Universiteit Leiden - Faculteit der Letteren                      Sinologisch Instituut                       Peter J. Zob...
Table of Contents                                                                PagePreface                              ...
2.4.2.1       Ashforth and Mael’s Model                                        282.4.2.2       ROIT Model                 ...
PrefaceInspired by Hofstede’s cross -cultural research and Professor van Riel’s corporate communication class, I asked mys...
The Importance of Organizational IdentificationThe rapid growth of foreign direct investment in China in the last twenty y...
Cultural Relevance of the Organizational Identification Construct in China- The Case of Foreign-Invested Enterprises1.    ...
726, author’s emph asis). The results of this approach are then compared with the original concept for the shared features...
1.1.2       China’s Culture            “Until we leave our community, we often remain oblivious to the dynamics of our sha...
Table 1.1 Relative Position of Countries with Chinese Culture (Hofstede)                                 Power            ...
1.1.2.2 CollectivismThe individualism-collectivism dimension is “a key determinant of how cultural influence might affect ...
1.1.2.3 Motivation in ChinaAnother important difference between Chinese and Western culture, related to collectivism, is t...
1.1.3    Social Identity Theory and the Organization         “However large or small the membership, the need for cohesion...
basis (Turner, 1982: 16). According to him, the former “has been productive in investigating the dynamics of small, face -...
Identification can also be a passive process of being identified. In my opinion, it is this passive identification, which ...
fulfilled by a rational-evaluative component, and the need for prestige and self-esteem enhancement is fulfilled by a com-...
1.1.4    Related Concepts         “Far from reducing national differences, organizational culture maintains and enhances t...
cione et al., 1987: 201-202). Falcione et al.’s research suggests furthermore, “that communication climate is necessaryfor...
1.2      Models of Organizational Identification1.2.1    Ashforth and Mael’s Model1.2.1.1 DescriptionMael and Ashforth def...
Figure 1.2 Ashforth and Mael’s Model of Organizational Identification                                                     ...
1.2.2    Rotterdam Organizational Identification Test (ROIT)The authors of the Rotterdam Organizational Identification Tes...
2        Analysis2.1      Sample and ProcedureNinety-one items of the original Dutch Rotterdam Organizational Identificati...
2.2      Instrument and VariablesThe adapted ROIT questionnaire attempts to measure organizational identification and its ...
asked to complete statements such as “Information about customer satisfaction with our products is¼” or “Informationabout ...
2.3         Preliminary Analysis and Data DescriptionA total of 291 of 337 distributed questionnaires were returned, gener...
2.4         Data AnalysisThe data set was analyzed in two ways. First, principal components factor analyses were performed...
2.4.1    Factor Analysis2.4.1.1 Organizational IdentificationThe ten questions regarding organizational identification on ...
2.4.1.2 Perceived Organizational PrestigeThe five statements regarding perceived organizational prestige were reduced to a...
Table 2.4 Rotated Components: Job Satisfaction and Commitment                                                             ...
2.4.1.6 Communication ClimateFactor analysis of these items, which are related to communication with superiors, internal c...
2.4.2    Regression AnalysisStandard multiple regression was used for regression analysis, although stepwise multiple regr...
2.4.2.1 Ashforth and Mael’s ModelAntecedentsPreliminary screening through residuals showed normal distribution of residual...
Table 2.7 Regression of Consequence Variables on AMID           Regression of                 (AMID)          F value     ...
2.4.2.2 ROIT ModelAntecedentsPreliminary screening through residuals showed normal distribution of residuals. No multivari...
Table 2.9 Restricted and Unrestricted Regression Model for ROIT         Regressors                                        ...
3        Discussion3.1      LimitationsBefore starting to discuss the results obtained in respect to the cultural relevanc...
3.1.2    ConstructFor a proper test of the organizational identification a longitudinal approach is far more adequate. Thi...
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
Organizational identification in china
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The objective of this thesis was to assess the cultural relevance of the organizational identification construct in China.

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  • Hello,

    I am a Graduate student at Nyack College and I'm currently doing my thesis paper on organizational identification and the relationship with organizational citizen behavior.

    I viewed your thesis and i was would like to use the scales on Organizational Identification to conduct my research.

    If you would be so kind to send me your email so that i can send you a request from my school email address.

    Thank you.

    Ijana
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Organizational identification in china

  1. 1. Universiteit Leiden - Faculteit der Letteren Sinologisch Instituut Peter J. Zobel CULTURAL RELEVANCE OF THEORGANIZATIONAL IDENTIFICATION CONSTRUCT IN CHINA the case of foreign-invested enterprises Doctoraalscriptie
  2. 2. Table of Contents PagePreface 1The Importance of Organizational Identification 21 Literature Review 31.1 Review of Theoretical Concepts 31.1.1 The Emic/Etic Approach in Cross-Cultural Research 31.1.2 China’s Culture 51.1.2.1 Hofstede’s Dimensions of Culture 51.1.2.2 Collectivism 71.1.2.3 Motivation in China 81.1.3 Social Identity Theory and the Organization 91.1.3.1 Social Identity Theory 91.1.3.2 Organizational Identification 101.1.4 Related Concepts 131.1.4.1 Corporate Identity 131.1.4.2 Climate 131.1.4.3 Corporate Culture 141.1.4.4 Commitment 141.2 Models of Organizational Identification 151.2.1 Ashforth and Mael’s Model 151.2.1.1 Description 151.2.1.2 Discussion 161.2.2 Rotterdam Organizational Identification Test (ROIT) 172 Analysis 182.1 Sample and Procedure 182.2 Instrument and Variables 192.3 Preliminary Analysis and Data Description 212.4 Data Analysis 222.4.1 Factor Analysis 232.4.1.1 Organizational Identification 232.4.1.2 Perceived Organizational Prestige 242.4.1.3 Job Satisfaction and Commitment 242.4.1.4 Goals and Values 252.4.1.5 Climate 252.4.1.6 Communication Climate 262.4.1.7 Received Information 262.4.2 Regression Analysis 27
  3. 3. 2.4.2.1 Ashforth and Mael’s Model 282.4.2.2 ROIT Model 303 Discussion 323.1 Limitations 323.1.1 Sample 323.1.2 Construct 333.1.2 Method 333.2 Assessing the Cultural Validity of Organizational Identification 343.2.1 Ashforth and Mael’s Model 343.2.2 ROIT Model 353.2.3 Cultural Influences on the Organizational Identification Construct 363.3 Implication 373.3.1 Implications for Organizational Identification in China 373.3.2 Implications for Further Research 37Conclusion 38Bibliography 39Appendix 441 Organizational Identification Questionnaire in English 452 Organizational Identification Questionnaire in Chinese 523 Summary Variables 65
  4. 4. PrefaceInspired by Hofstede’s cross -cultural research and Professor van Riel’s corporate communication class, I asked myself,whether the identification of employees with their company is influenced by their nationality. My starting hypothesis wasthat some of the factors that influence organizational identification will be more salient in China because of cultural dif-ferences between Eastern and Western cultures. Thus, the original title of my thesis was “Cultural Differences in Organ-izational Identification between Chinese and Germans”.After a promising start in China, where the response rate to my survey was relatively high, problems emerged where I didnot expect them at all. The German company, which belongs to the same multinational as the Chinese enterprises and wassupposed to serve as a benchmark for comparing China with Germany, was no longer willing to participate. In the opin-ion of management, asking questions about job satisfaction and communication climate would have posed “the risk thatrestlessness and instability is unnecessarily brought into the staff” (letter of the personnel manager).So I landed up with having more than 300 completed Chinese and 150 blank German questionnaires. Because I was un-able to find another company that was willing to be surveyed, I decided to shift the focus of the thesis to the cultural rele-vance of the organizational identification construct and the instrument employed. This was only the second best solutionbecause the items in the questionnaire were not primarily selected on basis of their validity. The questionnaire was basedon a Dutch questionnaire, which was developed by the Corporate Communication Center of Erasmus University Rotter-dam. Because of the length of the original questionnaire, some parts were omitted while in other parts items were deletedor altered to shorten the questionnaire to a manageable size. These changes, however, made a comparison with publisheddata on reliability difficult.Two models, namely Ashforth and Mael’s (1989) and Smidts et al.’s (1999), were selected to test the validity of the o r-ganizational identification construct in China because of their comprehensive predictions. After factor analyzing the ques-tionnaire to verify the factors involved, these predictions were used to validate the models in the Chinese context by em-ploying multiple regression techniques.I cannot possibly thank everyone who was involved in this thesis but I want to give special thanks to Professor van Riel,who made the Rotterdam Organizational Identification Test questionnaire available to me, and to Dr. Arnold and WilliamValentino of the holding company in China, who had the courage to give their placet to this survey despite the ‘risk’involved. I also want to thank Liu Zhengrong who checked my Chinese translation of the questionnaire and hosted meduring my stay in China. Furthermore, I want to thank Mr. Thomas, who tried to help me find a German company, SherryXu, who informed the human resource departments of the upcoming survey, and Wendy Huang, Sherry Lee, Liu Zhen-grong, Yan Jie, and Zhu Yiqun, who assisted me in carrying out the surveys. Peter Zobel Amsterdam, February 2000 Page 1 of 65
