Social identity and stress: Some studies and a meta-analysis



Social identification with groups in organizational contexts has been studied intensely over the past four decades. In general, this research has found positive associations between the degree of identification with the organization and team on the one hand and work motivation, performance or extra-role behavior on the other. Only more recently have researchers started to look at the implications of identification for coping with stress and employee well-being. Two contrasting hypothesis can be developed: On the one hand, one could argue that higher identification and the resulting motivation and engagement could lead to ill-health because of an ignorance of personal needs and an overly strong focus on work (exhaustion hypotheses). The invigoration hypothesis, on the other hand, would predict a positive association between identification and well-being through an activation of social support and collective self-efficacy. In this talk, I will first present some individual studies providing evidence for both hypotheses. Then, I will present a meta-analysis (Steffens, Haslam, Jetten, Schuh & van Dick, in prep.) on the links between organizational identification (k=42, N = 16.297) and team identification (k=22, N = 5.396) with satisfaction and well-being. The results largely confirm the invigoration hypothesis with r’s of about .22. I will then discuss moderating effects, present evidence fort he assumed mediation and will finally discuss limitations and implications.