Emancipating Identity: The Differential Effect of Organizational Identification on Commitment and Performance

İpek Koçoğlu, Serhat Erat, Salih Zeki İmamoğlu


Research on organizational identity (OI) and organizational identification (OID) has long considered the two concepts as inseparable. There is also a rising concern among scholars that OID and organizational commitment (OC) might be misrepresented and used interchangeably. These together raise the question: can OI, OID, and OC substitute each other, or should firms make an effort to establish all three differentially in order to capitalize on their unique effects on performance outcomes? In this study, we aim to address these unanswered inquiries with regards to how OI, OID, and OC are interrelated yet distinct constructs that in turn play unique roles in increased performance outcomes. We argue that, OI, OID and OC are distinct constructs that have differential effects on performance outcomes. By first looking at the effect of OI and OID on OC, we aimed to understand the differential relationship of OI and OID with OC. Also, we aimed to examine the concurrent effects of all three constructs namely OI, OID, and OC on individual performance. Drawing on the social identity and social categorization theories, we develop and empirically test a conceptual model where we examine the effects of OI and OID on OC and the effect of OC on individual performance. Through examining the data collected by 345 employees in the education sector, we show that OI and OID have positive significant effects on OC. Further, the results of our hierarchical multiple regression analyses reveal that OI, OID, and OC have positive and significant effects on individual performance.


Organizational Identity; Organizational Identification; Organizational Commitment; Individual Performance; Social Identity Theory

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/emaj.2019.181


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