Changing identity: predicting adjustment to organizational restructure as a function of subgroup and superordinate identification

Br J Soc Psychol. 2002 Jun;41(Pt 2):281-97. doi: 10.1348/014466602760060147.


We investigated a work-team restructure within an organization obtaining measures before and after the change occurred. Pre-restructure analyses revealed that, in addition to informational variables, subgroup identification (work-team) and superordinate identification (organization) were important predictors of negative feelings towards the restructure. The more that employees identified with the subgroup, the more negative feelings they reported about the upcoming change. In contrast, the higher the identification with the superordinate group, the less negative employees felt. Longitudinal analysis revealed that compared with the pre-restructure, post-restructure levels of work-team identification, organizational identification, job satisfaction and perceived work-team performance were significantly lower. Pre-restructure work-team identification was a stronger predictor of post-restructure job satisfaction than pre-restructure organizational identification. In addition, it was found that pre-restructure work-team identification and organizational identification had opposing effects on post-restructure organizational identification. There was some evidence that high initial organizational identification protected long-term organizational commitment.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Psychological
  • Humans
  • Interpersonal Relations
  • Organizational Innovation*
  • Social Adjustment*
  • Social Identification*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires