Handbook of Employee Commitment
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Handbook of Employee Commitment

Edited by John P. Meyer

A high level of employee commitment holds particular value for organizations owing to its impact on organizational effectiveness and employee well-being. This Handbook provides an up-to-date review of theory and research pertaining to employee commitment in the workplace, outlining its value for both employers and employees and identifying key factors in its development, maintenance or decline. Including chapters from leading theorists and researchers from around the world, this Handbook presents cumulated and cutting-edge research exploring what commitment is, the different forms it can take, and how it is distinct from related concepts such as employee engagement, work motivation, embeddedness, the psychological contract, and organizational identification.
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Chapter 8: Organizational identification

Rolf van Dick


In this chapter, the author first briefly describes the social identity approach comprising social identity and self-categorization theory which is the backbone of the concept of organizational identification as introduced to the mainstream management and industrial/organizational (I/O) literature by Ashforth and Mael in their seminal 1989 Academy of Management Journal paper. Next, the most commonly used scales for measuring identification in organizational contexts are presented and empirical relations to antecedents, correlates, and outcomes summarized. In particular, the close relation to commitment and additional empirical evidence for both the overlap and the distinctiveness of the two constructs are discussed and a theoretical attempt to integrate identification and commitment is presented. The chapter presents and discusses more recent developments in organizational identification with respect to foci of identification – team and organization in particular _ and their relative strengths and predictive value and their interaction; new forms of identification such as negative identification, disidentification, or ambivalent identification; and the relation between identification and stress as an example for identification as a double-edged sword with identification potentially serving as both a resource for buffering strain at work but also for overidentification as a source for additional stress. Finally, the conclusion highlights the issue of within-person variability of identification and also discusses some directions for future research and implications for practice.

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