Co-worker Social Support and Organisational Identification: does ethnic self-identification matter?

Dennis Pepple, Eleanor Davies

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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Abstract

Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to investigate the role of socially supportive relationships between co-workers in fostering organisational identification (OID). Adopting a Social Identity Theory perspective, the study investigates how employees’ ethnic self-identification (ESI) may influence co-worker social support (CWSS)–OID relationship depending on whether they are indigenes or non-indigenes. Design/methodology/approach: Regression analysis was used to examine the relationship between CWSS (independent variable) and OID (dependent variable) at different levels of ESI (moderator variable). Data were collected from 1,525 employees from public and private employers in Nigeria. Findings: Findings supported a positive relationship between CWSS and OID that is moderated by an employee’s ESI. Specifically, the study finds that ESI matters in the strength of CWSS–OID relationship such that the relationship is weaker for indigenes compared to non-indigenes. Practical implications: As organisations develop policies that increase the representation of various ethnic groups or other forms of social identities at work, there is need to create an environment that fosters socially supportive relationships among co-workers. Originality/value: This study contributes to the literature by adding a level of boundary conditions to the overall findings that workplace relationships are important for OID. The study also addresses how employees of different ethnic groups are influenced by the ethnicity of the context prevailing where an organisation is located.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)573-586
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Managerial Psychology
Volume34
Issue number8
Early online date11 Nov 2019
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2019

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Keywords

  • Co-worker social support
  • ethnic self-identification
  • indigenes/non-indigenes
  • Nigeria
  • organisational identification
  • Diversity
  • Organizational identification
  • Organizational behaviour
  • Social support

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Psychology
  • Applied Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management Science and Operations Research

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