Identification and commitment as a catalyst of a strong organizational citizenship behavior on the shop floor level of manufacturing companies

Development of intervention possibilities for a consulting approach

Master's Thesis, 2006

147 Pages, Grade: 1.3


image 37ee88d390a0908a8c738318263a7526


image add391cdf522543144edd9c1cffef2e5

2 / 147

3 / 147


7 / 147


I am very thankful to the always friendly I-IMC staff at the Ludwigshafen School of Applied Science, especially to Mrs. Bitsch and the team of the bibliography, who supplied me with numerous scientific papers in a fast and uncomplicated way. I am very grateful to my dissertation supervisor Prof. Dr. Rolf-Dieter Reineke for his support and encouragement to pursue this dissertation.

I am deeply thankful for the support of Prof. Dr. Walter Bungard, Prof. Dr. Rolf van Dick and Dr. Ingela Jöns: for their time and friendly cooperation during the interviews. Special thanks to Prof. Dr. Bungard for his additional support and guidance several times.

Last but definitely not least, I am expressing my gratitude to my parents for their love, practical support and simply being there for me when I needed them the most.

8 / 147


Therefore, the aim of this paper is

(a) the empirical proof of a positive connection between OCB respectively CIP efforts among employees and identification or rather commitment.

(b) is the development of a holistic consulting approach based on the found insights to increase the participation in the CIP with the help of identification and commitment.

A consulting approach is derived from the theoretical and empirical insights. The approach includes 12 segments that are structured according to the basic structure of a consulting product. The aim of the consulting approach is the systematic composition of affective and cognitive identification and commitment with the identification objects task, product and company. The concept of the consulting approach is structured in such a way that other relevant identification objects can be used for other aims than the increase of the CIP efforts among employees.

9 / 147


Consequently, three things accumulated:

- The insight that the success of a pure use of “hard improvement methods” (for instance lean manufacturing) is limited and that the limited part were not the methods themselves, but the human beings who use them or rather should use them.

- My aroused interest for the theories of Nikolai D. Kontratieff and the conclusions of the current literature about the 6. Kontratieff (see chapter 1.2.)

- And the search for a topic for my MBA-dissertation

1 The Kaizen-Office can bee seen as a very basic internal lean-manufacturing consulting department of a production center.

Kaizen: Japanese approach to productivity improvement; ('Kai') means 'change' and ('zen') means 'good';

10 / 147

Aims of the dissertation

The world automotive industry in the 21 st century is faced with many transformational challenges and the great majority of manufacturing companies worldwide is looking for sustainable solutions to these challenges in order to secure a profitable and attractive future for their existence. One solution seems to be the “lean-production-wave” with its popular and very successful challenger Toyota. However, today most of the successful European manufacturers in the automotive industry implemented the lean-manufacturing or “Kaizen” strategy and created their own production system. A second solution was found in the increased use of integrated business software (e.g. SAP) in the industrial area of business. Today, nearly all industrial enterprises use well linked integrated business software to control all production and non-production processes, remarkable increases in productivity followed. The need to these integrated business software leads to the breathtaking success of enterprises like SAP or Oracle.

Through the use of lean manufacturing principles and the implementation of integrated business software many European manufactures improved their processes dramatically - since that time competition has been harder than before.

By improving their processes, European manufacturers mainly focus on “hard methods” - direct ways to increase quality, improve delivery service and decrease costs. Most of them have been very successful in recent years. Despite, most of them recognized that it is getting harder and harder to achieve new potentials with these direct or “hard methods” of increasing productivity.

2 TPS: Toyota-Production-System

11 / 147

New challenges are additional and unique ways to face the competition - in this case the more effective use of the entire human capital could be one solution.

The work will research the constructs organizational identification (OI), organizational commitment and organizational citizenship behavior (OCB) under special consideration of the dimensions and foci of these constructs.

Therefore, the following hypothesis and research question have to be considered: Hypothesis 1:

Employees’ organizational identification will be positively related to continuous improvement efforts among employees.

Research question:

Which dimension and foci of organizational identification and commitment are positively related to OCB in manifestation of employees’ continuous improvement efforts.

Abstract methodology

12 / 147

end of the desk research, a model is being developed with the help of the theoretical insights and, once again, the hypotheses of this work will be specified more detailed.

As a start, the hypotheses are presented and reasoned in the empirical part. With the help of several studies that are already carried out, a questionnaire is being compiled. Hypotheses of this work will be tested with this questionnaire. A particular technique is used here - the Repertory Grid Technique. This special technique allows an examination of several dimensions and foci of these constructs in an efficient manner. This model that has been created in field research is being examined on a basis of a quantitative, deductive and theory testing analysis. The results of the survey via questionnaires will be examined statistically and analytically afterwards; mainly factor analyses and correlation analyses will be used here. Semi-structured interviews with experts should help to secure and further consolidate the results of the questioning.

In the last part, the conclusions of desk and field research are summarized and intervention possibilities for a consulting approach are worked out with elaborations from chapter 2.

Plan of the Dissertation

Several definitions of management consulting are given and the main elements of the consulting process are described in chapter two. Certain aspects of the consulting process mentioned in this chapter are used at the development of the intervention possibilities of a consulting approach.

