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Ambivalent Identification as a Moderator of the Link Between Organizational Identification and Counterproductive Work Behaviors

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Abstract

Although counterproductive work behaviors can be extremely damaging to organizations and society as a whole, we do not yet fully understand the link between employees’ organizational attachment and their intention to engage in such behaviors. Based on social identity theory, we predicted a negative relationship between organizational identification and counterproductive work behaviors. We also predicted that this relationship would be moderated by ambivalent identification. We explored counterproductive work behaviors toward the organization (CWB-O) and other individuals (CWB-I). Study 1, a survey of 198 employees, revealed that employees who identified strongly with their organization reported lower levels of CWB-O, but as predicted, only when ambivalent identification was low. Study 2 involved a manipulation in the form of a scenario presented to 228 U.S. employees, generally replicated the findings of Study 1: the link between organizational identification and CWB-O was stronger for participants in the low ambivalence condition than for those in the high ambivalence condition. The interaction effect of ambivalent and organizational identification on CWB-I was only marginally significant in the second study. These findings provide new evidence for the positive influence of organizational identification under conditions of low ambivalence on counterproductive behaviors toward an organization.

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[Ciampa, V.; Fraccaroli, F.] Department of Psychology and Cognitive Science, University of Trento, Trento, Italy

[Sirowatka, M.; Van Dick, R.] Department of Psychology, Goethe University, Theodor-W.-Adorno-Platz 6, 60323, Frankfurt, Germany

[Schuh, S. C.] Department of Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management, China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), Shanghai, China


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Source

Journal of Business Ethics

ISSN:0167-4544

Year:2021

Issue:1

Volume:169

Page:119-134

ESI Discipline:ECONOMICS & BUSINESS;

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