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A national identity perspective on collectivistic attitudes and perception of organisational culture

Rebekka Vedina (Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Insitute of Management and Marketing, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia)
Maaja Vadi (Faculty of Economics and Business Administration, Insitute of Management and Marketing, University of Tartu, Tartu, Estonia)

Baltic Journal of Management

ISSN: 1746-5265

Article publication date: 16 May 2008

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to explore the relationships between collectivistic attitudes and organisational culture (OC) perception among Russian‐speaking employees in Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania, and to explain the findings from the national identity perspective.

Design/methodology/approach

The study applies a survey method and uses the original scales developed at the University of Tartu. Collectivistic attitudes of individuals are grouped according to three levels of relationships, namely, relationships with family, peers (including co‐workers), or society. Collectivistic attitudes are measured on five‐point Likert‐type scale. Perceptions of OC are measured alongside the task and relationship orientations on ten‐point Likert‐type scale.

Findings

Collectivistic attitudes towards one's nation are found to be related to the perception of one's OC on both orientations. It was found that differences in the strength of these relationships in the Latvian sample are associated with the self‐reported nationality of the respondents and suggest similar tendencies in the Lithuanian sample. The authors propose that collectivistic attitudes of respondents basing the construction of their national identity on ethnic and linguistic grounds could have stronger positive connections with OC than those of respondents whose national identity formation was based on citizenship and assimilation.

Research limitations/implications

Positive emotional connection with society and nation provides ground for supporting organisational tasks and relationships. National identity construction can further influence these relations. Limitations: the proposed relationships are hypothetical and are limited to the Latvian sample.

Practical implications

In organisations, human resource strategies should be formulated that support developing or retaining one's sense of national or within‐group identity, which will facilitate maintaining strong ties with the organisation.

Originality/value

This paper provides insight for managers, academics and students on the role of identity construction in revealing employee attachment to their organisation.

Keywords

Citation

Vedina, R. and Vadi, M. (2008), "A national identity perspective on collectivistic attitudes and perception of organisational culture", Baltic Journal of Management, Vol. 3 No. 2, pp. 129-144. https://doi.org/10.1108/17465260810875479

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited