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Volume 20 Number 1, Spring 2023, Pages 1-214   


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EFL Teachers' Organizational Identity in Online Communities: The Case of Iran

    Esmaeel Ali Salimi & Zahra Banitalebi


Participation in different communities of practice forms and changes individuals' identities. Teachers' membership in language organizations is an example of such communities. Organizational identity (OI) affects how teachers act and position themselves in particular contexts. In the wake of emergency remote teaching, virtual environments have redefined the relationship between teachers and organizations. Although teacher identity construction has recently attracted a growing interest, studying teachers' OI has remained underexplored. In response to this paucity of research, the present study investigated how online teaching affects teachers' OI and what antecedents and consequences can explain their OI. This study adopted a qualitative design in which 14 teachers with high and low OIs were selected based on their answers to an OI questionnaire. Then, interviews were used and further analyzed qualitatively to examine the teachers' OI. The findings revealed that while OI appeared to have a paramount role in teachers' performances and emotions, transition to online environments negatively affected the teachers' OI. Several factors, instructional, institutional, and personal, served as the antecedents and barriers of OI. We offer several implications for teacher educators, administrators, and policymakers to cope with the challenges of virtual environments and facilitate the speed of transition to online teaching.

Keywords: teacher identity, organizational identity, online teaching, change, phenomenology