Garcia, G. A. (2017). Defined by outcomes or culture? Constructing an organizational identity for Hispanic-serving institutions. American Educational Research Journal, 54(1_suppl), 111S-134S.

While Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs) enroll at least 25% Latinx students, the perennial question facing HSIs is, “What does it mean for postsecondary institutions to be Latinx-serving”—essentially an organizational identity question. Guided by the extant literature on organizational identity, culture, and institutionalism and using an in-depth case study of a federally designated, four-year HSI, this study focused on the way members construct an organizational identity for serving Latinxs. Findings suggest that while members constructed an ideal Latinx-serving identity based on legitimized outcomes (i.e., graduation), they constructed their current identity from environmental cues about cultural practices. Using two theoretical lenses, I present a typology that considers outcomes and culture in a Latinx-serving identity. Future research should explore the construction of a Latinx-serving identity in a nuanced way.

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