Academic journal article Contemporary Management Research

Linking Perceived Organizational Support to Organizational Identification: Role of Organization Based Self-Esteem

Academic journal article Contemporary Management Research

Linking Perceived Organizational Support to Organizational Identification: Role of Organization Based Self-Esteem

Article excerpt


Employee turnover has been an issue affecting organizations for quite some time. Particularly, in the Indian context, it is believed that with increased economic growth, the organizations will have to deal with additional challenges of turnover intentions among the employees*. Several researchers have linked various wok attitudes and turnover intention with the constructs of Perceived Organizational Support (POS) (Rigglea, et al., 2009), Organization Based Self-esteem (OBSE) (Bowling, et al., 2010), and Organizational Identification (OID) (Besharov, 2014; Riketta, 2005). POS also has been positively linked to OBSE (Lee & Peccei, 2007) as well as OID (Sluss et al., 2008). Most of these studies clearly indicated that all three constructs are negatively related to turnover intentions and positively related to work attitudes, signifying their importance in the context of pro-organizational behavior. However, inter-relations among these variables have not been addressed adequately. Particularly, in the Indian context, the construct of OID has not been explored sufficiently. From perspective of social identity theory (explained in the later part of the paper), it has been argued that in a collectivist culture (Hofstede, 2001) like India, OID may play a significant role in reducing employee turnover. As this study was conducted in India, an attempt has been made to explore two of the plausible antecedents of OID, namely POS and OBSE. While POS has been widely studied, OBSE as an antecedent of OID cannot be ignored mainly because it makes individuals feel worthy in the context of the organization and helps them satisfy their self-esteem needs, leading to stronger organizational identification. Due to the lack of literature on the inter-relations among these variables, this study can significantly contribute to the existing body of knowledge as well as to the practicing world. It is further argued that it is important to understand these linkages to answer the following: a) Can POS, which builds a strong emotional connect with the organization (Eisenberger et al., 1986), and OID, which concerns "cognitive" connect (Mael & Ashforth 1992, p.105) be linked? b) Is this link direct or indirect through OBSE? c) Does self-esteem draw from the organization results when merging self-identity with organizational identity? Sound understanding of these relationships may help managers design human resource practices, which can reduce turnover intentions among the employees. The literature review revealed that not many attempts (except a few) have been made to link OBSE with OID. While the studies have theoretically and empirically linked POS with OID (Sluss, et al., 2008), hardly any studies have explained this relationship adequately. Hence, this study attempts to fill these gaps in the literature by:

Empirically examining the link between OBSE and OID.

Empirically explaining the relationship between POS and OID through OBSE.

This study draws its basis from social exchange theory (Blau, 1964) and social identity theory (Ashforth & Meal, 1989). According to social exchange theory, individuals who are favored by the organizations will return the favor through improved performance (Blau, 1964). The construct of POS has been predominantly studied from the perspective of social exchange theory (Stinglhamber et al., 2013). On the other hand, social identity theory argues that the social group (organization) to which an individual belongs helps that individual develop his/her "personal and social identity" (Ashforth & Meal, 1989, pp20-21). OID has been mainly addressed within the premise of social identity theory. In this study, we attempted to interconnect these two theories in order to understand the inter-relations among the variables of the study.


Perceived Organizational Support

Perceived organizational support, a construct embedded in social exchange theory (Emerson, 1976; Rhoades & Eisenberger, 2002), is defined as "global beliefs concerning the extent to which the organization values their employees' contributions and cares about their well-being" (Eisenberger et al. …

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