Journal of Vocational Behavior 66 (2005) 358–384 www.elsevier.


Organizational identification: A meta-analysisq
Michael Riketta*
Psychological Institute, University of Tubingen, Friedrichstr. 21, 72072 Tuebingen, Germany ¨ Received 22 December 2003 Available online 19 August 2004

Abstract The last two decades have witnessed a surge in interest in research on organizational identification (OI). This paper presents a comprehensive meta-analysis of this research (k = 96). Results indicate that (a) OI is correlated with a wide range of work-related attitudes, behaviors, and context variables, (b) OI is empirically distinct from its closest conceptual neighbor, attitudinal organizational commitment (AOC), and (c) the two most common OI measures (the Mael scale and the Organizational Identification Questionnaire) produce very different results. It is argued that OI scales, especially the Mael scale, may be preferable over AOC scales for studies aimed at explaining, and partly also for studies aimed at predicting, work behavior. Ó 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Keywords: Organizational identification; Organizational commitment; Work behavior; Meta-analysis

1. Introduction Compared with other psychological variables assumed to be relevant to work behavior, such as ability, job satisfaction, and work motivation, organizational

q Michael Riketta, Psychological Institute, University of Tubingen, Germany. I am grateful to Rolf van ¨ Dick for helpful comments on this research project and to Timo Forster for assistance with coding. ¨ * Fax: +49-7071-29-5899. E-mail address:

0001-8791/$ - see front matter Ó 2004 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. doi:10.1016/j.jvb.2004.05.005

M. Riketta / Journal of Vocational Behavior 66 (2005) 358–384


identification (OI) has received little attention as a unique research topic until recently. Although the first detailed model of was OI proposed by March and Simon (1958), only a few studies that explicitly dealt with OI were published in the following 20 years (e.g., Brown, 1969; Lee, 1969; Patchen, 1970; Rotondi, 1975a, 1975b). In the 1970s, Porter and his colleagues (e.g., Porter, Steers, Mowday, & Boulian, 1974; Mowday, Steers, & Porter, 1979) included identification as a component of attitudinal organizational commitment (AOC) in their seminal definition of this construct. Since then, several researchers have treated the terms OI and AOC as synonyms (e.g., Griffin & Bateman, 1986; Mathieu & Zajac, 1990). Researchers in organizational behavior, social psychology, and communication re-discovered OI as a unique construct in the late 1980s. After Ashforth and Mael (1989) outlined the relevance of these social psychological theories to organizational behavior research, the number of empirical and theoretical analyses focussing on OI as a unique construct and employing these theories increased markedly in that discipline (e.g., Dutton, Dukerich, & Harquail, 1994; Elsbach, 1999; Mael & Ashforth, 1992; Pratt, 1998; Rousseau, 1998; Tyler, 1999; Wan-Huggins, Riordan, & Griffeth, 1998). At the same time, and seemingly independently of research in organizational behavior, several social psychologists following the social identity tradition discovered organizational settings as a new field of application of social identity theory and self-categorization theory (e.g., Abrams, Ando, & Hinkle, 1998; Brown & Williams, 1984; Ellemers, de Gilder, & van den Heuvel, 1998; Haslam, 2001; van Knippenberg & van Schie, 2000). Finally, in communication research, Cheney, Tompkins, and their colleagues studied the relation of OI to control, socialization, and communication in organizations (e.g., Barker & Tompkins, 1994; Bullis & Tompkins, 1989; Cheney, 1983). To date, about 80 journal articles dealing with OI have been published, about the half of them since 1998 (PsycINFO, electronic database, update from October 2003). Moreover, OI has been addressed in special issues of Academy of Management Review (Albert, Ashforth, & Dutton, 2000) and Group Processes and Intergroup Relations (van Knippenberg & Hogg, 2002). Given this surge in interest in OI, work that summarizes and organizes the literature on this construct appears desirable. Although recent qualitative reviews on OI are available, they did not aim at a comprehensive overview of this research (e.g., Elsbach, 1999; Haslam, 2001; van Dick, 2004). The present article provides a more comprehensive review and meta-analysis of empirical research on OI. This review addresses three issues that are crucial to OI research. First, it gives a comprehensive quantitative overview of the most often studied correlates of OI. Second, it addresses the question of whether the operationalization of OI matters. Many measures for OI are available. Yet, little is known about the consequences of using one measure instead of the other. Third, this review presents evidence concerning the empirical distinctiveness of OI and its closest conceptual neighbor, AOC. Many OI researchers assert that this construct is distinct from AOC (e.g., Ashforth & Mael, 1989; Pratt, 1998; van Knippenberg & van Schie, 2000), while others challenge this assumption on both empirical and theoretical grounds (e.g., Ouwerkerk, Ellemers, & de Gilder, 1999; Sass & Canary, 1991; Stengel, 1987). The present review addresses

Second. 1987). Organizational identification and attitudinal organizational commitment Many definitions of OI have been proposed. job satisfaction. defined OI in affective-motivational terms. 155). I will compare the correlations of OI and AOC with other variables to explore the distinctiveness of these two constructs. this prior work has several limitations. 1997a. perhaps the most comprehensive definition of OI has been proposed by Patchen (1970). the definition derived from social identity theory—which is the most pervasive theoretical framework in contemporary OI research (Haslam. By contrast. . Finally.360 M. 1998). Most of them conceptualize OI as a cognitive construct. 1999. for an application of this definition to organizations). 2001. they left open the question of whether the results were unique for OI research. Riketta / Journal of Vocational Behavior 66 (2005) 358–384 this issue by comparing the results from the meta-analysis of OI research with results from previous meta-analyses of AOC research. all these . intent to leave. Elsbach. Despite their heterogeneity. & Nygren. Stengel. Hunter & Schmidt. only one meta-analysis of OI research has been presented (Fontenot & Scott. all correlates were considered for which a sufficient number of studies could be retrieved. Next. A meta-analysis of OI studies follows. Finally. and Ouwerkerk et al. social identity is ‘‘that part of an individualÕs self-concept which derives from his knowledge of his membership of a social group (or groups) together with the value and emotional significance attached to that membership’’ (Tajfel. and (3) perception of shared characteristics with other organizational members’’ (p. Thus. First.. p. 2000. Further. as the congruence of individual and organizational values (Hall. as based on attraction and the desire to maintain an emotionally satisfying selfdefining relationship with the identification object. van Dick. 1990). 1998. Schneider.. who used the term OI for ‘‘a variety of separate. Since then. in the present meta-analysis. or as the process of incorporating the perception of oneself as a member of a particular organization into oneÕs general self-definition (Dutton et al. 1999. 34). following Kelman (1961). 1989. p. I will present definitions of OI and discuss the relation between OI and AOC. 1994. see Abrams et al. . 2. To date.. 63. many more OI studies have been published. Third. the Fontenot and Scott meta-analysis focused on only four correlates (AOC. Benkhoff. as the ‘‘perception of oneness with or belongingness to’’ the organization (Ashforth & Mael. Having a different focus. OÕReilly and Chatman (1986). correlations were not disattenuated in the Fontenot and Scott meta-analysis so that it probably underestimated population correlations (cf. 2003). (2) [attitudinal and behavioral] support for the organization. at first. 1978. the prior meta-analysis included only studies conducted until 2000. and organizational tenure). 2001)—combines cognitive and affective components. see also Fontenot & Scott. According to this theory. in particular. Rousseau. though related phenomena . which the present study overcomes. that is. However. Pratt. 1998. (1) feelings of solidarity with the organization. In the following. Fontenot and Scott did not compare their results for OI with findings from AOC research. 1970.

