Take it to the top: imagined interactions with leaders elevates organizational identification

Rose Meleady*, Richard J. Crisp

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Organizational identification is an important predictor of workplace behavior. The more strongly an individual identifies with their employing organization, the more motivated they will be to behave in ways that promote its success. In this paper we develop a new approach to fostering organizational identification based on principles of mental simulation. Across seven experiments we demonstrate that imagining positive contact with an organizational leader increases identification with the organization they represent. Experiments 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, 3A and 3B replicated the basic effect against progressively varied control conditions, utilizing both scenario and field experiments. Experiment 4 demonstrated that as a consequence of heightened organizational identification following the imagined contact task, participants reported greater intentions to engage in organizational citizenship behaviors. We conclude by discussing the potential application of this technique as a simple and effective way for organizations to foster employees’ motivation and performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)621-638
JournalLeadership Quarterly
Volume28
Issue number5
Early online date25 Jan 2017
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Oct 2017

Bibliographical note

© 2017, Elsevier. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

Keywords

  • organizational identification
  • social identity
  • leadership
  • mental simulation

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