Social and Organization Identity

  • Nicholas Jackson


Organizational identity has been defined as the perception of oneness with, or belongingness to, an organization, where the individual defines himself or herself in terms of the organization(s) of which he or she is a member. Merger and acquisition (M&A) often creates a perceived threat to collective identity both among work colleagues and with the wider organization as members will normally need to disidentify with the premerger organization when it is dissolved. In this chapter, the significance of identity in relation to employee attitudes is discussed, including the close relationship with organizational commitment and the role of perceived fair treatment of the individual, both essentially important factors in the process of forming new identities with the newly-merged organization. Current identity theory is discussed and considered for its implications in the running case study where harmonization of terms and conditions was perceived as a threat to status in the workplace. The anxiety that this caused led to an emotionally charged atmosphere among some members of staff, and a seemingly just process using the rule of equality to harmonize terms and conditions was perceived as unjust by those individuals. Evidence that the basis of perceived fairness is rooted in the values of identity shared by employees is discussed.


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© The Author(s) 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Nicholas Jackson
    • 1
  1. 1.Leeds University Business SchoolLeedsUK

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