Defined by our hierarchy? How hierarchical positions shape our identifications and well-being at work
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© The Author(s) 2014. We explore the influence of hierarchy on workers’ identification and well-being. Specifically, we hypothesize that the accessibility of different identity targets will vary according to the distinct priorities and perspectives found at different hierarchical levels, and that this will have implications for the identification and well-being of workers operating in these different positions. Testing our predictions in a sample of 789 naval personnel we find strong support for our hypotheses. Specifically, we find that individuals in operational positions identify strongly with their career and functional workgroups and that these attachments are important in predicting their affective well-being. In contrast, the identifications and well-being of personnel in mid-level and strategic positions are more strongly tied to career and organizational identities respectively. This research provides new insights into the nature and impact of patterns of identification in the workplace, with important theoretical and practical implications for the affective well-being of workers.
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