ACS: ‘‘I feel as if this organizationÕs problems are my own’’). identification is explicitly included in these definitions of AOC.M. emotionally (pride in membership). (b) involvement in organizational issues (OCQ: ‘‘I really care about the fate of the organization’’. Their view has found many supporters (e. (c) value congruence (OCQ: ‘‘I find that my values and the organizationÕs values are very similar’’.g.. 21). 1983). According to its seminal definition. There is also some overlap at the operational level. not represented in the ACS). identification with. AOC is ‘‘the relative strength of an individualÕs identification with and involvement in a particular organization’’ (Mowday et al. ACS: ‘‘I would be very happy to spend the rest of my career with this organization’’). Elsbach. 1990.g. The link between self-concept and organization is used herein as the working definition of OI. Items in these scales refer to (a) emotional attachment to the organization (e. and the definition by Allen and Meyer. and (d) willingness to stay with the organization (OCQ: ‘‘There is not too much to be gained by sticking with this organization indefinitely’’. Several researchers have asserted that AOC is a broader or vaguer construct than OI (e. Cheney. 1992. OCQ: ‘‘I am proud to tell others that I am part of this organization’’. (2) willingness to work hard for the organization. p. Allen & Meyer. there is a clear overlap between AOC and OI. 2004). Pratt. continuance. In particular. The two most often used AOC scales are the Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (OCQ. and. Mowday et al. 1998). one of the most often used OI measures. requires examination. Ashforth & Mael. because it is the fuzziest one. Recently. the term AOC encompasses both the definition by Mowday et al. and involvement in. 1979. eight of the 25 items of the Organizational Identification Questionnaire (OIQ. AOC (Ashforth & Mael. Similar items are included in many OI measures. 1989. the reconceptualization of AOC by Allen and Meyer (1990) has received growing attention in research. the organization’’ (Allen & Meyer. who stated that OI is ‘‘a perceptual cognitive construct that is not necessarily associated with any specific behaviors or affective states’’ (p. It has at least three related factors: (1) acceptance of the organizationÕs goals and values. above all. feeling a part of the organization. 226).g. van Dick. For example.. and (3) a strong desire to remain in the organization.Õs definition and includes the following components: ‘‘employeeÕs emotional attachment to. p. 1990). These authors distinguished three forms of commitment: affective. satisfaction. Edwards. Depending on its specific definition. OI is more or less similar to other concepts of organizational behavior research such as involvement.. 1979) and the Affective Commitment Scale (ACS. ACS: ‘‘I do not feel emotionally attached to this organization’’). Riketta / Journal of Vocational Behavior 66 (2005) 358–384 361 definitions imply that the organizational member has linked his or her organizational membership to his or her self-concept. Pratt. 1998. or both. are virtually identical with ACS and OCQ items. internalizing organizational values). 2002. 1). 1989. and normative. Edwards.. The definition of affective organizational commitment resembles Mowday et al. . The most influential scholars distinguishing between OI and AOC are Ashforth and Mael (1989). 2003. If one looks at the cited definitions. The distinction between AOC and OI. Mael & Tetrick.g. In the present work.. either cognitively (e..

1997. and Wagner (in press).g. the same OI measure may have discriminant validity from the ACS but not from the OCQ or vice versa.g. ‘‘When someone praises this organization. Mael and Tetrick (1992). 1970. Gautam. Riketta / Journal of Vocational Behavior 66 (2005) 358–384 1999. 1983). Mottola.. it feels like a personal compliment’’. Empirical evidence on the OI–AOC relation is also inconsistent. & Britt Lima. Mathieu & Zajac. Cheney. The correlation between OI and AOC varied across studies between values around 0 (Beerman. van Dick.50). for an empirical study based on this reasoning).g. is based on this definition. Its items do not overlap with items from OCQ and ACS (e. the Mael scale (Mael & Tetrick. & Barefield. the correlation between the two constructs was strong in these studies (rs > .. 1998. & Dovidio. Wagner. when the goal is to explain or predict work outcomes.g. van Dick. 1991.. 1992). Wallace. & Gautam. 1997).8 or above (Potvin.. 1998. To account for this. 1991. 1975a. This begs the question of whether the distinctiveness of AOC and OI matters for any theoretically or practically significant purposes—for example. or if they occurred only on correlates that were of minor importance for research and practice. 1974. 1990) or vice versa (e. Benkhoff. Wan-Huggins et al. Using structural equation techniques. Pratt. 1992. 1998. Sass & Canary. 1997) or vice versa (e. Patchen. Finally.. One way of addressing this question is to compare the correlates of OI and AOC. and van Knippenberg and Sleebos (2001) found that AOC and OI fit a two-factor model better than a single-factor model. in the present study. 1975b). 1993). van Dick.. citing studies on OI as examples of commitment research (e. Iyer..362 M. 1991. If no differences can be detected. Sauer. some OI measures may be empirically distinct from AOC measures while others are not. Bachman. Bergami and Bagozzi (2000). van Knippenberg & van Schie. Given the heterogeneity of OI measures. All in all. Cohen. Accordingly. Elsbach. Nevertheless. Wagner. 1999. for a critique of this cognitively narrowed view).g.. Gaertner. Ouwerkerk et al. some scholars did not mention AOC at all in their studies on OI (partly because that concept was not yet introduced at that time of their studies) so that it is unclear how they saw the relationship between OI and AOC (e. In the following.g. 1997a. Lemmer. 1987. Other researchers evidently considered both AOC and OI as closely related or even interchangeable.. ‘‘This organizationÕs successes are my successes’’). the overlap in the phenomena tapped by OI and AOC measures was examined by comparing their correlates. Furthermore. . One of the most common OI scales. Padaki & Gandhi. 1981. 2002) and . it would be wise to abandon one of these terms to avoid conceptual confusion and redundant research efforts (see Sass & Canary. 2002. 1999). I will give a meta-analytic overview of the correlates of OI and then compare the results with findings from previous metaanalyses of AOC research. using the terms as synonyms (e. and/or incorporating items from OI scales in their commitment measures (e. but see Harquail. Bamber. Buchanan. there is no consensus among OI researchers regarding the conceptual relation between OI and AOC. 2000. I usually say ÔweÕ rather than they’’. Mael & Tetrick. ‘‘When I talk about this organization. 1992. A.g. I conducted separate analyses for the most often used OI measures on the one hand and for the ACS and the OCQ on the other. Rotondi.

