| 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.