Why some employees feel a strong sense of membership for their organization? What are the personal and organizational consequences of this sense of belonging? Is it always good for an employee to identify him/herself with her/his organization? These are some questions in the organizational area of research that aims to show the importance of identity mechanisms and dynamics in order to understand personal and collective attitudes and behaviors at work.
To explore these issues, it is preferable to use field research methodologies.
Positive effects of identification
Organizational identification should positively impact on employees’ well-being, because it helps satisfy important human needs, such as the needs for safety, belonging, and uncertainty reduction.
Furthermore, strongly identified employees more likely give and receive social support, and a strong sense of membership tends to increase collaboration and cooperation among colleagues.
The current line of research aims to understand through which mechanisms identification should increase employees’ well-being and decrease emotional exhaustion.
Negative effects of identification
Individuals who are strongly identified with their organization perceive the organization’s goals and aims as their own, which in turn stimulate them to work harder in order to achieve these goals and aims.
There is evidence showing for example a strong relation between identification and employee involvement and extra-role performance. However, we can assume that too much involvement and extra effort (over-identification) in the long run will compromise the individual’s health.
The current line of research aims to understand through which mechanisms identification should increase emotional exhaustion, and under what conditions these negative effects could be buffered (i.e., multiple identification).
Franco Fraccaroli, Professor
Rolf van Dick, Goethe University, Germany
Cristian Balducci, Bologna University, Italy
- Avanzi, L., Schuh, S. C., Fraccaroli, F., & van Dick, R. (2015). Why does organizational identification relate to reduced employee burnout? The mediating influence of social support and collective efficacy. Work & Stress, 29, 1-10.
- Avanzi, L., Fraccaroli, F., Sarchielli, G., Ullrich, J., & van Dick, R. (2014). Staying or leaving: A combined social identity and social exchange approach for employee predicting turnover intentions. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 63, 272-289.
- Crocetti, E., Avanzi, L., Skyler T., H., Fraccaroli, F., & Meeus, W. (2014). Personal and social facets of job identity: A person-centered approach. Journal of Business and Psychology, 29, 281-300.
- Avanzi, L., Zaniboni, S., Balducci, C., & Fraccaroli, F. (2014). The relation between overcommitment and burnout: Does it depend on employee job satisfaction? Anxiety, Stress and Coping, 27, 455-465.
- Avanzi, L., Balducci, C., & Fraccaroli, F. (2013). Contributo alla validazione italiana del Copenhagen Burnout Inventory (CBI) [Contribution to the Italian validation of the Copenhagen Burnout Inventory (CBI)]. Psicologia della Salute, 2, 120-135.
- Avanzi, L., van Dick, R., Fraccaroli, F., & Sarchielli, G. (2012). The downside of organizational identification: Relations between identification, workaholism and well-being. Work & Stress, 26, 289-307.