  5. 5. The Importance of Organizational IdentificationThe rapid growth of foreign direct investment in China in the last twenty years has impacted not only China’s nationaleconomy but also the Chinese labor market. The serious shortage of skilled labor has led to increasingly higher compen-sation levels and a high rate in staff turnover (Ma, 1998: 2; Mandel and Labonté-Klajda, 1998: 7). The turnover problemis one of the greatest challenges for foreign companies because localization is important to make foreign enterprises prof-itable (Business China, 8 June 98). Because of fierce competition for these skilled employees, pure material rewards seemno longer sufficient. Therefore, more and more companies compete for these employees by offering non-cash benefits,like housing loans or even stock options (Mandel and Labonté-Klajda, 1998: 7; SCMP, 13 August 98).Another measure that might prove a useful retention tool is corporate communication. A strong corporate identity, whichpresents the organization in a consistent way to external target groups, can, for example, attract highly qualified appli-cants. Yet, communication with stakeholders outside the company is just one side of corporate communication. On theother side, a powerful corporate identity enhances the likelihood of identification with the company (Antonoff, 1986: 21;Van Riel, 1995: 29). Organizational identification is closely related to a comfortable working environment, friendships atwork, and mutual trust. All these are predictors of low turnover and high productivity (Abrams et al., 1998: 1037;CEIBS, 1998: 2; The Economist Conferences, 1998: 35; Ma, 1998: 9, Mandel and Labonté-Klajda, 1998: 7; Scott et al.,1999: 427; WSJE, 18 January 00).Before rushing to strengthen corporate communication efforts in China, foreign-invested companies should first analyzethe status quo to identify problem areas. One way to do so is to measure the degree to which employees identify withtheir company. But there is some danger in simply administering an organizational identification questionnaire in China.Up to now, it is unclear whether these tests, which were developed in America and Europe, are culturally appropriate(Yang, 1986: 163). Equating measures of both antecedent and consequent variables in two or more societies may provedifficult (Mrinal et al., 1994: 32; Smith and Bond, 1993: 47). Problems may also arise when one tries to interpret theresults and does not take the different cultural backgrounds into account (Matsumoto, 1994a: 5).The purpose of this paper is then to assess the cultural relevance of the organizational identification construct in Chinaby administering a Western questionnaire in foreign-invested enterprises that belong to a large German multi-national inthe pharmaceutical and chemical industry. With this “imposed etic” approach (Berry, 1989: 726) cross -culturally validparts of the questionnaire can be identified and the construct in the Chinese context evaluated.To accomplish this, I start with a review of relevant literature and describe two models of organizational identification.Next, I discuss the results of an organizational identification survey in Chinese subsidiaries of a German multinational.After factor analyzing and reliability testing the observed data, the relation between antecedent and consequent variablesof organizational identification is mapped by means of multiple regression. Finally, I compare the predictions of the twomodels with actually observed results and discuss limitations and further research directions. Page 2 of 65
  6. 6. Cultural Relevance of the Organizational Identification Construct in China- The Case of Foreign-Invested Enterprises1. Literature Review “Grau, teurer Freund, ist alle Theorie, und grün des Lebens goldener Baum.” Johann Wolfgang von Goethe FaustBefore looking at two specific models of organizational identification, I first give an introduction into the problems ofcross-cultural research and the emic/etic approach. Next follows a description of the Chinese culture to clarify the culturalissues in this study. After that, I briefly discuss social identity theory on which organizational identification is based.After looking into the different aspects of organizational identification I provide definitions on related concepts to makeclear the distinctions between the latter and organizational identification.1.1 Review of Theoretical Concepts1.1.1 The Emic/Etic Approach in Cross-Cultural Research “The scientist who adopts the emic approach cannot, by definition, do cross-cultural work. The one who adopts the etic can easily miss the most important aspects of the phenomena he wishes to study.” Harry Triandis The Analysis of Subjective CultureStarting from linguistics, where Kenneth Pike came up with the concept of emics and etics, the emic/etic concept foundits way into many other disciplines, among them anthropology and cross-cultural psychology (Headland, 1988: 15-17).Matsumoto defines it as follows: “An etic refers to findings that appear to be consistent across different cultures; that is,an etic refers to a universal truth or principle. An emic, in contrast, refers to findings that appear to be different acrosscultures; an emic, therefore, refers to truths that are culture-specific” (1994a: 5, author’s emphasis).Although both approaches have their weaknesses, “even the specialist, coming from one culture to a sharp ly differentone, has no other way to begin its analysis than by starting with a rough, tentative (and inaccurate) etic description of it”(Pike, 1967: 40). Berry suggested therefore an ‘imposed etics-emics-derived etics’ approach. “The initial step is usu allytaken armed with a concept or instrument rooted in the researcher’s own culture (one that is really an emic concept orinstrument for that culture) but which is used as an etic orientation, in two senses: it is assumed by the researcher to be avalid basis for studying a phenomenon in another culture (the tools for this being brought in from outside for the purpose)and it is assumed by the researcher to be a valid basis for comparing the phenomenon in the two cultures” (Berry, 1989: Page 3 of 65
  7. 7. 726, author’s emph asis). The results of this approach are then compared with the original concept for the shared features.These “common a spects for which comparison takes place” are then termed ‘derived etics’ (Berry, 1989: 727).To assess the cross-cultural validity of a concept or instrument, the assumptions of the imposed etics approach have to beverified. The similarity in the network of relationships has to be demonstrated to ensure that the same underlying con-struct is being measured. If the relevance of the construct or the validity of the instrument in the new culture cannot bedemonstrated it is called a “pseudoetic approach”. For Triandis, who coined this term, this is an “emic approach deve l-oped in a Western culture (usually the United States) which is assumed to work as an etic approach”, where “instrumentsbased on American theories, with items reflecting American conditions, are simply translated and used in other cultures”(1972: 39).For this study an imposed etics approach will be used. The aim is, however, not to show whether the organizational iden-tification construct is etic but to validate this construct in the setting of foreign-invested enterprises in China. The Chinesesample, which consists of Chinese employees of enterprises, in which the same German multinational has a majoritystake, is by no means representative for the Chinese workforce let alone the Chinese people. It is in this limited set thatthe validity and relevance of the organizational identification construct is tested. Page 4 of 65
  8. 8. 1.1.2 China’s Culture “Until we leave our community, we often remain oblivious to the dynamics of our shared culture.” Nancy Adler International Dimensions of Organizational Behavior1.1.2.1 Hofstede’s Dimensions of CultureIt is important to realize that there are differences between countries that have their roots in culture. These differences canbe characterized in terms of Hofstede’s dimensions of national culture. The dimensions are: Power distance, which Hofstede defines as “the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and o r-  ganizations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally” (1994: 28; emphasis omitted). Individualism, which “pertains to societie s in which the ties between individuals are loose: everyone is expected to¡ look after himself or herself and his or her immediate family”. The opposite of individualism, collectivism, “pertains to societies in which people from birth onwards are integrated into strong, cohesive ingroups, which throughout peo- ple’s lifetime continue to protect them in exchange for unquestioning loyalty” (Hofstede, 1994: 51, emphasis omi t- ted). Masculinity, which “pertains to societies in which social gender roles are clearly d istinct (i.e., men are sup-posed to¡ be assertive, tough, and focused on material success whereas women are supposed to be more modest, tender, and concerned with the quality of life)”. Femininity, on the opposite side of the scale, “pertains to societies i n which so- cial gender roles overlap (i.e., both men and women are supposed to be modest, tender, and concerned with the qual- ity of life)” (Hofstede, 1994: 82 -83). As this terminology is rather misleading and easily misunderstood, Adler’s te r- minology will be used in this paper. Adler relabeled masculinity ‘career success’ and femininity ‘quality of life’ (Adler, 1997: 47 and note 2). Uncertainty avoidance is the fourth dimension that Hofstede found in his empirical research. It is defined as “the¡ extent to which the members of a culture feel threatened by uncertain or unknown situations” (Hofstede, 1994: 113, emphasis omitted). Later on, the Chinese Culture Connection found that this dimension is not meaningful in all coun- tries, which means that it is emic. These researchers also found that there is another dimension in Asian countries, which they labeled ‘long-versus-short-term orientation’ or ‘ Confucian work dynamism’. According to Hofstede ‘uncertainty avoidance’ is related to the ‘search for absolute truth ’ while ‘Confucian dynamism’ related is to the ‘search for virtue’ (1994: 171).The tables on the next page show the relative position of countries with Chinese culture1 on these dimensions inHofstede’s original research in 1968 and 1972 (Table 1.1) and the results of a recent research by Fernandez et al. in1989/1990 (Table 1.2).1 Mainland China was not included at that time. Page 5 of 65