that is. see References for the single studies).. from the researchersÕ Internet homepages). and reliabilities of the measures involved in the coded correlations (i. and source the OI measure used. I asked those researchers whether they had unpublished data on OI and if yes. organizational prestige. name. divided it by the product of the square-roots of the reliability estimates of the involved variables. Inconsistencies were resolved by discussion. Eleven researchers responded.. The final meta-analysis was conducted on data from 96 independent samples (total N = 20. Only those correlates were considered in the final analysis for which data from at least five independent samples were available (see first column of Table 1 for these correlates). Meta-analysis of research on organizational identification 3. For each sample. I disattenuated each coded correlation. Both published and unpublished studies were considered. Data referring to four of these correlates (job scope/ challenge. With self-report data (except factor scores). I coded all other information by myself. Given this high agreement. To correct for measurement error. I searched the keyword ‘‘organizational identification’’ in the electronic databases PsycINFO. Computations The computational procedure followed the meta-analytic approach of Hunter and Schmidt (1990). the internal consistencies or split-half reliabilities coded for the respective sample were used as reliability estimates. the N weighted average of all estimates coded for the focal variable was inserted. in-role performance. To identify unpublished studies. and Social Sciences Citation Index (all databases updated last time in May 2003) and on the Internet with several search engines.e. In computing these averages. The current metaanalysis controlled for the artifacts of sampling and measurement error. and 8 provided usable unpublished data. Where no such estimate was coded.2. A list of the analyzed samples with their coded characteristics is available from the author. Intercoder agreement was at least 95% for the correlations and reliability estimates in each category.M. whether they would provide me with them. The references in every research report obtained were examined to identify other relevant studies. To identify published studies. I sent e-mails to 21 researchers who either had published on OI or whom I knew to have conducted unpublished studies on OI (e. internal consistencies or split-half reliabilities). Hunter and Schmidt suggested that a meta-analysis aggregate data across studies and correct the data for artifacts as far as possible.g. the following information was coded: sample size.905. 3.1. I substituted the value 500 for all sample sizes larger than 500 to avoid that single studies with extraordinarily large sample sizes overly dominated the weighted . correlations of OI with other variables (called correlates in the following). Study collection and coding of study characteristics All empirical studies were of potential relevance that: (a) explicitly dealt with OI and (b) operationalized it with a measure labeled OI. and extra-role performance) were coded independently by me and a graduate student who received detailed coding instructions. Riketta / Journal of Vocational Behavior 66 (2005) 358–384 363 3. Business Source Premier.

14 .39 À.17 .17 À.12 .22 À.38 .03 .02* 240.04a À.13 .73 Work-related intentions and behaviors Intention to leave 34 7243 Mael scale 9 2055 OIQ 6 991 In-role behavior 16 3009 Mael scale 5 891 Extra-role behavior 25 6644 Mael scale 9 2475 Absenteeism 6 1581 À.364 M.35 À.40 .07 .08 .47 .57*** 35.00 .63 .33 .54 .17 .09*** 15.85 .17 .09 SDrho .07a .22 .18 — À.17 .17 .12 .10 .60 .24 .97*** 2.46 .68 .13 .48*** 6.13 .11 .11 61 100 19 22 16.59 .11 .62 .14 .25 .12 .14 .11a À.27*** 31.61 .19 .37 .06 .09 .71*** 56.06 .16 .46 .00 .17 .20 .11 .53 — .09 1 47 9 1 100 11 53 9 43 8 39 16 9 12 9 8 96 26 39 2499.12 .15 .19 .79 .12 .79 .61 — .12 — .02 1.12 .05 À.91 .47 .86 .08 .00* 43.33 .42 .75 10 2 16 8 1699 342 5257 2423 .53 .26 .00 % 30 27 18 90 8 46 40 41 29 80 100 v2 83.01 À.69 61.89*** .52 .01 .15 À.55 24.20 .78 .23 .56 .31 2.55 .14 .08 .54 — .79 À.17 .09 .67 1.38 .06a À.88*** 1182.25 .20 .18 .09 .90 .13 .11 .54 .82*** 3.16 .13 .19 .24 .13 .05 .46 .73*** 10.05 .22 .01 .42 1.15 .29*** 415.74 .32 .31*** 6.52** 163.31 À.87 .11 .00 13 28 20 44 34 15 22 100 277.02 .15 — .78 .34 À.44 .17 À. Riketta / Journal of Vocational Behavior 66 (2005) 358–384 Table 1 Correlates of organizational identification Correlate Demographic variables Organizational tenure Mael scale Age Mael scale OIQ Job level Mael scale Female gender Mael scale Education Mael scale Work-related attitudes AOC Mael scale OIQ AOC measured with OCQ OIQ AOC measured with ACS Mael scale Occupational attachment Mael scale Work group attachment Mael scale OIQ Job satisfaction Mael scale OIQ Organizational satisfaction Mael scale Job involvement Mael scale Context characteristics Job scope/challenge Mael scale Organizational prestige Mael scale k 25 6 21 5 2 5 2 18 7 5 3 n 5305 1230 4802 751 225 708 428 4331 1100 549 330 rc .24 .40*** 5.77 .79 .20 .94 .56*** 85.44 .55 À.89*** 3.15 .45 .01a SDrc .08 .69 .08 .16 .44* 33.27*** 76.90 .17 .78 .19*** 36.45 .09 46.11 .35*** 4.44 .24 .16 .02 .48 À.60 .94* 5.11 .50 .89*** 24.37 .99 82.97 .92 .09 .46 1.71 .01a .07 .75 145.64 .12 .12 .86 .02 — 16 3 3 8 2 7 2 13 3 20 4 2 38 7 8 6 2 12 6 4263 500 1022 2228 572 1791 237 2445 534 3867 446 238 8759 1298 1283 1530 297 2837 1703 .05 .09 .36 .75*** 1.84 À.53** 14.12 .23 .08 .23*** 5.07 .19 .11 .35 .75 .73*** 7.07 .54 .06 — .89 1.11 .24* 12.67*** 22.13 .14 .06 À.96 .26** .13 .35 .24 .52 .06 .18 À.54 .11 .39 .23 CI À.13 .12 .22*** 0.39*** 117.

here. absenteeism. attitudinal organizational commitment. Because no study included in the present meta-analysis reported interrater reliabilities. Affective Commitment Scale (Allen and Meyer. peer or supervisor ratings of in-role or extra-role performance).76. OIQ. number of analyzed correlations.82. 1990). To test the corrected mean correlations for significance. SDrc.83. education. 1979). Results for the Mael scale and the OIQ are reported only if k > 1. organizational satisfaction . a The 95% confidence interval around rc includes zero. *** p 6 . construct independent variation in responses due to rater idiosyncracies) would have been uncorrected. Ones. 1992). I weighted every corrected correlation coefficient with the product of sample size and the reliability coefficients for the two correlated variables. Using the latter estimates would have underestimated true correlations because a type of measurement error that is specific to othersÕ ratings (namely. In the next step.79. The average reliability estimates for all relevant variables were as follows: AOC . and objective indicators of in-role or extra-role performance such as sales figures and numbers of contributions to suggestion programs) and factor scores of self-report data were assigned reliability estimates of 1. average. Sample size weights were again limited to 500. CI: 90% credibility interval around rc. mean correlation coefficients are called significant only if the confidence interval excludes zero. Note that these estimates are necessarily flawed by all artifacts not corrected for. occupational attachment . in-role performance (self-rating) . percent variance of the observed correlations attributable to artifacts. all artifacts besides measurement and sampling error.84.00 in the disattenuation procedure because (a) the forms of measurement error corrected in the other data were not relevant here and (b) no other relevant reliability information for those data were available from the analyzed studies.75.001. .83. In the following. I computed 95% confidence intervals around them using the formulae by Hunter and Schmidt (1990). OI . sum of the sizes of the analyzed samples. and SchmidtÕs (1996) meta-analytical estimates of the interrater reliability of supervisor ratings (. so-called hard data (here: age. With other-reported data (here. organizational tenure. and work group attachment . Finally. 1983). organizational prestige . Riketta / Journal of Vocational Behavior 66 (2005) 358–384 365 Table 1 (continued) Notes.86. %. v2. job scope/challenge . extra-role performance (self-rating) . OCQ. ** p 6 . studies using the scale developed by Mael (see Mael and Tetrick.52) and peer ratings (.42) were used to correct correlations computed from such ratings. job level. Mael scale. job involvement . result of the significance test for unaccounted variance. intent to leave .M. to correct for sampling error. rc. n. I averaged the disattenuated correlation coefficients for each variable across independent samples. Viswesvaran. mean correlation corrected for sampling error and attenuation. k. gender. job satisfaction .01. SDrho. I used estimates of interrater reliability rather than internal consistencies or split-half reliabilities in disattenuating. observed standard deviation of the disattenuated correlations. AOC. Following the recommendations of Hunter and Schmidt (1990). with df = k À 1.79. The average weighted correlation coefficients are estimates of the population correlations. Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (Mowday et al. ACS. * p 6 . studies using the Organizational Identification Questionnaire (Cheney.. estimated standard deviation of the mean population correlation.

3. organizational tenure. work-related attitudes. A significant result would indicate that there is more than one population correlation.) All ps reported in the following are two-tailed. respectively). All correlations were significant. respectively). there was a strong overlap with job and organizational satisfaction and job involvement (rs = . The highest mean correlation emerged between OI and AOC (r = . .. Likewise. Results with p 6 . are labeled significant.47 and . of the work-related intentions and behaviors considered. a version consisting of at least half of the items of the original scale) in 26 and 11 of the analyzed samples. was unrelated to OI (r = À. . 3.. All other measures were used in less than eight samples. Both overall results and results for the the Mael scale and the OIQ are presented. difference: z < 1). either commitment to or identification with) oneÕs occupation and oneÕs work group (rs = .13. 3. i. age. 90% credibility intervals around mean corrected correlations were computed by multiplying the square-root of the estimated variance of the population correlations with the appropriate z value. respectively. marginally significant. and nonsignificant. and job level related significantly to OI. respectively).52. context characteristics.04 and À. The variables in the work-related attitudes category all correlated significantly and positively with OI. In the demographic variables category. These two measures were used in their original form or a shortened version (i.56.61.3.e.06. The latter term is an estimate of the variance attributable to the corrected artifacts. that is. Finally. The fourth variable in this category. and p > .78). The correlations with gender and education were nonsignificant (rs = À.71 and . respectively. OI correlated strongly with attachment to (i. (A complete list of the measures and their use frequencies is available from the author. Results Table 1 displays the results of the meta-analysis. intention to leave correlated strongly and negatively with OI (r = À. respectively).59. and . respectively. and . The correlations were medium to large in size (rs = . respectively). and work-related intentions and behaviors. Moreover.e. The mean correlations were similarly strong for studies using the ACS and studies using the OCQ (rs = . p 6 . respectively).79.01). the correlates were subdivided in four categories: demographic variables.1.48).17 and . The estimated variance of the population correlations was tested for significance with the v2 test of Hunter and Schmidt (1990). and in-role and extra-role performance correlated weakly and moderately with OI (rs = .54. Riketta / Journal of Vocational Behavior 66 (2005) 358–384 Another parameter of interest was the variance of the population correlations. absenteeism. Further.. the correlations with the two context characteristics considered (job scope/ challenge and organizational prestige) were significant and positive. that moderators of the correlation exist.33. Overall analysis For ease of presentation. and . the difference between the variance of the corrected correlation coefficients and their average squared standard error.24. CohenÕs (1988) effect-size classification (rs = .366 M. The correlations were positive and small to medium according to J.12. Further. The estimate recommended by Hunter and Schmidt (1990) was used. .e.

To test for the moderating influence of using one of these scales instead of any other scale.53. this indicates the likely existence of moderators for these variables.73 and . any conclusions drawn from the overall analysis may not apply to single settings or measures in particular. However. respectively).2. p = .60). Riketta / Journal of Vocational Behavior 66 (2005) 358–384 367 Note that the results of the analyzed OI studies were heterogeneous. In general. .M. A particular real study may have yielded quite different outcomes or may do so in the future. all studies using either the OIQ or the Mael scale were analyzed separately. difference: z = 2. Further. Discussion In interpreting the data. The highest mean correlation obtained was the one with AOC (r = .90) and with the OCQ in particular (r = . In particular. the following arguments apply to the fictitious average OI study.78). Together. and intent to leave (r = À. On four of them. these differences were nonsignificant (zs < 1.94) than did the other OI measures (rs = . Analyses for single OI measures Separate correlations for the Mael scale and the OIQ were computed for every correlate for which at least two samples using the respective measure were available. one should bear in mind that the correlations were very heterogeneous in general. Hence.64) than the other measures (rs = .42.49). zs > 2.09. 3. This suggests that the average OI study has focused on a construct that overlapped largely with what is measured by AOC measures. all studies were considered that used either the original versions of these measures or shortened versions that included at least half of the items in the original scales. data were available for all correlates considered in the overall analyses except for OCQ and absenteeism. For this purpose.59. In these analyses.92). For all variables except education. The only significant difference emerged in the category work-related intentions and behavior. and (b) more than half of the variance of the observed individual correlations remained unexplained.74. With regard to the Mael scale. all other zs < 1. the OIQ correlated significantly more strongly with age (r = . . ps < . respectively.01.01). job satisfaction (r = . the correlation is far from per- . However.35) than did the other OI measures (r = À. Correlations for the OIQ could be computed for six correlates only (see Table 1 for details). the OIQ correlated somewhat more strongly with AOC in total (r = . work group attachment (r = .21. 3.57). the results paralleled the results from both the total analysis and the analysis for studies that used another OI scale (see Table 1 for details). (a) the v2 test lead to the rejection of the null hypothesis that the individual correlations were equal (with all ps < .68). job scope/challenge. significant differences between the OIQ and the other measures emerged.3.4. The Mael scale correlated significantly less strongly with intent to leave (r = À. I conducted Hunter and SchmidtÕs (1990) z test on the differences between samples in which the Mael scale (OIQ) was used and all independent samples in which other scales were used.66.04).45. The following section deals with the question of whether the operationalization of OI is a potential moderator. and À. Thus. and absenteeism.

Cheney. The present analyses also revealed significant mean correlations with a range of variables that may be either antecedents or consequences of OI. job scope/challenge. Bergami & Bagozzi. Casey. The interested reader can find detailed models of the causal relation of OI with most of the correlates considered herein elsewhere (e. Thus.. For example. The second most often used measure in the samples analyzed was the OIQ. 2000. it corresponds to only 62% shared variance. Another interesting finding is that the correlations involving the Mael scale showed much less variation than the correlations involving all OI measures. 1998). & Johnson. AOC as measured with the ACS. the significant and partly strong correlations with those variables indicate that OI may be a useful predictor of several variables that are relevant to organizational practice. organizational prestige. the OIQ was more strongly related to three constructs that are conceptually similar to OI: AOC. 1992. the OIQ . In light of the mentioned heterogeneity of the results of OI studies. the credibility intervals were typically narrower for correlations computed from studies using the Mael scale than for the correlations computed from all studies. the correlations from all OI studies were strongly significantly heterogeneous (ps < . it is striking that all six correlations deviated markedly (and four of them significantly) from the average across the studies that used another measure. This suggests that OI relates to but is distinct from these constructs. job involvement. From a more practical perspective. intent to leave.. and in-role and extrarole performance. no attempt is made here to interpret the results in terms of causality. In the studies analyzed here.e. Allen. Wan-Huggins et al. Although this scale is the most common OI measure in communication research (see Miller. Hence. The Mael scale was used in the analyzed samples most often.368 M. Mael & Ashforth. and organizational satisfaction). few studies have been reported correlations with the OIQ that pertained to the same variables. it seems sufficient to note that the directions of all significant mean correlations reported above are both intuitively plausible and consistent with the common causal assumptions of OI researchers. Further. Thus. the correlations with all other considered constructs to which OI is conceptually related (job and organizational satisfaction. Yet. For present purposes. for several correlates. work group attachment. 2000). Especially important. and occupational and work group attachment) were markedly lower (shared variances below 40%). more than two correlations involving the OIQ were available only for six correlates.. The results of the studies using this scale were close to the results for studies using other measures as well as for the results for all measures. including tenure. 2000. the Mael scale seems to be the most representative OI measure with regard to its empirical outcomes. van Knippenberg. the operationalization of OI does matter for the correlations obtained (at least for the variation in these correlations) and (b) the studies using the Mael scale comprise a relatively homogenous subgroup within OI research with regard to their findings. 1983. it is revealing to look at the results for single measures. with regard to the correlates age.g. The next section deals with this possibility more in detail. OI as measured in the typical OI study may well have unique features as compared with AOC in its common operational form. Riketta / Journal of Vocational Behavior 66 (2005) 358–384 fect. Because only correlational studies were analyzed. This suggests that (a) in general. and job satisfaction.001) but the correlations from studies using the Mael scale were not (i. Moreover.

Study search and computations To identify meta-analyses that reported correlations involving either the ACS or the OCQ. including the Mael scale. the very strong correlation with AOC (r = . because ACS and OCQ partly differ in the contents of their items (see above). the aforementioned conclusions regarding the OIQ are only tentative. The following meta-analyses met all these criteria and contributed at . The former correlation might point to a higher usefulness of the OIQ as compared with the average other OI measure when the goal is to predict intent to leave. Yet. I conducted all comparisons separately for the ACS and the OCQ. This had the advantage that the analyzed studies were rather homogenous with respect to operationalization of AOC. Because the vast majority of AOC studies used either the ACS or OCQ.90) suggests that the OIQ is almost interchangeable with AOC measures. I considered only the result based the largest number of studies. Meta-analytic comparison between organizational identification and attitudinal organizational commitment As mentioned above. In other words.1. which referred to all OI measures. However. (b) dealt with at least one correlate that was considered in the above analyses for OI. to account for the heterogeneity in the operationalization of OI.M. namely that OIQ and OCQ refer to the ‘‘same cluster of attitudes’’ (p. the present research is in accordance with the conclusions that Sass and Canary (1991) drew from their study. Specifically. 4. I compared the results reported above with results from previous metaanalyses of AOC studies. OI and AOC would prove distinct if they differed in the strength of their respective correlations with same variables.001). I searched the keywords ‘‘commitment’’ and ‘‘meta-analysis’’ in the databases Business Source Premier. and Social Sciences Citation Index (all databases updated last time in May 2003). PsycINFO. In this respect. the OIQ correlated more strongly with intent to leave and age than did the other OI measures. or allowed for the computation of. I considered only studies that used one of these measures. and (c) reported. one may wonder whether it differs from this construct with respect to its correlates. separate correlations for the ACS and the OCQ. especially with the OCQ (r = . I considered only those meta-analyses that (a) reported mean correlations corrected for sampling error and unreliability.94). In addition. does it make a difference whether one uses an OI scale or an AOC scale in predicting or explaining other variables? The following section addresses this question. Riketta / Journal of Vocational Behavior 66 (2005) 358–384 369 seems to have less discriminant validity with regard to AOC scales than do the other OI measures in total and the Mael scale in particular. 4. I conducted separate analyses for the Mael scale and the OIQ alongside overall analyses. To explore whether this is the case. 275). Further. because the individual correlations were strongly significantly heterogenous in all of these analyses (ps < . When results referring to the same correlate were available from two or more meta-analyses. Because OI is strongly correlated with AOC.

e.39B — OIQ — .2.05 from the corresponding rc for the OCQ. .61a À. 1979).12B À. k. The data referring to the ACS are from Meyer et al.05 from the corresponding rc for the ACS.10 .04 À.B — — — . correlations for OI scales in Table 2 Comparison of findings from research on organizational identification (OI) and attitudinal organizational commitment Variable rc from OI studies Total Organizational tenure Age Female gender Education Occupational attachment Job satisfaction Job involvement Intent to leave In-role performance Extra-role performance Absenteeism .02 . Parker.60 À. Mael.370 M.03 À. 4.47A .23 — — .35B À.68 — À.15 Notes. and McEvoy (1993).14 . To enable a quick comparison with the results of the above analyses for OI.32 À. results for intent to leave are the results that Tett and Meyer reported for both turnover intention and withdrawal cognition). Aven et al. Affective Commitment Scale (Allen and Meyer. Herscovitch.42 . studies using the Mael scale. In doing so.53 À.12 . A Differs at p 6 . ACS. Riketta (2002).08 SDrc . The data referring to the OCQ are from the following sources: Cohen (1993) for age and tenure. Tett and Meyer (1993).06 .17 .09 Studies using the OCQ k 48 53 16 — 16 47 — 24 47 12 — n 26175 26402 8979 6414 14597 5403 11072 3446 rc . as long as the latter contained at least eight items of the long version).07a. mean correlation corrected for sampling error and attenuation.12 . Meyer.22 .09 .60A.01 .16 .65 .15 SDrc . Cohen (1993).12 .53 . Total. 1990).. Results Table 2 shows the results for the ACS or the OCQ. and Wallace (1993).01 . I included only the studies that used the OCQ (either in its original 15-item or a shortened version.54A .10 .15 À. observed standard deviation of the disattenuated correlations.. all OI studies.56 .B À. Table 2 displays the corresponding corrected mean correlations from Table 1 in addition (i.10 .20 À.16 . Riketta / Journal of Vocational Behavior 66 (2005) 358–384 least one mean correlation to the analyses reported below: Aven.68 À. OCQ.51 .13 . I re-analyzed their datasets. OIQ. a Differs at p 6 .47 .01A Mael . number of analyzed correlations. studies using the OIQ. Organizational Commitment Questionnaire (Mowday et al.17 .11 .10 . SDrc.16 . The data allowed for comparisons between OI and AOC on 11 correlates. (2002). rc.48a .11 À. (1993) for female gender. sum of the sizes of the analyzed samples. n.35A . Riketta (2002) for in-role and extra-role performance (re-analyzed). Tett and Meyer (1993) for intent to leave and job satisfaction (sample-size weighted averages of the results for OCQ-15 and OCQ-9.64 — — — Studies using the ACS k 51 53 32 32 13 69 16 51 25 22 22 n 18630 21446 11764 11491 3599 23656 3625 17282 5938 6277 3543 rc .18 .15 .13 . and Topolnytsky (2002). Stanley. Wallace (1993) for occupational attachment (re-analyzed).10 from the corresponding rc for the ACS.14 .39 .13 . Because Riketta (2002) and Wallace (1993) did not report separate results for ACS or OCQ with regard to the correlates that were of interest in the present study. B Differs at p 6 .

15.54 vs.08). intent to leave (r = À. . . and z = 2. z = 1.12 vs. The Mael scale differed from the OCQ significantly on the correlations with age (rs = . the Mael scale differed from the ACS at least marginally significantly on the correlations with age (rs = . all possible differences in the correlations for all OI scales in total. z = 2.98.60.M. vs.01 vs. As far as the necessary data were available.) Results for the Mael scale were very similar.56.07 vs.48 vs.15 and . z = 1. p = . À.20.15. First. p < .85. and absenteeism (r = À.35 vs. .59. like OI measures in total.45. the OIQ tended to show a stronger correlation with intent to leave than did the ACS and the OCQ (r = À.39 vs.65 for OI measures in total and the ACS.35 vs. .3. z = 2.53. .77. difference: z = 2. respectively).65. job involvement (r = . p = . Further.68). Further. z = 2.56. Discussion Despite the heterogeneity of the findings of OI research. p = .60 vs.59. À.68 vs.60 vs. p < .64 vs.10).01).65.61 vs. .23.02). Significance testing was not possible in this case due to missing information. p = . z = 1. p = .01) and extra-role performance (r = .01.20. the Mael scale.81. (All other zs < 1. OI measures in total differed from the ACS at least marginally significantly on the correlations with job satisfaction (r = . p < .56 and À. . respectively). . p = . and intent to leave (r = À. Riketta / Journal of Vocational Behavior 66 (2005) 358–384 371 total.01). OI .96.) The available data permitted comparisons for the OIQ on only three correlates.23.07 vs. Finally. The difference from job involvement was in the same order as in the analyses for OI measures but nonsignificant (r = . z = 4. Again. this analysis revealed several statistically significant differences in the average outcomes of OI and AOC research.001).67. (All other zs < 1. z = 3. . Note that the direction of the difference is opposite to the one for all OI scales in total and the Mael scale in particular.65 and . the Mael scale differed markedly from the OCQ on the correlation with job satisfaction (r = .28) and not testable for significance. although the differences were nonsignificant (z = 1. and the OIQ). the OIQ showed (nearly) the same correlation with job satisfaction as did the ACS and the OCQ (r = .36. job satisfaction (r = .22). À.68). . and the OIQ on the one hand and ACS and OCQ on the other were tested for significance with Hunter and SchmidtÕs (1990) z test. p = . At least marginally significant differences occurred on four of the ten correlates for which comparison data were available.09). .47 vs. p < . Further.68.93.53. Another marked difference between OI measures in total and the OCQ and emerged with regard to job satisfaction (r = . p < . z = 1. In particular. respectively.05) and extra-role performance (r = . The analyses for all OI measures revealed at least marginally significant differences on 6 of the 11 correlates. respectively).01).53. The OIQ differed from both ACS and OCQ significantly on the correlation with age (r = . . respectively.001).47 vs. . the Mael scale. The two most important findings can be summarized as follows. z = 1. p < . no significance testing was possible in this case. z = 2. In particular. OI measures in total differed from the OCQ significantly on the correlations with age (r = . À. z = 2.20. z < 1 and no significance testing possible.

Among others. among them the widely used Mael scale (and also. Specifically. however. Some OI scales. Thus. Second. OÕReilly & Chatman. are at the core of most definitions and measures of OI. the OIQ proved more similar to the AOC measures than to the typical OI measure. do not include such items. By contrast. Extrarole behavior is defined as voluntary behavior that is beneficial to the organization (Organ. This hints to substantive differences between the constructs of OI and AOC. Fur- . such as. some items of the OCQ and the ACS refer to willingness to stay with the organization and to such evaluations of the organization that are not necessarily related to identification but may indicate or contribute to job satisfaction. e. For example. ‘‘I would be very happy to spend the rest of my career with this organization’’ (ACS) or ‘‘There is not too much to be gained by sticking with this organization indefinitely’’ (OCQ) and ‘‘For me this is the best of all possible organizations to work for’’ (OCQ) or ‘‘I enjoy discussing my organization with people outside it’’ (ACS). absenteeism.Õs (2000) and Sass and CanaryÕs (1991) conclusion that the OIQ is almost interchangeable with AOC measures. Some of these causes may be captured by AOC scales better than by OI scales. the scales by Bergami & Bagozzi. the OIQ correlated more strongly with age. This can explain why OI scales in total and the Mael scale in particular relate less strongly to those variables than do AOC measures. OI was less strongly related to absenteeism and intent to leave than was AOC but was more strongly related to extra-role performance. OI measures may be better predictors of extra-role behaviors than are AOC measures because the former focus more narrowly on these crucial causes of extra-role behaviors than do the latter. This confirms the above conclusion that the Mael scale is a rather typical or representative OI measure. respectively. Riketta / Journal of Vocational Behavior 66 (2005) 358–384 seems to overlap less strongly with job satisfaction and more strongly with job involvement than does AOC. Lee. On the other hand. These variables can have many other causes apart from identification. the present findings are consistent with Miller et al. in general.g. 1969. and intent to leave. 1988). this fact can explain the relatively low correlation of OI with job satisfaction. Thus. Specifically. these differences seem to be consistent with the fact that many OI scales and especially the Mael scale were designed to measure a more narrowly defined construct than AOC. 2000. and intent to leave than did all OI measures in total and the Mael scale in particular. The correlation with job satisfaction was even virtually identical to the correlations of the ACS and OCQ with this variable. These two variables. like the ACS and OCQ. OI seems to differ from AOC in the correlations with some work-related behaviors and intentions.372 M. job satisfaction. 1986). which may also refer to variables that are not relevant to extra-role behaviors. the motivation for such a behavior may stem from internalization of organizational norms and emotional attachment to the organization (van Knippenberg.. All mentioned differences except the one for job involvement were significant also in the analyses for studies that used the Mael scale. the narrower focus of OI measures can explain why the correlation of OI with extra-role behavior and job involvement is relatively high. How can one explain the observed differences between OI in general and the Mael scale in particular on the one hand and the ACS and the OCQ on the other? In general. On the one hand. 2000).

