Toward a Contingency Framework of Interpersonal Information Sources in Organizational Identification Diffusion
58 Pages Posted: 31 Mar 2012
Date Written: March 29, 2012
Drawing from the social information processing approach, the authors develop a contingency framework that captures organizational identification (OI) diffusion through two key interpersonal influencers, supervisors and expert peers. In two multi-level studies in two countries, results consistently show that supervisors’ and expert peers are important influencers of OI diffusion because their OI is positively related to frontline employees’ OI. As the focal employee’s organizational tenure increases, the lateral OI transmission from expert peers grows stronger while the downward OI transmission from supervisors grows weaker. Work-group OI diversity weakens both the downward and the lateral transmission. A time-lagged analysis further validates the temporal order of these processes. OI in turn predicts frontline employees’ objective performance. The authors discuss theoretical and managerial implications.
Keywords: organizational identification, social identity theory, social influence, multilevel analysis
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