This research investigated how experiences in a particular boundary-spanning context (community outreach) affected members’ organizational identity and identification. Multimethod panel data from 219 participants showed that intergroup comparisons with clients (emphasizing differences) and intragroup comparisons with other organization members (emphasizing similarities) changed how members construed their organization’s defining qualities. Intergroup comparisons also enhanced the esteem members derived from organizational membership, which, in turn, strengthened organizational identification. Supervisors reported higher interpersonal cooperation and work effort for members whose organizational identification became stronger. The results reveal potential outcomes of boundary-spanning work as well as how organizational identification processes operate in everyday work contexts.
Bartel, C. A. (2001). Social comparisons in boundary-spanning work: Effects of community outreach on members’ organizational identity and identification. Administrative Science Quarterly, 46(3), 379-413.