Conceptualization, Antecedents and Outcomes of Individual Work Identity: An Examination from the Social Identity Perspective

  • Author / Creator
    Currie, Luanne G.
  • Despite an expanding body of research aimed at understanding the role of work in self-definition, individual work identity research is fragmented due to inconsistent and incongruent application and interpretation of a range of identity theories as they apply to the study of organizations (Pratt et al., 2000). Chapter 1 introduces the concept of social identity and situates it within the organizational research agenda. Chapter 2 addresses concept clarification and theoretical integration. Through the process of concept clarification, concepts that have typically been analyzed “without a clear, shared, and conscious agreement on the properties or meanings attributed to them” (A. I. Meleis, 2011, p. 374) are refined. Second, a meta-theory of individual work identity (IWI) is developed; specifically connections and distinctions between various approaches are highlighted, a taxonomy of the theoretical dimensions of the concept of work identity is outlined, and a central theoretical approach is identified and positioned within the broader context of such established theories of motivation as social exchange theory (SET) and self-determination theory (SDT). In chapter 3, the target-similarity model from current social exchange research is applied. The proposition that social identification assumes distinct forms depending upon the target of identification (i.e., workgroup or organization) and the idea that target-specific forms of social identification have target-similar outcomes (i.e., workgroup turnover and organizational turnover) moderated by target-similar variables (leader-group prototypicality and perceived organizational support) are tested. For the most part, results supported proposed hypotheses. Chapter 4 examines the relationship between dimensions of high performance work systems (HPWSs), satisfaction of basic psychological needs, and target-specific social identification in organizational settings. The main hypothesis tested is that target-specific forms of social identification have specific antecedents (i.e., dimensions of HPWSs) that influence identification processes in unique ways, depending upon the target of identification. The influence of HPWS dimensions on target-specific social identification, mediated by satisfaction of basic human needs as outlined in self-determination theory, is also tested. Support for mediation hypotheses and partial support for main effects hypotheses was found. Chapter 5 summarizes the main ideas, provides recommendations for future research and discusses the practical implications of central findings for organizations.

  • Subjects / Keywords
  • Graduation date
  • Type of Item
  • Degree
    Doctor of Philosophy
  • DOI
  • License
    This thesis is made available by the University of Alberta Libraries with permission of the copyright owner solely for non-commercial purposes. This thesis, or any portion thereof, may not otherwise be copied or reproduced without the written consent of the copyright owner, except to the extent permitted by Canadian copyright law.
  • Language
  • Institution
    University of Alberta
  • Degree level
  • Department
    • Faculty of Business
  • Specialization
    • Strategic Management and Organization
  • Supervisor / co-supervisor and their department(s)
    • Luchak, Andrew (Strategic Management and Organization, Faculty of Business)
  • Examining committee members and their departments
    • Daniels, Lia (Educational Psychology, Faculty of Education)
    • van Dick, Rolf (Psychology, Goethe Universität Frankfurt)
    • Deephouse, David (Strategic Management and Organization, Faculty of Business)
    • Innes, Michelle (Strategic Management and Organization, Faculty of Business)