Employees' Organizational Culture & Support Perceptions & Organizational Identification: A Field Investigation in India.

Date01 April 2023
AuthorBiswas, Soumendu


The intricate economic environment in developing markets calls for an exploration of administration and processes that lend stability and significance to organizations and their employees. For this, organizational culture serves as a suitable construct to comprehend common attitudinal patterns that bind organizational members together because there exists an active link between the culture of an organization and employees' prosocial behavior through the latters' contextual sense- and meaning-making whose fallout is an amplification of positive and a reduction of negative employee conducts (Song et al., 2019).

However, while the literature has frequently indicated that both, employees' perceptions of organizational culture (EPOC) and their perceived organizational support (POS) may be considered antecedents of employees' favorable attitudes and behaviors (Salvador et al., 2022), it remains silent regarding the possible mechanisms of how such linkages may be simultaneously conceptualized and/or empirically tested. This is identified as a research lacuna and has been attended to as a principal objective of this study. Furthermore, given the importance placed on both EPOC as well as POS (Pei-Li, 2017), the concerned literature is lacking in the conceptualization of EPOC and POS as interacting antecedents and this has also been considered a research gap and thus forms a primary purpose of this study.

In this connection, EPOC, promulgated historically and sustained contextually, gives the organization and by extension, its members their professional identity (Ipek & Tanyeri, 2021). Thus, EPOC is a set of core values that employees strongly adhere to and regularly manifest during mutual interactions (Chong et al., 2018). Once acquired, employees act out these organizationally preferred norms of behavior that define their perceived organizational culture and subsequently form the basis for their organizational identification (Gao et al., 2020). Ergo, the employee-organization relationship that is initiated as an economic exchange, once initiated, becomes driven by employees' motivation, satisfaction, and aspirations which are further dependent upon their favorable perceptions of their organization in terms of a conducive culture and adequacy of occupational support (Neves & Eisenberger, 2014). Specifically, it strengthens their value congruence with the organization and subsequently, they feel obligated to react favorably with positive attitudes and behaviors (Dawley et al., 2008).

EPOC, POS & Organizational Identification

Employees' perceived organizational culture (EPOC) refers to their conceptions regulating their behavioral synchronicity with co-workers through shared norms, values, and beliefs (Jin & Lee, 2021). Consequently, EPOC has been found to result in employees' attitudes and behaviors that give them a sense of concordance with their organization (Baek et al., 2019). It also serves in defining the organization's boundaries thus demarcating the 'internal' and 'external' organizational environment thereby triggering employees' sense of organizational identity (Ciampa et al., 2021). As a result, the first hypothesis is postulated as follows.

Hypothesis 1 (H1). Employees' perceptions of organizational culture are positively associated with their organizational identification.

As per the social identity theory (SIT), organizations that display a sense of safety, security, and care towards their employees motivate the latter towards stronger organizational identification (Zhao et al., 2018). As such, POS which is based on a social reciprocation between an organization and its employees and which depends on employees' convictions about how supportive and empathetic their organization is towards them, reinforces their levels of organizational identification (Shkoler et al., 2021).

Additionally, while the link between EPOC and organizational identification helps describe the process of employees' personalization of organizationally shared values, beliefs, and norms, POS help them justify why they should personalize these organizational assumptions and how the overlap of the organization's characteristics with their own can be beneficial to them (Ismail & Baki, 2017). This implies that EPOC which is complementary to employees' well-being along with POS generates a greater sense of belongingness to their organization (Choi et al., 2014). Accordingly, the following hypotheses are posited.

Hypothesis 2 (H2). Employees' perceived organizational support is positively related to their levels of organizational identification.

Hypothesis 3 (H3). Perceived organizational support interacts with employees' perceptions of organizational culture to enhance employees' organizational identification.

Organizational Identification, OCBs & CWBs

A review of the relevant literature suggests when employees socially identify themselves with their organization, they are enthused intrinsically to act in a discretionary manner for the welfare of their employer (Erturk, 2007). Thus, employees' self-congruence with their organization as evinced by their organizational identification spurs them to undertake civic and altruistic activities as good Samaritans, in other words, display their organizational citizenship behaviors (OCBs) (Zhao et al., 2021).

Moreover, as a corollary, when employees experience organizational identification, they keep away from activities that may be disruptive to their organization's functioning (Cooper-Thomas et al., 2013). Such behaviors and activities that are labeled as counterproductive work behaviors (CWBs) shall, therefore, be contrary to reciprocity norms that are expected as outcomes of EPOC and POS and employees' organizational identification (Qin et al., 2021). Based on this discussion, the following hypotheses are put forward.

Hypothesis 4 (H4). Employees' organizational identification is positively linked to their organizational citizenship behaviors.

Hypothesis 5 (H5). Employees' organizational identification is negatively associated with their counterproductive work behaviors.

A review of the study hypotheses proffered so far illustrates the likelihood of organizational identification as a possible intervening variable. Therefore, the following hypothesis is presented.

Hypothesis 6 (H6). Employees' organizational identification shall mediate the linkages between the primary antecedents that is, employees' perceptions of organizational culture, perceived organizational support, and their interaction, and the final consequences namely, organizational citizenship behaviors and counterproductive work behaviors.

All the study hypotheses propounded so far are assimilated and presented as a latent variable model (LVM) in Fig. 1 which is then subjected to further empirical testing.

Sample & Procedures

Data for this study were collected through a random survey conducted in...

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