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       Organizational Identification
        and Participative Leadership

 
Organizational identification reflects the extent to which one's sense
of self is linked to being part of an organization.  People who have a
significant sense of organizational identification may feel a sense of
oneness with the organization.  If people can express their personality
in their work, and they believe that the work is important in the
organization, they may be likely to have a significant sense of
organizational identification.
   Members of an organization may need to have a significant feeling
of organizational identification to be dedicated to the organization.  
For example, if a person feels that his or her creative ability is linked
to important decisions, the person may be highly dedicated to the
organization.
   One significant problem in organizations may be a lack of
organizational identification.  This may result in reduced job
motivation and quitting.
   One possible solution to the problem of a lack of organizational
identification is participative leadership.   The participative leadership
style is a democratic leadership style.
   There may be a number of definitions of participative leadership.  
One possible definition of participative leadership is that it reflects
the extent to which members of an organization contribute to the
important decisions in an organization.  
This contribution exists on a
continuum.  At one end of the continuum, the members of the
organization may make no contribution to the decisions making
process.  Their ideas are not utilized or considered when making
decisions.  Leaders or managers may make the decisions without any
consultation with the members or employees.  On the other end of the
continuum, the leaders or managers may consult with members or
employees for every important decision.  They are asked for their
advice, and each idea that is presented by a member or employee is
carefully considered for each important decision. There may be
brainstorming.
   Participative leadership may increase organizational identification
because the members of the organization feel that their views are
valued and important.  Moreover, they may more clearly see how their
identity is linked to the organization.  It may be easier to see how their
personality, interests, and abilities are related to achieving the goals in
the organization.
   It is important for the participative leader to develop guidelines
concerning participative leadership.  Not every idea is a good idea, or
can be utilized in every decision.  These guidelines would concern how
the ideas will be utilized in the decision making process.  There may
need to be guidelines for determining what  is considered a good idea,
what type of expertise should be considered for each important
decision, and the selection process for deciding which ideas will be
utilized in each important decision.