Psychological Ownership and the Organizational Context

Psychological Ownership and the Organizational Context

Theory, Research Evidence, and Application

New Horizons in Management series

Jon L. Pierce and Iiro Jussila

Psychological ownership as a phenomenon and construct attracts an increasing number of scholars in a variety of fields. This volume presents a comprehensive and up-to-date review of the psychological ownership literature with particular attention paid to the theory, research evidence, and comments on managerial applications.

Chapter 5: The ‘Routes to’ Psychological Ownership

Jon L. Pierce and Iiro Jussila

Subjects: business and management, organisational behaviour


5. The ‘routes’ to psychological ownership* This chapter presents a discussion of the emergence of psychological ownership, by addressing the question – What paths do people travel down that results in their coming to a sense of ownership for a target of ownership? In response to this question, we will articulate the processes through which an object, lying outside of the self, is brought into the self-region resulting in the individual becoming psychologically tied to that object and the emergence of feelings of ownership. EMERGENCE OF PSYCHOLOGICAL OWNERSHIP: THE PROCESS As a part of our discussion of the genesis of psychological ownership it was suggested that the individual is seen as possessing a set of latent needs (that is, effectance motive, need for self-identity, need for having a place in which to dwell (that is, home), the need for stimulation) that serve as the ‘roots’ for (that is, the reason for) psychological ownership. Each of these motives is seen as playing a role positioning (that is, making ready) the individual to act upon, engage in a relationship with, or to experience certain objects as a part of the extended self, resulting in the emergence of psychological ownership for that object. The person (with his/her latent needs) moving through time interacts with a myriad of potential targets of psychological ownership. As noted in the last chapter, each of these targets possesses different attributes, of which attractiveness, accessibility (openness), and malleability are seen as playing a particularly important role in terms of making...

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