Psychological Ownership and the Organizational Context
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Psychological Ownership and the Organizational Context

Theory, Research Evidence, and Application

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.
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Chapter 11: Collective Psychological Ownership

Jon L. Pierce and Iiro Jussila


* ‘Ours,’ a small word, arising out of a shared event, when collectively experienced and recognized by a group of people who experience themselves as ‘us,’ it is ‘deceptive in its power and importance,’ capable of binding people together and controlling their behavior in pursuit of a common cause (e.g., marking, claiming, and defending a territory). (Pierce and Jussila, 2010, p. 827)1 Psychological ownership not only manifests itself at the individual-level in terms of personal feelings of ownership (for example, this is ‘my’ fly rod), and in terms of personal feelings of shared ownership (for example, that is ‘our’ home), it will be revealed in this chapter that feelings of ownership can be seen as a group-level mindset (that is, as a collective cognition). Collective psychological ownership is seen as an extension of personal feelings of ownership and personal feelings of shared ownership, such that a group of individuals come to a ‘collective mindset’ that a particular target of ownership is ‘ours’ together. In this chapter we introduce the construct collective psychological ownership. Following brief comments on the genesis of the psychology of me, mine, and ours we will present its conceptual definition. In the remainder of this chapter we elaborate the construct, comment on the dynamics associated with its formation, identify its underlying motives and comment on what can and cannot be owned. Next we provide insight into the routes down which groups travel and the boundary conditions that influence the emergence of this psychological state....

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