Title: Which Identities Matter? A Mixed-Method Study of Group, Organizational, and Professional Identities and Their Relationship to Burnout
Authors: John C. Lammers, Yannick L. Atouba, and Elizabeth J. Carlson
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.