Organisational identification: Definition and explanation

Organisational identification


Organisational identification is a key concept in organisational psychology and refers to the degree to which employees define themselves as a member of the organisation and to what extent they experience a sense of oneness with it, it’s values, brand, methods etc. (Ashforth and Mael, 1989; Haslam, 2004; Schuh et al, 2016).

A lot of recent of research has shown the importance of organisational identification for employees and organizations alike. The research shows that when employees identify with their organisation they tend to have higher levels of work performance, are more likely to engage in organisational citizenship behaviors such as voicing constructive suggestions or helping coworkers, they tend to be more satisfied with their job, and are less likely to quit (Blader and Tyler, 2009; Dukerich et al., 2002; Van Dick et al., 2006; Riketta, 2005; Schuh et al, 2016).

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Ashforth BE and Mael F (1989) Social identity theory and the organization. Academy of Management Review 14(1): 20–39.

Blader SL and Tyler TR (2009) Testing and extending the group engagement model. Journal of Applied Psychology 94(2): 445–464.

Dukerich JM, Golden BR and Shortell SM (2002) Beauty is in the eye of the beholder: The impact of organizational identification, identity, and image on the cooperative behaviors of physi- cians. Administrative Science Quarterly 47(3): 507–533.

Haslam SA (2004) Psychology in Organizations: The Social Identity Approach. London: SAGE.

Riketta M (2005) Organizational identification: A meta-analysis. Journal of Vocational Behavior 66(2): 358–384.

Schuh, S. C., Van Quaquebeke, N., Göritz, A. S., Xin, K. R., De Cremer, D., & Van Dick, R. (2016). Mixed feelings, mixed blessing? How ambivalence in organizational identification relates to employees’ regulatory focus and citizenship behaviors. human relations, 69(12), 2224-2249.

Van Dick R, Grojean MW, Christ O and Wieseke J (2006) Identity and the extra mile: Relationships between organizational identification and organizational citizenship behaviour. British Journal of Management 17(4): 283–301.

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