better essays will make connections between photographs for a sense of the whole. This will make your essay have a sense of purpose.
The essay should have three sections: introduction (with a discussion of the guiding elements of the essay),
body (display of photographs and connection to course concepts), and conclusion (summary and discussion of what was found in the analysis)
Additional instructions: To complete your assignment, youll need to do TWO things.
FIRST, youll be uploading your photographs to Pinterest. This will make the assignment public and will
create a large board of photographs regarding organizational rhetoric, a nice accomplishment for the class as a whole! One issue, however, is that Pinterest only provides space for 500 characters of captioning, about 75 words.
SECOND, youll need to complete a central document that is turned in via BlackBoard. This document will contain both the original photographs and full captions, using course materials, for your photographs. Begin with a short introduction regarding the location(s) you have visited or the theoretical principle(s) that you found interesting. Then, offer the photographs with appropriate captioning of theoretical principles. Better essays will be more refined and focused, either topically or about the organization, rather than scattershot. Conclude the essay with a summary and discussion of what was found in the analysis. Create a PDF document using MS Word for the final essay (this will compress the photos a bit). While the Pinterest board will be required to complete the assignment, your essay will ultimately determine your grade, as per the rubric below.
Pinterest Reflections Essay (75 points): This essay is a follow up to the photoessay. Examine each of the photographs taken and captions for the members of your group. Offer comments to each of them that reflect on what they have said, what they found, and any other interpretations you may have. Then, after reviewing each of the photographs for each member of your group, author an essay that comments on any themes or patterns that emerge from your examination. Speak about the types of things that stand out in the group, any surprises from the photographs, or other ideas that surface from your reading of them. Your success depends on your ability to analyze the photographs as a whole and your use of course materials to discuss them. The essay should be between 1000-1200 words. Some criteria for this essay:
You are identifying themes in this essay, which means that you are engaging in an analysis of what youve seen in your group members posts. Look for overarching themes that are tied to course concepts. Cite the course textbooks in your essay.
This essay requires ANALYSIS, not description. If you merely describe what you see, you will not be successful. Similarly, if you repeat what has already been said by group members in their original captions, you will not be successful. Your task is to recognize differences and similarities in how theoretical elements from the course are being used in public places.
Consider structuring your thematic analysis with a definition of the theme/theory that youve identified, an application to the specific examples of photographs that youve found on the Pinterest board, and an implication about what this means.