How Organizational Identity Affects Team Functioning: The Identity Instrumentality Hypothesis

Jessica R. Mesmer-Magnus*, Raquel Asencio, Peter W. Seely, Leslie A. DeChurch

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations

Abstract

How does organizational identity affect team functioning? We articulate and test an identity instrumentality hypothesis that suggests that organizational identity (1) directly predicts those aspects of team functioning that enable, and are instrumental in, employees’ fulfillment of their identity with the organization; and (2) indirectly predicts other aspects of team functioning not instrumental to organizational identity fulfillment. Underlying this hypothesis is the idea that some aspects of team functioning, such as team performance and cooperative team behaviors, are important to individuals’ fulfillment of their organizational identity because the implications of these behaviors extend beyond the immediacy of the team, whereas other aspects of team functioning (e.g., team affect) are not instrumental to organizational identity fulfillment because they are relevant mainly within the team context. We test the identity instrumentality hypothesis by using meta-analytic path analysis conducted on effect estimates obtained from 132 independent studies (total N = 28,024) of organizational and team identity. As hypothesized, we find that whereas team identity fully mediates the relationship between organizational identity and team affective constructs (i.e., aspects of team functioning not instrumental to the fulfillment of organizational identity), organizational identity uniquely and directly affects cooperative team behavior and team performance, which are those aspects of team functioning that are instrumental to the fulfillment of organizational identity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1530-1550
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Management
Volume44
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Apr 1 2018

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Keywords

  • cooperative team behavior
  • organizational identity
  • performance
  • team affect
  • team identity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Finance
  • Strategy and Management

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