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Organizational Identification

Timothy Kuhn

Subject Communication Studies » Organizational Communication

Key-Topics identity

DOI: 10.1111/b.9781405131995.2008.x


For organizational communication scholars, identification provides a key to understanding organizing practices, the individual–organization relationship, and the construction of selves. “Organizational identification” refers to the creation, maintenance, and modification of linkages between individuals and organizations, whereas “identity” refers to the conception of the self that defines the person's position in the social order ( Cheney 1983a ; Scott et al. 1998 ). Identification scholarship builds on a conception of personal identity in which we create selves, as well as distinctions from others, in social settings comprised by a variety of social groups. Identification, then, is the process by which an identity is constructed, but the linkages actors form are simultaneously guided by their pre-existing personal and social identities. Conceptions of these individual–organization “linkages” mark an important distinction between three versions of identification theorizing . A first view emphasizes cognitive processes , drawing on →  social identity theory and its claims that individuals seek to attain distinctiveness for their mental representations of ingroups and competing groups. In this perspective, identification is the perception of belongingness to a group, and it occurs when one integrates beliefs, attitudes, and emotions regarding an organization into one's own identity ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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