Why workers still identify with organizations

Why workers still identify with organizations DENISE M. ROUSSEAU* Heinz School of Public Policy and Management and Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 U.S.A. J. Organiz. Behav. 19: 217±233 (1998) Introduction Robert Reich describes `the pronoun test', his strategy for evaluating the nature of the employment relationship in the companies he visited as U.S. Secretary of Labor during the ®rst Clinton Administration: `I'd say, ``Tell me about the company''. If the person said ``we'' or ``us'', I knew people were strongly attached to the organization. If it was ``they'' or ``them'', I knew there was less of a sense of linkage' (Reich, 1997). That `sense of linkage' is the subject of this essay, which focuses upon the identi®cation of workers with their organization and the impact identi®cation has on contemporary employment. Identi®cation is a psychological state wherein an individual perceives himself or herself to be part of a larger whole (work group, ®rm, church, etc.). This essay addresses organizational identi®cation, wherein individuals perceive themselves to be part of a larger organization. (Note that the terms organization and ®rm as used here refer to organizational units from work groups and departments to a large corporation, any of which can be http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal of Organizational Behavior Wiley

Why workers still identify with organizations

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Publisher
Wiley
Copyright
Copyright © 1998 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
ISSN
0894-3796
eISSN
1099-1379
D.O.I.
10.1002/(SICI)1099-1379(199805)19:3<217::AID-JOB931>3.0.CO;2-N
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

DENISE M. ROUSSEAU* Heinz School of Public Policy and Management and Graduate School of Industrial Administration, Carnegie Mellon University, Pittsburgh, PA 15213 U.S.A. J. Organiz. Behav. 19: 217±233 (1998) Introduction Robert Reich describes `the pronoun test', his strategy for evaluating the nature of the employment relationship in the companies he visited as U.S. Secretary of Labor during the ®rst Clinton Administration: `I'd say, ``Tell me about the company''. If the person said ``we'' or ``us'', I knew people were strongly attached to the organization. If it was ``they'' or ``them'', I knew there was less of a sense of linkage' (Reich, 1997). That `sense of linkage' is the subject of this essay, which focuses upon the identi®cation of workers with their organization and the impact identi®cation has on contemporary employment. Identi®cation is a psychological state wherein an individual perceives himself or herself to be part of a larger whole (work group, ®rm, church, etc.). This essay addresses organizational identi®cation, wherein individuals perceive themselves to be part of a larger organization. (Note that the terms organization and ®rm as used here refer to organizational units from work groups and departments to a large corporation, any of which can be

Journal

Journal of Organizational BehaviorWiley

Published: May 1, 1998

References

  • Interpersonal processes in close relationships
    Clark, Clark; Reis, Reis
  • Violating the psychological contract: Not the exception but the norm
    Robinson, Robinson; Rousseau, Rousseau
  • The role and the person
    Turner, Turner

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