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This article addresses how individuals make sense of their organization's response to a nontraditional and emotional strategic issue. The reported research also concerned microprocesses involved in organizational adaptation. We describe how the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, a regional transportation agency, dealt with the many homeless people at its facilities and use that description to build a new view of organizational adaptation. Our view is that an organization's image and identity guide and activate individuals' interpretations of an issue and motivations for action on it, and those interpretations and motivations affect patterns of organizational action over time. The article develops the constructs of organizational identity and image and uses them to link ideas from work on impression management with ideas about organizational adaptation.


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