Who are we made to think we are? Contextual variation in organizational, workgroup and career foci of identification

Millward, Lynne J. and Haslam, S. Alexander (2013) Who are we made to think we are? Contextual variation in organizational, workgroup and career foci of identification. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 86 1: 50-66. doi:10.1111/j.2044-8325.2012.02065.x


Author Millward, Lynne J.
Haslam, S. Alexander
Title Who are we made to think we are? Contextual variation in organizational, workgroup and career foci of identification
Journal name Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 0963-1798
2044-8325
Publication date 2013-03
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/j.2044-8325.2012.02065.x
Volume 86
Issue 1
Start page 50
End page 66
Total pages 17
Place of publication Chichester, West Sussex, United Kingdom
Publisher John Wiley & Sons
Collection year 2014
Language eng
Abstract An online survey-based study (N = 314) combining experimental and quasi-experimental elements was conducted to examine variation in employees' group identification in organizational contexts. The study measured three foci of identification (organization, workgroup, career) under three conditions of identity fit (organizational, workgroup, career) in two healthcare organizations (one public sector, one private sector) that had distinct organizational cultures (collectivist, individualist, respectively). Whilst workgroup identification was generally higher than organizational identification, this difference was moderated both by sector and by the interaction between sector and identity fit. This meant (1) that when the fit manipulation made workgroup identity salient, workgroup identification was only higher than organizational and career identification in the public-sector organization and (2) that when the fit manipulation made career identity salient, career identification was only higher than organizational and workgroup identification in the private-sector organization. These findings are consistent with hypotheses derived from self-categorization theory, which suggests that the salience of organizational identities defined at different levels of abstraction varies as a function of their accessibility and fit and hence is determined by their localized meaning. They are also inconsistent with assumptions that workgroup identity will always be preferred to more inclusive categorizations. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.
Keyword Social Identity
Natural Categories
Salience
Commitment
Psychology
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Confirmed Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Official 2014 Collection
School of Psychology Publications
 
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