To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

Organizational commitment: exploring the role of identity

Leila Afshari (Department of Management, Sport, and Tourism, La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia)
Suzanne Young (La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia)
Paul Gibson (RMIT University, Melbourne, Australia)
Leila Karimi (La Trobe University, Melbourne, Australia)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 15 November 2019

Issue publication date: 23 March 2020




The purpose of this paper is to enhance the understanding of how identification process is associated with development of organizational commitment.


A mixed-method approach incorporating surveys and interviews was employed. Data were obtained from a manufacturing organization in Australia. A clustering method was employed to identify commitment profiles. Respondents belonging to the clusters representing commitment profiles associated with desirable organizational outcomes were identified for the qualitative stage of the research.


The results showed that both organizational identity and professional/occupational identity are positively linked to the development of organizational commitment. An in-depth analysis of the qualitative data demonstrated that engagement of personal/individual level of self in identification process enhances the development of organizational commitment.

Practical implications

The findings suggest that human resource managers can build an effective identification process by strengthening feelings of organizational identity and creating a positive organizational image.


To the best of the author’s knowledge, this study is the first to employ a mixed-method approach to explore the relationship between organizational commitment and identification process. A mixed-method approach, on the one hand, enabled us to build on the existing objectivist commitment literature and explore commitment profiles, and on the other hand, it allowed us to provide a more complete and contextual portrayal of organizational commitment and identification process through qualitative interpretive strategies.



Afshari, L., Young, S., Gibson, P. and Karimi, L. (2020), "Organizational commitment: exploring the role of identity", Personnel Review, Vol. 49 No. 3, pp. 774-790.



Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2019, Emerald Publishing Limited

Related articles