Although the empirical overlap was large (61% shared variance). Ashforth & Mael. 1970). In light of this reasoning. Some of them can plausibly be interpreted as either antecedents or consequences of OI. Sass & Canary.M. they showed that OI as it has been measured in previous research correlates with a number of practically or theoretically interesting variables. Unlike other OI measures (including the Mael scale). and in-role and extra-role performance. OI should be an important predictor of job involvement. the narrower focus of OI measures on factors that contribute to intrinsic motivation as compared with AOC measures can explain the formersÕ stronger correlation with job involvement. it should not be surprising that the OIQ has similar empirical qualities as AOC scales (for similar conclusions. 1992. van Dick.1. and absenteeism. Hence. van Knippenberg & Sleebos. 1991). First. Moreover. and identification as do scores of AOC measures. work-related intentions. job involvement overlaps conceptually with intrinsic motivation. Moreover. the present analysis pointed to several variables that should be considered in research aimed at exploring the nomological network around OI.. Because OI as commonly defined is likely to produce such an intrinsic motivation (van Knippenberg. scores of the OIQ may reflect a similar broad mixture of satisfaction. OI proved distinct from AOC with respect to its correlates. see Miller et al. The results of these analyses suggest that empirical OI research has indeed dealt with a construct that is more specific or homogeneous than is AOC (e. For one. Riketta / Journal of Vocational Behavior 66 (2005) 358–384 373 ther. OI correlated less strongly with job satisfaction. the results suggest that OI may be a useful predictor for many practically relevant variables. Thus. ‘‘I am glad to have chosen to work for the organization rather than another company’’. it proved distinct from its closest conceptual neighbor.g. similarly as in the case of extra-role behavior. job and organizational satisfaction and job involvement. 1989. Second. some items of the scale obviously refer to variables that are conceptually distinct from OI (e. 5. the OIQ was based on a broad definition of OI (namely. AOC (cf. 2001). job scope/challenge. 2000. indicated that OI was related to but nonetheless distinct from them . 2000). ‘‘I would be willing to spend the rest of my career with the organization’’. and more strongly with extra-role behavior and job involvement than did AOC. Thus. 1998. 2001). General discussion 5.. Thus. intent to stay. organizational prestige.. Consequently. for example. PatchenÕs. the correlations with three other conceptually related constructs. the finding that the OIQ proved empirically almost interchangeable with AOC scales in so many respects becomes understandable. Pratt.g. In particular. Correlates and distinctiveness of organizational identification The results presented in the two foregoing main sections provided at least two important insights. organizational tenure. the analyses indicated that OI as it has been measured in previous research is empirically distinct from conceptually related constructs. intent to leave. Mael & Tetrick. ‘‘I feel that the organization cares about me’’).

. in theory. many results demonstrating its reliability and construct validity). and consistent with most current OI researchersÕ claims. 46% common variance). the OIQ seems to be particularly similar to an AOC scale. the operationalization of OI suggests itself as such a moderator. 5. these corrections mostly reduced the observed variance by less than 50%). the OIQ produced results that (a) differed from the average results of studies that used other scales and (b) were especially heterogeneous. Given the additional advantages of this scale (short and easy to administer. OI as operationalized in the average previous OI study had unique empirical qualities. The existence of moderators is very likely because for most correlates considered herein. Individual studies may yield outcomes that are not compatible with the above conclusions. The role of the operationalization of organizational identification The aforementioned conclusions were based on the overall analyses for all OI studies. Thus. yielded results that were close to the average across studies that used other scales and were relatively homogenous. Second. To explore whether this is the case.374 M. moderators may exist.3. Nevertheless. empirical OI researchers who want to minimize redundancy of their findings with findings from AOC research should use the Mael scale rather than the OIQ. the results speak to the usefulness of the Mael scale. the observed variation in individual correlations was statistically significant and remained substantial even after correcting for sampling error and unreliability (i. reviewers of the OI literature should be more cautious with generalizing across OI measures than it has been the case in previous reviews of OI research. It follows that the above conclusions may apply particularly to studies using the Mael scale. Overall. the results do suggest that results obtained with the OIQ are not equivalent to results obtained with the Mael scale. which is the most often used OI scale. Thus.90. 81% common variance) and correlated similarly strongly with job satisfaction as did AOC (r = . This is perhaps most clearly indicated by the facts that the OIQ correlated very strongly with AOC scales (r = . Moreover.2. it appears to be the best OI measure available to date.e. First. Because the results of OIQ studies were very heterogeneous and separate analyses were possible only for few correlates. Limitations Several limitations of the present studies should be mentioned. widely used. that is. This has at least two implications. a small num- . the Mael scale and the OIQ.68. 5. it may not be justified to draw specific conclusions about the OIQ on the basis of the available studies. I conducted separate analyses for studies that used one of the two most common OI measures. Because many different OI measures have been used in previous research. Thus. It turned out that the Mael scale. Quite differently. the conclusions from the foregoing section might not apply to studies using the OIQ. Riketta / Journal of Vocational Behavior 66 (2005) 358–384 (less than 37% shared variance). the number of analyzed studies was small for several correlates. For one.

