Handbook of Research on Sustainable Careers
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Handbook of Research on Sustainable Careers

Edited by Ans De Vos and Beatrice I.J.M. van der Heijden

What is a sustainable career and how can individuals and organizations develop pathways that lead to them? With current levels of global unemployment and the need for life-long learning and employability enhancement these questions assume a pressing significance. With twenty-eight chapters from leading scholars, the Handbook of Research on Sustainable Careers makes an important contribution to our understanding of sustainable careers and lays the foundation for the direction of future research.
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Chapter 7: Career and organizational identification: extending the expanded model of identification

Nikolai Egold and Rolf Van Dick


Research suggests that identification, that is, the feeling of oneness, with an organization is an important but not the only way an employee can feel about his or her membership in an organization. Employees are also part of their professional network and/or occupational groupings and can identify more or less strongly with this aspect of their career. Furthermore, Kreiner and Ashforth (2004) proposed an expanded model with three additional forms of identification: disidentification, ambivalent identification and neutral identification with an organization. In this chapter, we present an empirical study demonstrating the usefulness of looking at both career and organizational identification and of considering all four forms of identification within each of these two foci of identification. To test this expanded model, we conducted a survey among 246 employees who answered the items by Kreiner and Ashforth with respect to both their career and their organization. We also measured potential antecedents of identification, that is, need for identification, positive and negative affectivity, tenure, intra-role conflict, role ambiguity and individualism, and its consequences, that is, job satisfaction, well-being and work engagement. Our data show a differential pattern of relations across the constructs. For instance, career identification did not correlate with the positive consequences, but disidentification and ambivalent career identification did explain variation in these concepts. Implications for research and practice are discussed.

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