  9. 9. Table 1.1 Relative Position of Countries with Chinese Culture (Hofstede) Power Career Uncertainty Confucian Individualism Distance Success Avoidance Dynamism China (PRC) N/A N/A N/A N/A 118 Hong Kong 68 25 57 29 96 Taiwan 58 17 45 69 87 Singapore 74 20 48 8 48 Germany 35 67 66 65 31 Mean 56.83 43.06 47.89 65.45 46.26 Sources: Hofstede, 1994, Table 2.1 (p. 26), Table 3.1 (p. 53), Table 4.1 (p. 84), Table 5.1 (p. 113), Table 7.1 (p. 166); own calculations. Table 1.2 Relative Position of Mainland China (Fernandez et al.) Power Career Uncertainty Confucian Individualism Distance Success Avoidance Dynamism China (PRC) 14.50 10.38 15.27 14.46 N/A Germany 11.89 11.64 10.46 12.36 N/A Mean 12.72 11.55 11.46 14.03 N/A Source: Fernandez et al., 1997: 47-49.Both surveys show a high score of China or Chinese cultures on power distance and collectivism (i.e. a low score onindividualism) relative to the mean score of the surveyed countries. On Confucian dynamism, a dimension originating inthe Chinese culture, China scores highest. The mixed results for uncertainty avoidance might be due to the cross-culturalinvalidity of this dimension.The differences between China and Germany are quite obvious for all dimensions. While China is characterized by largepower distance and low individualism, Germany scores lower than average on power distance and is relatively more indi-vidualistic. For the other dimensions, this pattern is repeated: Germany and China are always on opposite sides of thescale. Page 6 of 65
  10. 10. 1.1.2.2 CollectivismThe individualism-collectivism dimension is “a key determinant of how cultural influence might affect workplace dyna m-ics” (Earley, 1993: 319) and therefore especially interesting for this paper. In a collectivist culture, “the group takesprecedence over the individual members’ interests, and is the centre of their loyalty” (Tayeb, 1996: 57). Collectivismdenotes “a balan ce between self-seeking and the maintenance of harmony with the community, as relative to the individu-alism of western cultures” (Cheng, 1996: 239). In China’s collectivist culture the group is very important: relationshipsamong the people who generate results are emphasized, rather than the results themselves. This corresponds with Child’sfindings that managers in the PRC “attached significantly more importance than the other groups to (¼) having co -workers who co-operate well with each other. They attached significantly less importance to having the opportunity forpromotion to higher level jobs” (Child, 1994: 180). Cooperation among members of a group is thus emphasized in China(Beamer, 1998: 56).Collective cultures “stress the needs of a group; memb ers identify themselves as individuals through their groups. Hierar-chical differences and vertical relationships are emphasized; one’s role, status, and appropriate behaviors are more clearlydefined by position” (Matsumoto, 1994b: 119). Therefore, “Chines e may be characterized as placing a high value onidentification with their various in-groups” (Bond, 1996: 225). Important for this study involving the concept of identityis that the conceptualization of self in China is always in a relational context as a ‘we’ identity (Gao et al., 1996: 282).Schwartz found that his mainland China samples were high on the importance attributed to ‘hierarchy’ (emphasizingpower and ranking in social affairs and distribution of resources and thus related to power distance) and ‘mastery’values(emphasizing energetic self-assertion to control the social and physical environments). At the same time, however, thesesamples scored low on the importance of ‘egalitarian commitment’ values (emphasizing a transcendence of egocent ricconcerns by embracing an interpersonal morality and social principled-ness) (Bond, 1996: 216-217). Schwartz thereforeconcluded that China is “not a prototypical ‘collectivist’ society” (cited in Bond, 1996: 217). To sum it up, Chinese co l-lectivism pertains to small in-group circles but not to a larger community of people. Page 7 of 65
  11. 11. 1.1.2.3 Motivation in ChinaAnother important difference between Chinese and Western culture, related to collectivism, is the ranking of needs,which impacts possible incentive schemes. Strongly associated with the individualist pole were the working goals ‘per-sonal time’, ‘freedom to adopt an own approach’ and ‘challenging work’. For the collectivist pole, however, ‘trainingopportunities’, ‘phys ical working conditions’ and ‘use of skills and abilities on the job’ were the most important workinggoals (Hofstede, 1994: 51-52).Achievement in the Chinese context is almost always in terms of group achievement rather than in terms of personal goalsachievement (Ho, 1986: 27; Yu, 1994: 50). Yang reports that in comparison with their American counterparts Chinesestudents score high in nurturance, social oriented achievement, and endurance (1986: 110, Table 4.1). In Taiwan, em-ployees value high salary, good working conditions, and public recognition for their contribution (Hui and Tan, 1996:365). For Hong Kong, researchers found “higher scores for social needs than in other countries, as well as lower auton-omy and self-actualization needs” (Lockett, 198 8: 488, author’s emphasis). In mainland China, a general survey of alarge sample of working people in Beijing found that ‘pay’ ranks first followed by ‘good interpersonal relations’, ‘goodworking conditions’ and the ‘opportunity to learn’ (Westwood and L eung, 1996: 405, Table 5; see also Fisher and Yuan,1998: 516).There are however shifts in the motivational pattern. Hui and Tan, for example, find that “economic reform and modern i-zation have resulted in Chinese employees’ focusing their attention on pe rsonal, extrinsic rewards” (1996: 367). Foryoung university graduates recruited by a joint venture (JV), Westwood and Leung report that they “rated aspect of theircareer development and intrinsic work factors more highly than ‘opportunity for contributing to society’. They also rated‘the general public’ ninth in importance out of eleven organizational constituents, and ‘myself’ second” (Westwood andLeung, 1996: 389). For these graduates the most salient motivating factor for wanting to join a JV was greater develop-ment opportunities (Westwood and Leung, 1996: 395). They felt “that JVs would be more characterized by trust andrespect of the individual and would better engender a sense of belonging and pride in the company” (West -wood andLeung, 1996: 396).A survey in Taiwan (Hui and Tan, 1996: 368) found that older people did more strongly endorse collective interests thanyounger ones. In another survey by Wang reported in Hui and Tan younger employees “valued personal growth andachievement, as well as extrinsic rewards such as status and income” (Hui and Tan, 1996: 368). This is consistent withFisher and Yuan’s study where promotion and growth were more important to younger employees (1998: 526). Thus, adistinction has to be made between employees of state-owned enterprises (SOEs) and employees of private or foreign-invested enterprises, as well as between older and younger employees. Page 8 of 65
  12. 12. 1.1.3 Social Identity Theory and the Organization “However large or small the membership, the need for cohesion between the members exists in all organizations, not just companies.” Arie de Geus The Living Company1.1.3.1 Social Identity TheorySocial Identity Theory was developed and formalized by Henri Tajfel in 1978. He postulated that, at least in Westernsociety, “an individual strives to achieve a satisfactory concept or image of himself” (Tajfel, 1978b: 61). Social identity isthen “that part of an individual’s self -concept which derives from his knowledge of his membership of a social group (orgroups) together with the value and emotional significance attached to that membership” (Tajfel, 1978b: 63, author’semphasis). A description of the essence of a group includes one to three of the following components: “a cognitive com-ponent, in the sense of the knowledge that one belongs to a group; an evaluative one, in the sense that the notion of thegroup and/or of one’s membership of it may have a positive or a negative value connotation; and an emotional componentin the sense that the cognitive and evaluative aspects of the group and one’s membership of it may be accompanied byemotions (such as love or hatred, like or dislike) directed towards one’s own group and towards others which stand incertain relations to it” (Tajfel , 1978a: 28-29). In a recent research note, Bettencourt and Hume were able to confirm thisnotion (1999: 119).The social identity of an individual “can be made up of identifications with many different groups” (Abrams, 1992: 59).But for membership in a group it is essential “that the individuals concerned define themselves and are defined by othersas members of a group” (Tajfel and Turner, 1979: 40). This has four consequences: First, “an individual will tend toremain a member of a group and seek membership of new groups if these groups have some contribution to make to posi-tive aspects of his social identity” (Tajfel, 1978b: 64). Second, an individual will tend to leave the group if it does notmake a positive contribution, and leaving the group psychologically and/or objectively is a viable alternative. Third, if itis impossible to leave the group, the individual will either try a more positive reinterpretation or actively attempt tochange the situation from within the group. Fourth, “the ‘positive as pects of social identity’ and the reinterpretation ofattributes and engagement in social action only acquire meaning in relation to, or in comparison with, other groups” (T a-jfel, 1978b: 64). This last point is important for models of organizational identification because characteristics of one’sgroup as a whole “achieve most of their si gnificance in relation to perceived differences from other groups and the valueconnotation of these differences” (Tajfel, 1978b: 66).In 1982, Tajfel’s colleague John Tur ner came up with the cognitive redefinition of social identity. He proposed that “asocial group can be defined as two or more individuals who share a common social identification of themselves or, whichis nearly the same thing, perceive themselves to be members of the same social category” (Turner, 1982: 15). Turnerbased this minimalist definition of a social group on his observation that “members of a social group seem often to shareno more than a collective perception of their own social unity and yet this seems to be sufficient for them to act as agroup” (1982: 15). He distinguishes between the “Social Cohesion model”, where group -belongingness tends to have anaffective basis, and his “Social Identification model”, where group -belongingness has primarily a perceptual or cognitive Page 9 of 65
