The idealized self and the situated self as predictors of employee work behaviors

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Farmer, Steven M.
Van Dyne, Linn

The Journal of applied psychology. 2010 May; 95(3): 503-16.


This article presents a model integrating research on idealized and situated selves. Our key premise is that identity-relevant behaviors are most likely to occur in the workplace when identities are psychologically central and activating forces make those identities salient. Analysis of matched data from 278 employees, supervisors, and organizational records generally supported our model. Helping identity and industrious work identity were positively associated with related role behaviors only when time-based occupancy in the role of organization member was high. Industrious work identity was positively associated with role behaviors only when reflected appraisals from coworkers were consistent with that identity. In contrast, reflected appraisal of helping identity had an independent relationship with identity-relevant role behaviors. Results demonstrate the importance of theory linking the idealized self and the situated self to understanding identity relations with work performances.

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