This article discusses the distinction between situated (i.e., temporary and limited) identification and deep-structure (i.e., enduring and multi-faceted) identification with organizations. Research in the social identity tradition suggests that managers can foster employees' situated identification by emphasizing (a) organizational successes, (b) competition with other firms, (c) employees' shared features, and (d) personal and organizational distinctiveness. Repeated exposure to these identity reinforcers can turn situated identification into deep-structure identification, especially when employees trust the organization and derive particularistic resources from it (e.g., recognition, information, status). This article concludes with the positive and negative consequences of deep-structure and situated identification for (a) the acceptance of organizational change, (b) reactions to threats to organizational status, and (c) temporary work relationships.
- Organizational change
- Organizational identification
- Social identity