  13. 13. basis (Turner, 1982: 16). According to him, the former “has been productive in investigating the dynamics of small, face -to-face groups” while the latter’s subject matter is “large -scale social category membership such as nationality, class, sex,race or religion” (Turner, 1982: 22). In Turner’s opinion, “social cohesion may be neither necessary nor sufficient forgroup formation” (1982: 22) while it “may arise as a direct product of social identification” (1982: 25).1.1.3.2 Organizational IdentificationIt seems that the concept of organizational identification has many different definitions because most articles lack a clearstatement whether organizational identification is used as a noun (to describe a state of being) or as a process.As a noun, organizational identification refers to the self-definition of a person in terms of organizational membership(see Turner’s definition of social identification, 1982: 17 -18). This state is the outcome of an identification process andthus remains transitory.As a process, organizational identification is both the process of identifying and of being identified. While Hall et al.define organizational identification as “the process by which the goals of the organization and those of the individualbecome increasingly integrated or congruent (1970: 176-177, emphasis added), Mael and Ashforth define organizationalidentification as “perceived oneness”, i.e. as an outcome of the identifi cation process (1992: 103).The nature of identification is dynamic, or as Russo puts it: “Neither the process nor the product of identification is u n-changing” (1998: 77). Authors that use the static concept of organizational identification acknowledge th is dynamic na-ture by using a feedback loop from the consequences to the antecedents of organizational identification (Ashforth andMael, 1989: 26; Dutton et al., 1994: 253).Organizational identification not only varies in degree but also in the reasons for identification (O’Reilly and Chatman,1986: 493). Kagan believes that the ultimate motive for identification is “a desire for the positive goal states commandedby the model” (1958: 304). Three motives may contribute to this, namely (1) cohesion and affi liation, (2) achievementand self-actualization and (3) prestige or self-esteem enhancement. Hall and Schneider, for example, distinguish twopaths to satisfy different needs: the single-organization career, where individuals are able to satisfy their ‘needs for secu-rity and affiliation’, and the multi -organization career, where individuals are “forced to move to find growth opportun i-ties” (1972: 349). Brown names ‘providing opportunities for personal achievement’, ‘power within the organization’andthe absence of competing sources of identification as criteria for the selection of an object for identification (1969: 346).Mael and Ashforth state, based on social identity theory, “that individuals identify partly to enhance self -esteem” (1992:105), while Dutton et al. maintain that “members will find organizations attractive when their social identities there pr o-vide them with a sense of distinctiveness” (1994: 246). These motives for identification are similar to those described invarious motivational theories, although labels sometimes differ.22 Schein summarizes and compares these theories (1980: 85-87). The labels for the different motives are ‘affiliation’, ‘achiev e-ment’, and ‘power’ in McClelland’s categories, ‘existence needs’, ‘growth needs’, and ‘relatedness needs’ in Alderfer’s categ o-ries, and ‘affiliation’, ‘self -actualization’, and ‘self -esteem needs’ in Maslo w’s needs hierarchy. Page 10 of 65
  14. 14. Identification can also be a passive process of being identified. In my opinion, it is this passive identification, which isstudied in minimal group experiments, where persons are randomly assigned to groups to study group behavior. This adhoc team identification can be termed ‘situated identification’. It is “created by situational cues signalling shared interestsand maintains as long as the cues persist” (Rousseau, 1998: 218). Organizational identification, on the other hand, is inmy opinion ‘deep structure identification’, i.e. “the cognitive schema formed in work settings across role, over time, andacross situations that leads to congruence between self-at-work and one’s broader self concept” (Rousseau, 199 8: 218).The outcomes and conclusions from group experiments can, in my opinion, not be generalized to organizational identifi-cation because they depend on impermeable group boundaries (see Ellemers, 1991; Ellemers et al., 1988). But bounda-ries of organizations are more or less permeable. It will generally be easier for organizational members to leave an or-ganization in case it does not satisfy their needs than for group members, where group is defined in terms of a social cate-gory. Furthermore, organizational identification has an intermediate position between “small, face -to-face groups” and“large -scale social category memberships” described by Turner (1982: 22). Therefore, one would expect that componentsof both the ‘Social Cohesion model’ and the ‘Social Identification model’ (i.e. affective and cognitive components) areimportant for organizational identification.Recent research supports the view that organizational identification is not a unidimensional but a multidimensional con-struct (Brown et al., 1986: 284; Hinkle et al., 1989: 306; Scott, 1997: 494-497; Smidts et al., 1999: 13). Two componentsappear typically in the reviewed literature: ingroup similarity and distinctiveness towards outgroups (see Brown, 1969;Lee, 1971; Rotondi, 1975; O’Reilly and Chatman, 1986; Dutton et al., 1994). If we reconsider the different definitions,and especially the motivation to identify, we can think of an organizational identification model where the dimensions arebased on different needs and divided into an internal and an external oriented identification (see Figure 1.1). Figure 1.1 Theoretical Components of Organizational Identification individualistic, collectivist, internal component internal component (achievement) (affiliation) OID relational, external component (awareness)This model views organizational identification as a dynamic, multidimensional concept, based on Rotondi’s de finition oforganizational identification as the “process whereby an individual identifies with the organization” (1975: 95). Hinkle etal. label the three components mentioned in Tajfel’s definitions of social identity (1978a: 28 -29; 1978b: 63) “knowledgeor cognitive aspects of group membership”, “emotional -affective aspects of belonging to the group”, and “evaluativeaspects of group membership” (1989: 306 -307). This tripartite structure reflects different underlying needs. The need forharmony and affiliation is fulfilled by group cohesion and congruity, the need for achievement and self-actualization is Page 11 of 65
  15. 15. fulfilled by a rational-evaluative component, and the need for prestige and self-esteem enhancement is fulfilled by a com-ponent which relates identification with the outside.Ashforth and Mael’s (1989) mono -dimensional model of organizational identification would thus represent the externalaspect, while “Acknowledgment & Perceived Opportunities” and “Likemindedness/Congruence” of the ROIT model(Smidts et al., 1999: 13) represent the internal aspects of identification.3 The two internal components are in line withHall and Schneider’s notation of different dynamics of identification in two types of career. Some people choose a careerthat satisfies needs for security and affiliation, while others go for self-fulfillment and personal growth opportunities (Halland Schneider, 1972: 349).This three components model has so far not been tested in a field study. As the relative importance of these componentsmay, depending on organizational and societal characteristics, vary considerably, this model might prove useful to com-pare company across sectors and countries.3 “Pride & Involvement”, the third component extracted by Smidts et al. (1999, 13) is in my opinion a consequence of the identi-fication process and should thus be separated from organizational identification. Page 12 of 65
  16. 16. 1.1.4 Related Concepts “Far from reducing national differences, organizational culture maintains and enhances them.” Nancy Adler International Dimensions of Organizational BehaviorAfter the analysis of organizational identification in the previous section, it will come as no surprise that boundaries torelated concepts are sometimes blurry. In this section, I review four related concepts on the organizational level to makethe distinctions between them clearer before moving on to models of organizational identification.1.1.4.1 Corporate IdentityAlbert and Whetten consider the “criteria of central character, distinctiveness, and temporal continuity as each necessary,and as a set sufficient” to define identity (1985: 265). Identity “serves the function of identification and is in part acquiredby identification (Albert and Whetten, 1985: 267). It is thus important for the company to distinguish itself “on the basisof something important and essential” (Albert and Whetten, 1985: 266). This organizational identity, however, mu st notbe confused with corporate identity.Corporate identity is a measure on the part of the company and describes “the way in which a company presents itself toits target groups” (Van Riel, 1995: 28). The objectives of corporate identity are (1) to enh ance the identification of em-ployees with their company and (2) to enhance the identification of external stakeholders (Keller, 1987: 50).Organizational identification depends on corporate identity as the self-presentation of a company’s identity, but al so onidentification needs of employees, and actual behavior of the company (Gutjahr and Keller, 1995: 91).1.1.4.2 ClimateReichers and Schneider define climate as “shared perceptions of organizational policies, practices, and pr ocedures, bothformal and informal” (1990: 22). In the same organization multiple climates can coexist (Reichers and Schneider, 1990:Table 1.1), because collective climates are based upon the “perception of individuals who share common multi -dimensional descriptions of their work environment” (Joyce and Slocum, 1990: 133). These perceptions can vary as afunction of the position and are related to sub-unit performance and job satisfaction (Reichers and Schneider, 1990: Table1.1). According to Grunig, climate consists of “employee perceptions of what the organization is like” while “satisfactionconsists of the evaluations or affective responses of employees of the organization” (1992: 551). Bartels, on the otherhand, defines climate as the degree of job satisfaction (1995: 131). In Bartels view, a good climate increases the willing-ness to perform, which in turn increases the degree of identification with the goals of the company (1995: 131).For Poole, the whole concept of climate is “bound up with commu nication” (1985: 81). This leads us to a special kind ofclimate, namely the communication climate, which is defined in terms of trust, openness, credibility, accuracy, and fre-quent interaction (Grunig, 1992: 540). These dimensions are positively correlated to satisfaction (Poole, 1985: 95; Fal- Page 13 of 65
  17. 17. cione et al., 1987: 201-202). Falcione et al.’s research suggests furthermore, “that communication climate is necessaryfor member satisfaction but not sufficient” (1987: 222, author’s emphasis).1.1.4.3 Corporate CultureCulture and climate are sometimes confused because these concepts are closely related. They can, however, be distin-guished in that culture is “a deeper, less consciously held set of meanings”, while climate is a “ma nifestation of culture”(Reichers and Schneider, 1990: 24). Hofstede et al. describe climate as shorter-term and culture as longer-term character-istics of an organization and claim that climate “should be easier to change than culture” (1993: 489). Schein also empha-sizes the longer-term characteristic of culture. He defines culture as a “learned product of group experience” that is “to befound only where there is a definable group with a significant history” (Schein: 1989: 7).According to Sriramesh et al. “organizational culture consists of the sum total of shared values, symbols, meanings, b e-liefs, assumptions, and expectations that organize and integrate a group of people who work together” (1992: 591). Pe r-ceptions of organizational practices can be described along the following six dimensions of corporate culture: (1) processversus result orientation, (2) employee versus job orientation, (3) parochial versus professional, (4) open versus closedsystems, (5) loose versus tight control, and (6) normative versus pragmatic (Hofstede et al., 1993: 483).1.1.4.4 CommitmentCommitment is another usually vaguely defined concept that overlaps with satisfaction and identification. Mowday et al.,for example, define organizational commitment as the “relative strengths of an individual’s identification with and in-volvement in a particular organization” (1979: 226, emphasis added). Reichers goes even further and defines commi t-ment as “a process of identification with the goals of an organization’s multiple constituencies” (1985: 465, emphasisadded; see also Barge and Schlueter, 1988: 131).Mowday et al. distinguish between attitudinal and behavioral commitment (1979: 225). Considering Salancik’s definitionwhere the “degree of commitment derives from the extent to which a person’s behaviors are binding” (Salancik, 1982: 4,emphasis added), attitudinal commitment seems identical with organizational identification, at least for an organizationalidentification concept that includes affective aspects. To avoid confusion, in this paper commitment will only refer to thebehavioral commitment component and is considered a consequence of identification. Page 14 of 65
  18. 18. 1.2 Models of Organizational Identification1.2.1 Ashforth and Mael’s Model1.2.1.1 DescriptionMael and Ashforth define organizational identification as the “perception of oneness with or belongingness to an organ i-zation, where the individual defines him or herself in terms of the organization(s) in which he or she is a member” (1992:104, author’s emphasis). Consequently, an individual experiences the organization’s successes and failures as his own(Mael and Ashforth, 1992: 103).According to Ashforth and Mael’s adaptation of social identity theory, an individual need not expend any efforts towardsthe group’s goals to actually identify, “rather an individual need only perceive him - or herself as psychologically inter-twined with the fate of the group” (1989: 21). This means that identification with a group “can arise even in the absenceof interpersonal cohesion, similarity, or interaction and yet have a powerful impact on affect and behavior” (Ashforth andMael, 1989: 26). This follows Turner’s (1982) cognitive redefinition of social identity and contrasts with Tajfel’s conce p-tualization that includes affective and evaluative aspects (Tajfel, 1978b: 63).In Ashforth and Mael’s view, the tendency to identify will depend o n the positive or negative distinctiveness of thegroup’s values and practices (1989: 24). Second, it will depend on the prestige of the group because “through inter -groupcomparison, social identification affects self-esteem” (Ashforth and Mael, 1989: 25 ). Furthermore, the salience of theout-groups will enhance the degree of identification as awareness of out-groups “reinforces awareness of one’s in -group”(Ashforth and Mael, 1989: 25). Finally, traditional group formation factors, like interpersonal interaction, similarity,liking, proximity, shared goals or threat, and common history, may also affect the degree of identification but are in Ash-forth and Mael’s opi nion not necessary for identification to occur (1989: 25).Consequences of identification include “support for and commitment to” the organization as “individuals tend to chooseactivities congruent with salient aspects of their identities” (Ashforth and Mael, 1989: 25). In addition, identification mayresult in “loyalty to, and pride in, the gr oup and its activities” and may also engender “internalization of, and adherenceto, group values and norms and homogeneity in attitudes and behavior” (Ashforth and Mael, 1989: 26). Furthermore, itaffects “outcomes conventionally associated with group for mation, including intragroup cohesion, cooperation, and altru-ism, and positive evaluations of the group” (Ashforth and Mael, 1989: 26). Finally, “it is likely that social identificationwill reinforce the very antecedents of identification, including the distinctiveness of the group’s values and practices,group prestige, salience of and competition with out-groups, and the traditional causes of group formation” (Ashforth andMael, 1989: 26).Ashforth and Mael’s model of organizational identification with t heir predicted antecedents and consequences (but notthe feedback loop) are shown in Figure 1.2 on the next page. Page 15 of 65
  19. 19. Figure 1.2 Ashforth and Mael’s Model of Organizational Identification Salience of Traditional Group Distinctiveness Prestige Out-groups Formation Factors Organizational Identification Support, Commitment, and Internalization Loyalty and Pride Group Formation Outcomes1.2.1.2 DiscussionAshforth and Mael define social identification as “the perception of oneness with or belongingness to some human aggr e-gate” (1989: 21) and argue that “organizational identification is a specific form of social identification” (1989: 22). Ho w-ever, in my opinion Turner’s cognitive redefinition of social identity is not valid on the organizational level. Social iden-tity is usually a result of passive categorization, i.e. of being categorized. Although an individual may emphasize somecategorical membership more than others, this membership cannot easily be changed. Organizational identification, onthe other hand, is the result of an active choice with more permeable boundaries. The difference becomes clearer if wecompare a social identity, like nationality or being a soldier, with organizational membership, like being an employee ofXYZ or being a member of a political party.According to Ashforth and Mael, affects and behaviors “serve as antecedents or consequences of the cognition” (1989:35). Although this distinction between affects and organizational identification as a cognitive construct is theoreticallypossible, it is not measurable in practice because of the dynamic nature of organizational identification. Furthermore,research indicates that “affective aspects of identification may warrant more importance” (Hinkle et al., 1989: 314-315) Page 16 of 65
  20. 20. 1.2.2 Rotterdam Organizational Identification Test (ROIT)The authors of the Rotterdam Organizational Identification Test (ROIT) define organizational identification with Maeland Ashforth’s words of “perceived oneness with an organization” (1992: 103). Unlike Ashforth and Mael (1989), whosetheory is rooted in the cognitive redefined social identity, Smidts et al. include affective states (Smidts et al., 1999: 6).This means that Smidts et al. follow Tajfel’s definition of social identity as “that part of an individual’s self -conceptwhich derives from his knowledge of his membership of a social group (or groups) together with the value and emotionalsignificance attached to that membership” (Tajfel, 1978b: 63, italics omitted).Like Ashforth and Mael (1989), Smidts et al. believe that strongly identifying employees are more likely to show a sup-portive attitude towards their organization (Smidts et al., 1999: 3). They view organizational identification as an underly-ing concept of commitment, and thus expect that strong identification will result in better performance of the organization(Smidts et al., 1999: 3).Smidts et al. emphasize the role of communication on organizational identification. According to the results of their re-search, identification appears “to be influenced mainly by the communication climate” (Van Riel, 1995: 63). Because thisstudy uses the ROIT questionnaire, a discussion of its content and sub-scales will be reported in the following section. Adiscussion of the preliminary model of the ROIT can be found in Van Riel’s Principles of Corporate Communication(1995: 60-65) and is reproduced as Figure 1.3 below. Figure 1.3 Preliminary Model ROIT Scale (Van Riel, 1995: 61) Personal Organizational Characteristics Characteristics Salience of Traditional Group Distinctiveness Prestige Out-groups Formation Factors Organizational Identification Employee Communication Page 17 of 65
  21. 21. 2 Analysis2.1 Sample and ProcedureNinety-one items of the original Dutch Rotterdam Organizational Identification Test (ROIT) questionnaire were selectedfor this research and translated into English. The English version was supplemented with additional questions concerningpersonal background (see Appendix 1) and translated into Chinese by the author. This translation was checked by twonative speakers, one of them who works as a human resource manager.The final Chinese version (see Appendix 2) was distributed to 337 Chinese employees working for four different enter-prises of a German multinational company in Beijing, Shanghai and Wuxi in March 1999 via the human resource de-partments. Prior to distribution, corporate communications informed human resource personnel of the upcoming surveywith a telephone call. The questionnaires, carrying a short instruction on the cover, were distributed to respondents in theafternoon and supposed to be returned the next morning to make individual completion more likely (see Appendix 2,cover page).Because of the small size of some of the companies all employees present on the day of the survey were included to guar-antee anonymity. Participation in this survey was voluntary; participants were assured of individual anonymity. The com-pleted questionnaires were returned to the researcher either individually or in provided envelopes via the human resourcedepartment. In total, 291 employees participated in this survey, for a response rate of 86 percent. Page 18 of 65
  22. 22. 2.2 Instrument and VariablesThe adapted ROIT questionnaire attempts to measure organizational identification and its hypothesized antecedents. Allitems were answered on a 5-point, Likert-type scale, with 1 indicating strongly disagree and 5 meaning strongly agree,unless otherwise specified. A questionnaire consisted of ten parts.The first part referred to organizational identification, which was measured for both department-level and company-levelidentification, each using a ten-item scale. It consisted of five items taken from the original ROIT questionnaire and thefirst five items of Mael and Ashforth’s identification instrument (1992: 122). These statements were formulated parallelfor department-level and company-level identification. The respondents were asked to rate the statements, such as “Pe o-ple in my company really back me” on the disagree/agree scale.The second part consisted of a five-item scale referring to external prestige as perceived by the employees. Slight modifi-cations were made to the original scale (ROIT) by deleting an item related to financial soundness of the company. Asforeign-invested enterprises, all companies surveyed compare favorably to most state-owned enterprises. The respondentswere asked to indicate their perception of the reputation of their company with regard to different stakeholders, such asthe general public or customers.The third part of the questionnaire referred to satisfaction with the job and the company, and included statements assess-ing commitment and intent to leave. The original ROIT instrument for this scale was reduced from thirteen to eight itemswith the last three being items originally used in Mowday et al.’s Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (OCQ)(1979: 228, Questions 1, 2, and 9). Examples of this section are “I enjoy doing my job” and “I am willing to put in extraeffort in order to help the company be successful”.In the fourth part, respondents were asked to assess the extent to which the company strives for the goals and valuesstated in various guidelines of the German parent company. Nine items referred to goals and values like “social respons i-bility” or “leadership in research and development”. Respondents were asked to rate their company on a 5 -point, Likert-type scale, with 1 indicating We do next to nothing about that at XYZ and 5 We do a lot about that at XYZ. Another nineitems referred to the way these goals are pursued, for example “creativity” or “flexibility”. The scale ranged from Youwill never encounter something like this at XYZ to You will definitely encounter something like this at XYZ. Furthermore,respondents were asked to indicate to what extent they personally agreed with the goals and the way of attaining thesegoals, a question found in both ROIT and OCQ (Mowday et al., 1979: 228, Question 5). These additional two itemsagain used the 5-point strongly disagree to strongly agree scale.In the fifth part, 16 items referred to organizational culture. Except for the last item, which was taken from Keller’s Co r-porate Identity questionnaire (Keller, 1987, Question 38), all items came from the ROIT questionnaire, however, reduc-ing the number to fifteen items. The respondents were asked to indicate on the 5-point disagree/ agree scale to what ex-tent they agreed to the statements. This part not only measured corporate culture characteristics with statements like “Atthis company the job I am doing gets more attention than my person”, but also organizational (communication) climate,e.g. “I can talk about ever ything with my boss”.The sixth part of the questionnaire addressed received information. While the ROIT distinguishes between sufficiencyand usefulness of received information, here, only the sufficiency part, consisting of 17 statements, was used for assess-ment. On a 5-point, Likert-type scale with 1 indicating definitely not enough and 5 meaning extensive, respondents were Page 19 of 65
  23. 23. asked to complete statements such as “Information about customer satisfaction with our products is¼” or “Informationabout the quality of my achievements is¼”.The seventh part referred to internal communication and communication climate within the company. All eight itemswere taken from the ROIT questionnaire without any changes and shortening. Respondents were asked to rate their agree-ment/disagreement with statements like “When my colleagues tell me something, I trust that they are telling the truth” or“My superior is open to my suggestions” on the 5 -point disagree/agree scale with 1 indicating strongly disagree and 5meaning strongly agree.In the eighth part respondents were asked to rank from 1 (most important) to 5 (least important) the sources where theyget their information from according to (a) perceived current importance, as well as (b) desired importance.The ninth part referred to the communication policy of the company. Of the original eight items of the ROIT only fivewere used. The respondents were asked to indicate to what extent they agreed or disagreed with statements like “Emplo y-ees should be involved to a greater extent in the decision making process” and “Official sources of information mostoften give information that is no longer up to date”.The final section of the questionnaire requested background information about the respondents, referring to gender; age;education (elementary school, high school, college, university); and position (middle management and above, lower man-agement, administrative personnel and secretary, worker, or driver).In total, 108 variables were measured in the survey. Ninety-one of the surveyed items were based on questions of theROIT, which in its original form consists of 249 variables. Page 20 of 65
  24. 24. 2.3 Preliminary Analysis and Data DescriptionA total of 291 of 337 distributed questionnaires were returned, generating a response rate of 86 percent. The data fromthese questionnaires were entered into the SPSS 8.0 for Windows statistical package for analysis.Prior to analysis, all variables were examined through various SPSS programs for accuracy of data entry, missing values,and fit between their distributions and the assumptions of multivariate analysis following the procedure suggested byTabachnik and Fidell (1996: 57-104). The variable for attachment to company (ATTACH), with missing values on al-most 20 percent of the cases, was deleted.Fourteen questionnaires had more than four variables with missing values and were excluded from further analysis (N =277). Twenty cases with extremely low z-scores (z < - 3.29) were found to be univariate outliers. These outliers wereexcluded and separately analyzed4. Thus the work set for further analysis consisted of 257 cases, representing 76 percentof all distributed questionnaires.The final sample was 57 percent male5, with almost two-third aged between 26 and 35 years. Sixty-five percent of therespondents had university degrees; 18 percent were college graduates. Sixty-six percent had worked for their companyless than two years, probably due to the short history of these enterprises. Respondents included 22 percent in managerialposition, 36 percent administrative personnel, and 35 percent workers. The Beijing joint venture clearly dominated thesample with 55 percent of all respondents, while the wholly foreign owned holding company contributed with only 8percent. This is not due to the differential response quote but to the small size of the holding (Table 2.1). Table 2.1 Descriptive Statistics Total JV JV JV Holding Sample Beijing Shanghai Wuxi Distributed questionnaires 337 26 191 48 72 Useable response 76.3% 80.8% 74.3% 58.3% 91.9% Questionnaires in work set 100% 7.7% 56.7% 10.9% 25.7% Male : Female 57:41 52:38 47:51 75:25 71:24 University degree 65% 76% 72% 39% 58% Managerial level 22% 22% 26% 11% 18% Administrative personnel 36% 57% 36% 36% 20% Production workers 35% 0 29% 50% 55%4 The excluded cases were not significantly different from the working sample.5 Percentages may not add up to 100 percent due to missing values. Page 21 of 65
  25. 25. 2.4 Data AnalysisThe data set was analyzed in two ways. First, principal components factor analyses were performed for each of the sub-scales previously described. Factors with eigenvalues exceeding 1.0 were rotated to simple structure using the varimaxprocedure unless stated otherwise. In addition scree plots were used to locate transition points so that sometimes a solu-tion with fewer factors than suggested by the Kaiser-Guttman rule6 was preferred (Nunnally and Bernstein, 1994: 482).Factor loadings with an absolute value greater than or equal to .40 were used to define the factors. The extracted factorswere then compared with the literature to check whether the same items define the anticipated scales. In addition, thealpha coefficient was calculated to test for internal reliability in these multi-item scales (Cramer, 1999: 393). Second, aseries of regressions was conducted to test whether the antecedents, which are described by the two model of organiza-tional identification, can actually explain organizational identification. Table 2.2 Research Measures Measure Items Mean S.D. Alpha Organizational identification ROIT model 5 3.69 .69 .80 Ashforth and Mael’s model 5 4.17 .61 .76 Independent variables Perceived external prestige 5 4.09 .64 .82 Job satisfaction 3 3.86 .74 .70 Goals and values 18 3.99 .64 .93 Climate 4 2.72 .70 .68 Communication climate 7 3.18 .76 .88 Information concerning job 7 3.36 .70 .83 Information concerning company 10 3.14 .83 .93 Source 3 2.53 .72 .62 Dependent variables Commitment 4 4.30 .59 .756 i.e. that the eigenvalue of factor should exceed 1.0. Page 22 of 65
  26. 26. 2.4.1 Factor Analysis2.4.1.1 Organizational IdentificationThe ten questions regarding organizational identification on company level were reduced to two organizational identifica-tion indices, by means of factor analysis. The first factor of the principal components analysis accounts for 28.7 per-centof the overall variance, the second for 26.6 percent. For 9 out of 10 variables the factor loadings are clearly on one com-ponent (see Table 2.3). The first factor can be identified as Ashforth and Mael’s organizational identification concept, thesecond as items taken from the ROIT measure. CPRIDE (see Appendix 1, Question 12) was expected to load on the sec-ond factor. This item seems to be more closely related to Ashforth and Mael’s conceptualization of identification than tothe other items of the ROIT scale. This supports the view that pride is a consequence of the organizational identificationprocess (see footnote 3 on page 12).For the means of this analysis, an index was calculated for Ashforth and Mael’s instrument by using the mean over thelast five items (AMID, see Appendix 3). The coefficient alpha for these five items was .76 (see Table 2.2) and thereforelower than the reported range of .83 to .84 (Mael and Ashforth, 1992: 110). The remaining five items, which all loadedgreater than .4 on the second factor, were used to calculate a mean identification score index for the ROIT model (ROIT).This second factor yielded a coefficient alpha of .80. Table 2.3 Rotated Components: Organizational Identification Component 1 2 CAGREE .665 CPRIDE .512 .430 CBACK .796 CPSGOALS .799 CRESPECT .755 CCRITIC .647 COPINION .550 CPRAISE .811 CWE .723 CSUCCESS .695 Page 23 of 65
  27. 27. 2.4.1.2 Perceived Organizational PrestigeThe five statements regarding perceived organizational prestige were reduced to a single index measuring perceived pres-tige by means of factor analysis. The extracted single factor of the principal components analysis has an eigenvalue of2.94, thus accounting for 59 percent of the overall variance. All five items have a factor loading exceeding .69 on thisfactor. The coefficient alpha of this one-d XV¥5RI SU GSRQ PHGEBCA @8 7 5¢4§¥¢20 ¢§¥ $ # !¦ ¢ ¨©  ¨§¥£  ¡ W T R TD I FD 9 6 )1 © 3 1 ¢ ) ( © ¢ % ¦ ¤ ¦ ¤¢scale used by Smidts et al. (1999: 15).2.4.1.3 Job Satisfaction and CommitmentThe items of the satisfaction and commitment scale were combined with the items “agreement with choice of goals andvalues” (AGRGOALS) and “agreement with the way of doing” (AGRWAY) and factor analyzed. Three factors witheigenvalues higher than one emerged (see Table 2.4 on the next page). Three items concerning job satisfaction wereloaded on component 1, which accounts for 22 percent of the variance. The willingness to exert extra efforts for the com-pany (XTRAEFF), an item that measures commitment, was also loaded on this first factor. Conceptually, however, com-mitment is a consequence of satisfaction, so that it was only considered as part of the second component. For this firstcomponent a satisfaction summary variables was calculated (SAT, see Appendix 3). The coefficient alpha of .70 is notthat satisfactory, as generally an alpha exceeding .80 indicates an acceptable level of internal reliability (Cramer, 1998:397). In fact, Smidts et al. report a coefficient alpha of .80 for their three-item satisfaction scale (1999: 15).The second component, accounting for 21 percent of the variance was assumed to be a commitment scale with agreementwith choice of goals and values (AGRGOALS), agreement with the way of doing (AGRWAY), the willingness to exertextra efforts (XTRAEFF) and to tell others that company XYZ is a great employer (TELLEMPL).All these statementsappear in Mowday et al.’s Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (1979: 228, Questions 1, 2, and 5). For this secondcomponent ano 5n¥4l kf§dg e— –” “h’f‰‡w…ƒ4h¥£ Yg £igia §¥p vwa §¥p 2¥sG¥£ihfcd¥ Y` • o kh m g j i h f d ™ ˜ • ‘ ˆ † † „ ‚ Y a t g € y x v a u v u tbp r qbp g g e baThe last component, accounting for 15 percent of the variance, consists of complaints about working conditions(WORKCOND) and the preference to do other work (PREFOTHW). A third item loading on this factor was the intent toleave (LEAVE), conceptually a consequence of dissatisfaction. This last component was disregarded in this study be-cause the theory considered offered no clear statements about the relations with the other variables. Page 24 of 65
  28. 28. Table 2.4 Rotated Components: Job Satisfaction and Commitment Components 1 2 3 JOBSATIS .730 PREFOTHW .660 WORKCOND .685 ENJOYJOB .846 CREDJOB .629 XTRAEFF .560 .463 TELLEMPL .602 LEAVE .672 AGRGOALS .850 AGRWAY .7442.4.1.4 Goals and ValuesFactor analysis of the statements on goals, values and the way they are pursued produced a single factor with an eigen-value of 8.4, accounting for 47 percent of the variance. A single goals, values and way of doing index was calculated (seeAppendix 3). Reliability analysis indicated that this scale is highly reliable with a coefficient alpha of .93.2.4.1.5 ClimateA factor analysis of the diverse statements in the corporate culture section resulted in four factors with eigenvalues ex-ceeding one. Items loading on two of the components were disregarded because they seemed to describe the culture of thecompany. Although the culture is seen as one of the predictors of organizational identification in the ROIT model, itemsin this questionnaire concerned more practices and did not ask about respondent’s satisfaction with them.Items loading on the other two components were subsequently factor analyzed resulting in two components, which to-gether explained 55 percent of the total variance. Items loading on the second factor were related to negative perceptionsof the climate in the company. Therefore, a climate index was calculated using the mean of the reversed scores for theseQ8H GFDB43 © § 2 80 § @98716543 %¤$1)% $#!© §¨¦¤¢  P I E C § A 2 ¥ © ¡ 0 2 ¡ 0 ( § § ¥ £ ¡Items loading on the first factor seemed to describe communication climate and employees’ relation with their superiors,like “The style of leadership in company XYZ suits me fine” or “I can talk about everything with my boss”. These itemswere consequently combined with items from the internal communication and communication policy part of the question-naire and factor analyzed. Page 25 of 65
  29. 29. 2.4.1.6 Communication ClimateFactor analysis of these items, which are related to communication with superiors, internal communication andcommunication policy, resulted in a three-factor solution.The first factor accounted for 29 percent of total variance. Items loading on this factor were all related to communicationclimate, especially superior-subordinate communication. The second factor consisted of four items related to co-workercommunication and involvement in decision making. The third factor consisted of three items expressing dissatisfactionwith the source of information.The seven items with factor loadings in excess of .60 on the first factor were used to calculate a new summary variablecommunication climate (COMMCLIM, see Appendix 3). The reliability of this communication climate index is .88,while Smidts et al. report that they used a 15- ¡ ¢ ¨©§¥£¡     ¦ ¤ ¢ dcbHa9 B `YDYWDV S8T )S6©P¥£B FGED9 5@8653)1()()¥¥#$ ! A C V F R X A X U 9 F 9 R Q I H A A A C B A 9 7 4 2 0 ( %than .65 on the third factor, were reversed and used to calculate a source satisfaction index (SOURCE). However, as thecoefficient alpha of this three- … „$‚ ¥5xvug ©p¥£f e ƒ t s € y g w i r t s r q i h g ©`5@88•“©gn ˜5¥$d “©6vjE$YEg$j©gc‘$d5xvg$£¥—•5’ ‘55‰$ˆ ‡!† j ” j ’ o ‡ ” ” m h ˜ h ” ” e l j e e d – k ” i h ” ˜ f e d ‘ ™ ˜ – ” “ c-ond factor was also disregarded because only two items loaded clearly on it. These were involvement in decision makingand whether co-workers are perceived to be trustworthy.2.4.1.7 Received InformationPrincipal components factor analysis was performed on the 17 items used in the ROIT questionnaire to assess the suffi-ciency of received information. Results using oblique rotation showed a two-factor solution, with a correlation betweenthe factors of r = .56. The first factor included seven items concerning information about the company, the second factorten items concerning information about the job. Together these two factors accounted for 57 percent of total variance.Two summary variables were calculated on basis of the mean of the items, which loaded on one of these two factors.Both multi-item indices were ~ P} w Su g¥z s ExD¥u t s5dp s | y { y u x w v s r r q INFOCOMP  5— ‘5Su$b$• bP“ ’ E¥gŠ$†b)‚  — ‹ Œ ‡ – ‚ € ” ‘  Ž  Œ ‹ ‰ ˆ ‡ … „ ƒ € -item scale re-ported by Smidts et al. 5¥‹ 5›3™ š1))‚ x˜ ” Ž — œ ‚ ‚ ™ INFOJOB ” ž“ ’ E¥gŠ$…†ƒ$•  ‘  Ž  Œ ‹ ‰ ˆ ‡ „ € D$¤£a§$¢5¡ Ÿ ¥ ¨ ¦ ¥ ¤ £   -item scale reported by Smidts etal., 1999: 14).Employing factor analysis technique, it was thus possible to confirm different multi-item scales. The summary variables,calculated on basis of these items (Appendix 3), were then used to test the anticipated relationship between antecedents(independent variable) and organizational identification (as the dependent variable) using multiple regression technique. Page 26 of 65
  30. 30. 2.4.2 Regression AnalysisStandard multiple regression was used for regression analysis, although stepwise multiple regression might have beenpreferable because then the order of entry of variables is solely based on statistical criteria (Tabachnik and Fidell, 1996:150). However, the data was not sufficient to meet the criterion of a cases-to-independent-variable ratio of 40 to 1 forstepwise regression (Tabachnik and Fidell, 1996: 133). In addition, with stepwise multiple regression an over fitting ofdata (problem of ‘data mining’) might have resulted (Tabachnik and Fidell, 1996: 153).Analysis was performed using SPSS REGRESSION and SPSS FREQUENCIES for evaluating the antecedent and con-sequent variables in the two models. With 257 respondents and 7 independent variables, the number of cases was wellabove the minimum requirement of 111 for testing individual predictors in standard multiple regression (Tabachnik andFidell, 1996: 132). Variables with missing values were list wise excluded from analysis.The correlations between the regressors and the two dependent variables, that is, the two organizational identificationmeasures ROIT (based on the Rotterdam Organizational Identification Test) and AMID (based on Ashforth and Mael’smodel), are shown in Table 2.5. Note that communication climate, information about the job, and information about thecompany are highly correlated with each other.The only consequence of organizational identification that could be tested was commitment (COMMIT). This was doneusing standard linear regression for each of the models. Table 2.5 Correlations 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 1. ROIT 2. AMID .54 3. PEP (perceived external prestige) .54 .47 4. SAT (job satisfaction) .59 .40 .39 5. CLIMATE (climate) .34 .12* .18 .17 6. GV (goals and values) .57 .43 .57 .46 .33 7. COMMCLIM (communication climate) .57 .35 .41 .50 .31 .61 8. INFOJOB (information about the job) .54 .32 .38 .46 .25 .57 .65 9. INFOCOMP (information about the com- .48 .35 .42 .45 .23 .62 .68 .72 pany) N = 257 All correlations: p .001, except for (*) p = .057 Page 27 of 65
  31. 31. 2.4.2.1 Ashforth and Mael’s ModelAntecedentsPreliminary screening through residuals showed normal distribution of residuals. One multivariate outlier exceeded the ¤ ¢£ ©§¥ £ ¨ ¦ £ $ ¨ %! # ! % 0)©¦ ( 3% 4 £ 2criti ¡ ¢  ¡ ¡ §¡ ¡ §¡   1 2   ¡ ¢  at p = .001 for 2 degrees of freedom being 13.82). Another outlierwas identified through its high standardized residual (z -3.29). Predicted value on AMID was 4.0, actual value was 2.2.Both outliers were excluded from this regression. Table 2.6 displays the standardized regression coefficient ( ), the sig- 5nificance of the regressors, squared correlation7 (r2), squared semipartial correlations8 (sr2), R2 and adjusted R2. R forregression was significantly different from zero, F2, 252 = 49.99, p .001. Table 2.6 Regression of AMID on PEP and SAT Regressor 6 Significance r2 sr2 PEP .373 .000 .23 .11 SAT .256 .000 .17 .05 2 R = .28 (unique variability = .16; shared variability = .11) Adjusted R2 = .28 R = .53 (p .001)Perceived external prestige serves as an antecedent of organizational identification as defined by Ashforth and Mael(1989). Indeed, it was highly significant and uniquely explained 11 percent of the variability in organizational identifica-tion. Satisfaction, which is no antecedent in the original Ashforth and Mael (1989) model but was included in their refor-mulated model (Mael and Ashforth, 1992: 108), was found to be highly significant, too. Its unique contribution to thevariability in organizational identification (AMID) was 5 percent. Together, satisfaction and perceived external prestigewere able to predict 28 percent of the variance in AMID. Using only PEP as regressor resulted in a regression model withR2 = .22.ConsequencesNo multivariate outliers were found that exceeded the critical value of Mahalanobis distance. Screening through residualsshowed three outliers (z -3.29) in the regression on CPRIDE, which were eliminated in this regression. The predictedvalue were 4.1; 4.4 and 4.6 for CPRIDE respectively while the actual value was 2 in all three cases.7 Squared correlation is a measure of strength of association between two variables.8 The unique contribution of independent variables to the total variance of organizational identification (dependent variable) isexpressed in their squared semipartial correlation. Page 28 of 65
  32. 32. Table 2.7 Regression of Consequence Variables on AMID Regression of   (AMID) F value Significance R2 COMMIT 0.486 F1, 198 = 61.27 .000 .24 CPRIDE 0.497 F1, 252 = 82.68 .000 .25The linear regression models, which regressed commitment and pride in the company separately on AMID were bothhighly significant (p .001; see Table 2.7). The regression of AMID on COMMIT had an explanatory power of 24 per-cent. Thus, organizational identification as defined by Ashforth and Mael explained 24 percent of the variance in com-mitment. Page 29 of 65
  33. 33. 2.4.2.2 ROIT ModelAntecedentsPreliminary screening through residuals showed normal distribution of residuals. No multivariate outliers were found thatexceeded the critical value of Mahalanobis distance. Table 2.8 displays the standardized regression coefficient ( ), the  significance of the regressors, as well as significance levels for two random sub-samples including approximately two-third of the cases, squared correlation (r2), squared semi partial correlations (sr2), R2 and adjusted R2. R for regressionwas significantly different from zero, F5, 249 = 44.00, p .001. Table 2.8 Coefficients ROIT Model Regressors β Sig. Sig. Sub 1 Sig. Sub 2 r2 sr2 PEP .243 .000 .000 .000 .291 .038 SAT .299 .000 .000 .000 .343 .061 CLIMATE .138 .003 .022 .004 .114 .017 GV .105 .105 .271 .305 .323 .005 COMMCLIM .155 .018 .047 .122 .319 .010 INFOJOB .176 .008 .006 .069 .291 .013 INFOCOMP -.086 .215 .248 .647 .228 .003 2 R = .55 (unique variability = .15; shared variability = .40) Adjusted R2 = .54 R = .74 (p .001)The results show that perceived external prestige and job satisfaction (p .001), climate and information about the job (p .01), and communication climate (p .05) contributed significantly to prediction of organizational identification. Inboth random sub samples, external prestige and job satisfaction remained highly significant and climate significant, whilecommunication climate and information about the job were no longer significant.Judging from the unique contribution of the regressors, job satisfaction was the most important regressor followed byperceived external prestige and climate. These three independent variables contributed 11.6 percent uniquely to totalvariance in organizational identification. In combination with the other regressors 54 percent of the variability (adjusted)in organizational identification were explained by the ROIT model.Because of multicollinearity in the model, I tested on mediating effects of communication climate in respect to the effectsof information about the job and about the company and climate, following Baron and Kenny’s (1986) testing method.The results showed that information about the company was clearly mediated by communication climate. Without com-munication climate information about the company was significant at the 5-percent level, including communication cli-mate it had no longer any significant effect on organizational identification. Climate and information about the job wereonly partially mediated, so that they were still significant in a regression model including communication climate.Thus adding INFOJOB and CLIMATE to a regression model that includes PEP, SAT and COMMCLIM results in asignificant R2 change (see Table 2.9). Page 30 of 65
  34. 34. Table 2.9 Restricted and Unrestricted Regression Model for ROIT Regressors   Sig. r2 sr2 Adjusted R2 Restricted Model .50 PEP .296 .000 .291 .069 SAT .328 .000 .343 .076 COMMCLIM .281 .000 .319 .055 Unrestricted Model .54 PEP .269 .000 .291 .056 SAT .304 .000 .343 .063 COMMCLIM .156 .010 .319 .012 INFOJOB .157 .007 .291 .013 CLIMATE .152 .001 .114 .021 R2restricted = .51 (unique variability = .20; shared variability = .31) R2unrestricted = .55 (unique variability = .17; shared variability = .38)ConsequencesAlthough not explicitly stated in Figure 1.3, the ROIT model assumes, too, that organizational identification will result inhigher commitment (Smidts et al., 1999: 3). No multivariate outliers were found that exceeded the critical value of Maha-lanobis distance. The regression of COMMIT on ROIT model was highly significant. More than a quarter of the vari-ance in COMMIT was explained by ROIT (see Table 2.10 below). Table 2.10 Regression of COMMIT on ROIT Regression of   (ROIT) F value Significance R2 COMMIT .526 F1, 198 = 75.84 .000 .28 Page 31 of 65
  35. 35. 3 Discussion3.1 LimitationsBefore starting to discuss the results obtained in respect to the cultural relevance of organizational identification usingthe models of Ashforth and Mael and Smidts et al., I first want to draw some attention to the limitations of the currentstudy, which are important in generalizing the results.3.1.1 SampleThe sample consisted of Chinese employees in foreign-invested enterprises. These employees have characteristics thatdistinguish them from the rest of the national workforce.First, two-thirds of the employees in the current sample were between 20 and 35 years old, while in another survey 62percent of the employees of a state-owned enterprise were more than 40 years old (Li, 1997: 197).Second, foreign-invested enterprises, which employ 17.2 percent of the working population (National Bureau of Statis-tics, 1999: 148), have higher qualified employees: While 83 percent of the respondents in this sample had a college oruniversity education, only 3.5 percent of China’s total employed population have a college or higher level education (inBeijing 19.4 percent; National Bureau of Statistics, 1999: 170).9Third, people applying for jobs at foreign-invested enterprises have a different perception of work. A survey of recentgraduates that applied at a JV in Guangzhou, found that they have a more “individualistic orientation toward their work”(Westwood and Leung, 1996: 389). Actually, an important reason for their application was “to avoid some of the neg a-tive features they saw as prevalent in domestic enterprises” (Westwood and Leung, 1996: 385). Their expectations forworking in a JV were connected with having more opportunities for learning and self development and with being occu-pied in more interesting and challenging work (Westwood and Leung, 1996: 397, Table 1). In the opinion of these gradu-ates JVs would be “more characterized by trust and respect of the individual and would better engender a sense of be-longing and pride in the company” (Westwood and Leung, 1996: 396, emphasis added).To summarize, employees of foreign-invested enterprises differ from employees of state-owned enterprises in that theyare generally young and highly educated and indicate appreciation of intrinsic work factors. The current sample is thusnot an adequate representation of the population. No conclusions about cultural differences can be drawn (Matsumoto,1994a: 10). The results of the current study apply only to employees of foreign-invested companies.9 For an example of differences in the educational composition in a state-owned enterprise, a joint venture, and a wholly foreign-owned enterprise see Li, 1997: 197. Page 32 of 65
  36. 36. 3.1.2 ConstructFor a proper test of the organizational identification a longitudinal approach is far more adequate. This will enable theresearcher to distinguish empirically between antecedents and consequences of organizational identification. A furtherlimitation in this sample was that the construct was not completely covered, i.e. not all relevant domains were sampled.For the Rotterdam Organizational Identification Test corporate culture was omitted (see Schein’s definition of culture asa “group with a significant history”, 1989: 7, emphasis added), as well as approximately half of the questions concerningcommunication. Ashforth and Mael’s model has prestige of the group, negative and posit ive distinctiveness, and salienceof out-groups as antecedents. However, only the first of these and satisfaction were measured.3.1.3 MethodTwo sources of potential bias are the lack of comparability of samples discussed earlier, and a differential response style.The latter refers “to a cultural tendency to respond a certain way on test or response scales that is reflective more of cu l-tural tendency than of the meaning of the actual scale” (Matsumoto, 1994a: 12). There might be, for example, a culturaltendency for on average higher scoring or extremity scoring. While this does not affect the test of relationship betweenthe variables, it influences the level of the mean score on a particular item. Therefore, the score on a single item might bedifficult to compare across cultures. Results of an unpublished survey of subsidiaries of a German company in variouscountries indicate, for example, that Chinese responses were on average 0.5 points higher on a 5-point, Likert-type scale.However, this bias does not influence the results of factor analysis and multiple regression in this survey. Page 33 of 65

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