Which Identities Matter? A Mixed-Method Study of Group, Organizational, and Professional Identities and Their Relationship to Burnout

John C. Lammers, Yannick L. Atouba, Elizabeth J. Carlson

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Considerable research views group, organizational, and professional identities as theoretically and methodologically similar. This study suggests that these identities are generically different. An explanatory sequential mixed data analysis of survey and interview data collected at an information technology organization (N = 111 workers) was used to examine the relationships between identities and the experience of burnout and to understand the communicative behaviors associated with types of identity and burnout. Survey data revealed that controlling for communication activity, work group identification was associated with lower depersonalization while professional identification was associated with increased personal accomplishment. No relationship was found between organizational identification and burnout. Semistructured interviews revealed three themes related to identification: (a) Being Yourself in the Work Group, (b) Valuing the Role of the IT Professional, and (c) Othering the Organization. Implications for organizational communication with respect to theorizing and measuring organizational identity are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)503-536
Number of pages34
JournalManagement Communication Quarterly
Volume27
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Nov 2013

Keywords

  • burnout
  • measurement
  • organizational identification
  • professions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Communication
  • Strategy and Management

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