Staying grounded! Organizational identification and perceived control during crises

Sarah Kovoor-Misra, Shanthi Gopalakrishnan, Haisu Zhang

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Purpose: Organizational identification could play an important role during crises if it contributes to individuals' perceptions of control. This study examines this relationship and unpacks some of its complexities by investigating the mediating role of job satisfaction and citizenship behaviors that have previously been examined as outcomes of organizational identification in noncrisis contexts. The authors also investigate the moderating role of the perceived severity of the crisis on the relationships between organizational identification and job satisfaction and citizenship behaviors. There is limited empirical research on these relationships in a crisis context, and studying them is important for understanding the role of identification in diverse contexts and for crisis management research and practice. Design/methodology/approach: Using the survey method, quantitative data were collected from 354 individuals from a nonprofit organization that filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. This was supplemented with qualitative data from respondents' comments in the survey. Findings: Using process analysis, the authors find the following: (1) job satisfaction fully mediates the relationship between organizational identification and perceived control; (2) the perceived severity of the crisis moderates the relationship between organizational identification and job satisfaction; (3) citizenship behavior is associated with organizational identification but is not a significant mediator in the relationship between organizational identification and perceived control and (4) the perceived severity of the crisis is not a significant moderator of the relationship between organizational identification and citizenship behaviors. Research limitations/implications: This study’s model can be further tested in public and private organizations that are experiencing bankruptcies to examine the robustness of our findings. Also, due to the cross-sectional design of this study, the findings need to be tested in a longitudinal study to examine if they persist over time during the recovery and growth phases of a crisis. Practical implications: Leaders can rely on individuals who identify with their organizations during a crisis, such as bankruptcies because they experience job satisfaction and a sense of control. Additionally, these individuals also demonstrate citizenship behaviors in these challenging situations. Originality/value: This study is one of the first to empirically examine the association between organizational identification and perceived control, the mediating role of job satisfaction and citizenship behaviors and the moderating role of perceived severity in the context of an organizational crisis. An additional strength of this study is that it provides empirical evidence from individuals in an actual crisis rather than from laboratory studies.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)366-384
Number of pages19
JournalJournal of Organizational Change Management
Volume34
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 11 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Decision Sciences(all)
  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation

Keywords

  • Citizenship behavior
  • Crisis
  • Job satisfaction
  • Organizational identification
  • Perceived control

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