and job involvement can be plausibly linked to common differences between OI and AOC measures (namely. A general problem of meta-analyses is that the observed effects of moderator variables may actually be due to variables confounded with the moderator. like the present research. it cannot be ruled out that the observed differences between OI and AOC research reported herein reflect (also) other differences between these branches of research rather than (only) differences between OI and AOC measures. populations. or operationalization of correlates. also Mael and Tetrick (1992) and van Knippenberg and Sleebos (2001) found that OI as measured with the Mael scale related less strongly to job satisfaction than did AOC. Thus. Riketta / Journal of Vocational Behavior 66 (2005) 358–384 375 ber of future studies could markedly change the results for those correlates. . OI and AOC research might differ also with respect to design. it is important to note that the present results are partly in line with studies that compared the correlates of OI and AOC within the same sample and hence held the mentioned features constant. van Knippenberg and Sleebos found a weaker relation of OI with intent to leave. ‘‘When someone praises this organization. Further. education.g. the results referring to these variables should be considered rather preliminary.M. For example. there might be a mismatch between the conceptualization and operationalization of OI (for this criticism. on average. the usually narrower focus of the former ones on norm internalization or emotional attachment). organizational satisfaction. In general. In general. Finally. see also van Dick. Hence. 1989. In particular. some items of the Mael scale seem to refer to affective components of OI (e. For example. These variables may affect the results in addition to the focal variable (OI vs. too few studies were available for the present analyses to systematically consider these variables. Ashforth & Mael. job satisfaction. one should note that OI and AOC were only studied in their operational form. Thus. this shows that the results reported herein cannot be taken as evidence for the adequacy or the success of particular OI concepts. The present analyses dealt only with the question of whether empirical OI research has indeed studied something that is not identical to what has been empirically studied under the rubric of AOC. especially the observed differences with respect to extrarole behavior. Thus. what the Mael scale taps that AOC scales do not tap and vice versa). Less than 10 samples were available also with regard to the following correlates: job level. For example. 2001).. intention to leave. This is especially true for the analyses regarding the Mael scale and the OIQ. AOC).. in studies using this scale. as shown above. it appears likely that the observed differences reflect unique features of OI and AOC measures rather than only other features of the analyzed studies. although the results of the present analyses point to differences between OI and AOC at the empirical level. it feels like a personal compliment’’) whereas the OI definition underlying the development of this scale explicitly excluded affective components (cf. in addition. the precise nature of this difference and its implications for theorizing on OI still have to be explored (e. 1992). The present analyses did not address the question of whether the OI measures used in the analyzed studies were adequate in light of specific definitions of OI.g. Mael & Tetrick. in which all sample sizes were below 10. However. and absenteeism.

Mael & Ashforth. Several other moderators are conceivable. Thus. research on AOC or on social identification suggest moderators such as accountability (Barreto & Ellemers. intent to leave. Another important task for future research is to avoid a further fragmentation of the field with respect to OI measurement. 2000). For specific purposes. 1992. The use of another existing measure may be justified if the research goal is to replicate or extend findings obtained with that measure. cognitive) relate differentially to work outcomes (see Bergami & Bagozzi.. Further. e. research on moderators seems necessary.g. rather than introducing new measures. 1999. 2004. see. tap one or more of those dimensions and whether they can either be decomposed in subscales or combined with each other to measure those dimensions.. van Knippenberg. 2002). the separate analyses for the OIQ). This heterogeneity in the operationalization of OI makes it difficult to compare results between studies. 2002. Thus. Moreover. However. 1986). researchers could promote a more differentiated look at OI while ensuring some comparability with previous research. This is not meant to say that OI research should not address conceptual issues any more. Dukerich. In more than a half of the samples included in this meta-analysis. & Christ. Riketta / Journal of Vocational Behavior 66 (2005) 358–384 5. Golden. even in this case. & Shortell. 2000. Stellmacher. Kortekaas. researchers should explore to which extent existing scales. intergroup comparisons (Ouwerkerk et al. such as organizational prestige.4. for example the Mael scale. Cron. in light of the heterogeneity of the results for almost all of the correlates studied herein. Wan-Huggins et al. Hence..g. & Slocum. the heterogeneity at the measurement level may have substantially contributed to the large heterogeneity of the observed correlations. These moderators could not be examined meta-analytically herein due to small numbers of studies and/ or lack of information in the original reports. several studies have shown that different subtypes of identification (e. future research should use already established measures whenever possible. Tajfel & Turner. economic dependency on the job (Brett. 1995). more differentiated conceptualizations of OI may prove useful. Research recommendations The present findings point to several promising areas for future research. 1998. or organizational tenure (Wright & Bonett. it seems advisable to include the Mael scale (or other OI scales) in addition to explore the generality of the findings across operationalizations of OI. Hence. it would be necessary to explore the causal relation of OI with these variables and thus to test the extant theories. For example. if the develop- . The present meta-analysis studied only the operationalization of OI as moderator. For example. As explained above. 2000).. affective vs. For example. and in-role and extra-role performance (for relevant models.376 M. the present analyses suggested that the choice of the OI measure may influence the size of the correlations obtained (cf. the Mael scale currently appears the preferable measure. 1999). an OI scale was used that was constructed ad hoc. van Dick. in the next step. the findings suggest that OI generally correlates with some variables that play a crucial role in theorizing on OI. before developing completely new scales that measure OI on these dimensions. & Ouwerkerk. regarding the relation between OI and work outcomes. Wagner. Yet. also Ellemers. However. This way. further research on the dimensions of OI does seem desirable.

noncomparability of the own findings with previous ones). If this is the case. In any case. when the research goal is to test theoretical models. A final issue refers to the distinction between OI and AOC in future research. Thus. A researcher who has used the same AOC or OI scale in all of his or her previous studies will likely use and may be expected to use this scale also in the future. e. irrespective of the rubric under which they have been reported. One reason is that this can avoid redundant research efforts. an OI researcher who plans to test (what he or she believes to be) an innovative hypothesis should examine whether this hypothesis has already been tested with regard to AOC and vice versa. before developing another OI measure. the Mael scale) appear basically superior to AOC scales because they represent a more narrowly and precisely defined construct. For example. OI and AOC scales may fulfill almost identical roles. appear less suited to meet this requirement than do certain OI scales with their more specific focus. OI scales (especially the Mael scale) may be superior in predicting extrarole behavior whereas AOC scales may be superior in predicting absenteeism and intent to stay.. the findings are relevant to research on both OI and AOC. even if the focal construct (OI vs. the answer is: to the greatest extent possible.g. Hence.. which obviously tap a mixture of (components of) OI and evaluative and motivational variables.g. researchers should carefully weight the potential benefits of doing so against the potential costs (e. some OI scales (e. AOC scales may often have been used in studies for which an OI scale would have been more appropriate and vice versa. A test of these models requires that these constructs are measured separately. Riketta / Journal of Vocational Behavior 66 (2005) 358–384 377 ment of a new OI scale appears necessary for some theoretical reason. Moreover. A second and more theoretically important question in the context of the OI– AOC distinction is: To what extent should researchers interested in OI take into account findings referring to AOC and vice versa? In my view. In all mentioned cases. AOC) has been deliberately selected. they may enable a more fine-grained empirical analysis of psychological processes than do AOC scales. and it may be more appropriate to consider the hypothesis as already confirmed and use it as a starting-point for addressing a more sophisticated issue. The methodological aspect can be expressed in the question: When should one use an OI scale rather than an AOC scale and vice versa? The present findings suggest that either type of scale can have unique advantages when the research is merely to predict other variables. This distinction has a methodological and a theoretical aspect. AOC scales. The use of particular scales is often a matter of personal habit or a striving to appear consistent. van Dick. . several models clearly distinguish between (affective and/or cognitive) OI and its evaluative and motivational consequences (such as job satisfaction and intent to stay.M. researchers should demonstrate the incremental validity of the new scale over existing ones to justify its use. the above analyses suggest that OI and AOC may be similarly suited for the prediction of in-role behavior. Specifically. the results may be relevant to research on both constructs because in many (albeit evidently not all) research contexts. 1989. However.g. For example. Thus.. There are at least two reasons for this. a test of the hypothesis may not be much more than a replication. Ashforth & Mael. 2001).

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