Finding yourself at work: examining the influence of attachment styles on organizational identification
thesisposted on 2021-06-15, 14:24 authored by Spencer Hewitt
Understanding why and how employees engage with their organization is integral to the maintenance of a productive workforce. While research on attachment theory in organizations has focused on interpersonal work relationships, recent theory suggests that employees may attach to the organization itself. This study examines whether attachment style influences if and how employees choose to identify with their organization. Specifically, I focus on how adult attachment style influences an expanded form of organizational identification and whether or not person-organization fit and need for organizational identification moderate the hypothesized attachment-identity relationships. The results of a time-lagged study of 362 working adults suggest that attachment anxiety encourages self-definition in terms of the organization while individuals high in avoidance seek to maintain emotional distance from the organization in their identities. No support was found for the hypothesized moderators. The results are framed around potential development of the expanded model of organizational identification.