Defining Who You Are By Everything You Are Not

Published: 08th May 2020
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Through two exploratory studies, we develop and test an introductory framework of "organizational disidentification." Our first study explores the notion of organizational disidentification through a qualitative investigation of cognitive associations with all the National Rifle Association (NRA). Findings imply that organizational disidentification is a self-perception based on: (1) a cognitive separation between one's identity as well as the organization's identity, and (2) a negative relational categorization of oneself as well as the organization (e.g., categorizations such as "opponents" or "foes"). Organizational disidentification is apparently prompted by people' want to both affirm distinctiveness that is positive and prevent negative distinctiveness by distancing themselves from incongruent values and negative stereotypes attributed to an organization. Our findings also suggest that organizational disidentification can lead people to take actions (either volunteer work or voicing their view) as a result of the perceived separation from the corporation 's individuality. Results of our study that is second --a large scale survey of public attitudes about the NRA--provide support for this particular framework. Substantial theory and research has examined how individuals define their self concepts vis-a-vis their connections with social groups or organizations (Tajfel 1982, Turner 1987, Abrams and Hogg 1990, Kramer 1993). This research suggests that individuals typically develop social identities--defined as self-understandings based on cognitive connections between their identities and the identities of groups or organizations (Rabbie and Horwitz 1988, Hogg and Abrams 1988, Ashforth and Mael 1989, Dutton et al. 1994, Bergami and Bagozzi 2000). If an organization is strongly identified with by a person, their social identity includes a substantial overlap with all the individuality of the organization. According to this standpoint, organizational identification is indicated by self-understandings of "oneness" together with the organization (Mael and Ashforth 1992).A growing level of literature implies that organizational identifications are significant due to their implications for both individuals' and organizations' well being. In the individual level, a lot of research on social identifications suggests that identification using a positively perceived social group or organization improves an individual 's self-esteem, self-distinctiveness, and self-continuity (Hogg and Abrams 1988, Dutton et al. 1994). Recent studies also demonstrate that identification supplies advantages to the organization by increasing members' long term dedication and support for the organization (Bhattacharya et al. 1995; O'Reilly and Chatman 1986; Adler and Adler 1988; Mael and Ashforth 1992, 1995). This work suggests that distinctive or prestigious organizational pictures, satisfaction with membership encounters, and wide-ranging experience or tenure having an organization are the main antecedents of organizational identification (Schneider et al. 1971, Hall and Schneider 1972, Mael and Ashforth 1992). Recent research suggests that such antecedents appear to enhance organizational identification by strengthening person's cognitive links to the organization (Dutton et al. 1994).Together these findings about the indexes, effects, and antecedents of social and organizational identification supply a seemingly whole framework of people' connections to their organizations. Yet this research has not discussed the possibility that individuals' social identities and self concepts are explained by the groups or organizations from which they perceive their individualities to be distinguished. That is, for the large part (see Elsbach 1999 and Dukerich et. al. 1998 for exceptions) individuality researchers have not analyzed the concept of organizational disidentification. Additionally, no research has examined organizational disidentification.

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