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Volume 29 Issue 1 (January 2019), Pages i-iv, 1-96

Employers' organisations as social movements: Political power and identity work (pages 67-81)

Abstract The literature on employers' and business organisations (EOs) has failed to analyse them as contentious organisations that apply identity work as a power resource to mobilise resources and members. This article is based on a qualitative case study of Islamic EOs in Turkey. Developing a social movement model of EOs, I analyse the mechanisms through which identity work with local religious collaborators facilitated collective action and political power. I find that the role of identity work was threefold: providing internal solidarity, securing external legitimacy, and supporting contentious institutional change by developing new policy ideas. This model can be applied more widely as EOs have increasingly shifted from traditional roles to take on social movement characteristics.

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