The benefit, especially OCB and continuous improvement efforts among employees, of identification and commitment are described in chapter 4. Especially the dimensions and foci of OCB and the participation in the CIP as manifestation of OCB are dealt with. At the end of this chapter, a model is derived from the founded conclusions in chapter 3 and 4. This model outlines the relations between OI, commitment and OCB.

13 / 147

chapter the research findings, implications, conclusions as well as topics for future research are discussed.


Uses of terms

14 / 147



also to associations, schools et cetera - even the family is an organization. Once again, the three main objectives of every economic company are mentioned here: survival Æ profit Æ growth

Two approaches are consulted: At first, there is the very practical and successful approach of Lean Manufacturing that is undisputed today. A second starting point is the scientific and philosophic „Theory of the long economic waves“- the Kondratieff cycles - that is not widespread up to today.

„Manufacturing has become the loss-leading activity for many corporations that design and produce engineered products. Factories have become magnets for material, labor and infrastructure that are not longer required to generate earnings. The latest trend for original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) is to outsource manufacturing … „ (Booz Allen & Hamilton, 2001, p.3)

15 / 147

Mass production caused an enormous increase in productivity from the time of industrialization up to the eighties, but it proves to be hardly appropriate for the present and future time. One of the founders of the traditional mass production in the automotive sector was Henry ford with his most significant innovation: the moving assembly line. Despite many advantages in productivity, mass production was all the time characterized through: up to 10 percent defective production, large batch sizes, long production runs, long changeovers, long queues, planed rework stations. Despite this multitude of disadvantages, this production principle was introduced in almost all producing companies worldwide until the eighties.

„Competition has always driven the quest for „better, faster, cheaper“ products and processes. Nowadays, staying in the game demands superb answers to increase product complexity, product proliferation, shorter product life-cycles, rapid development of new technologies, and fiercer competition“ (McKinsey, Automotive&Assembly, p.6)

Moving the production into „low-wage“ countries seemed to be a possible approach to fulfill these new challenges for many companies. With the help of this method it was possible to lower the expenses for employees and thus the total production costs fast and easily. Because of social responsibility and negative public reputation it is not always possible to dismiss thousands of employees and to remove the jobs into foreign countries.

Jim Womack shows further reasons why it does not always make sense to go the way that seems to be the easiest.

- costs of additional safety stocks

- costs of expensive expedited shipments

- costs of warranty claims if the new facility has a long learning curve

- costs of out-of-stocks and lost sales caused by long lead times

- cost of slow freight to get it to your costumer

- overhead costs allocated to production in high-wage location

- connectivity costs of many sorts in managing product hand-offs and information flows in highly complex supply chains across long distances in countries with different business practices

- currency risks (a short extract of: „Move Your Opperation to China? Do some lean math first.“ J.Womack,

16 / 147

Caused by the problems described, a multitude of programs and systems came up. (Business Process Reengineering, Constraint management, Total Quality Management and so on) - but there is only a small number with a holistic approach.

With the beginning of the 21st century, the term and idea “Lean” gains more and more importance, it is a break with traditional production principles as for instance mass production. „In their search for a sustainable and holistic manufacturing system, companies world-wide focus more and more their attention on one company and its production philosophy and system, which proved to be extremely successful over the last 50 years: Toyota and the Toyota Production System (TPS).“ (Ene. 2004, p.19)

It will be so far in 2007 at the latest: Toyota is the biggest automobile manufacturer in the world - regarding the shareholder value and the profit Toyota is it today.

With its „2010 Global vision“, the automotive company set itself the goal to increase the worldwide market share from 10% to 15%

17 / 147

In such a production system, the workforce tasks change dramatically. Employees perform many of the roles formerly done by industrial engineers, manufacturing engineers, maintenance specialist and quality control. Employees are supposed to think about their work all the time and should improve it constantly. The main tasks of the supervisors and the management change: they consider themselves more as a coach than as a leader„… the organizational structure can be flattened significantly, leaving fewer layers and fewer indirect support staff, since many of these functions have been designed out of the system or have been dispersed in the new horizontally focused structure“(TTL, p.37).

image 738cee09f6437e88790685c7e0370753

Figure 1: Compare to management orientation Toyota western companies (source: Andos Innovative Management Systems Ltd.)

Maybe it is just this diagram that shows the basis for the essential and long-termed success of Toyota.

“Lean is much more than techniques. It is a way of thinking a whole-systems-approach that creates a culture in which everyone in the organization continuously improves their process and production” J. Liker

18 / 147

Barriers to Lean manufacturing

The fact that no company has been able to repeat the success of Toyota up to now shows that it seems to be very hard to change over to the Lean Philosophy. Currently, the insight that a pure copying of visible tools does not bring any success diffuses widely.

The system and the way of thinking of Toyota have to be understood - consequently „understanding and not just copying.“ With the help of a study 4 in the UK and a study of the LEI (Lean Enterprise Institute), the following barriers arise when implementing lean:

- company culture

- lack of understandig of the approach

- attitude of the staff

- backsliding to the old ways of working

- resistance by middle management

- resistance by supervisors

Keys to Lean success

Considering the points that are generally seen as factors of success concerning a Lean implementation, one can also recognize very easily - the factor “human being” is the deciding criterion:

- prepare and motivate people

- employee involvement

- atmosphere of experimentation

- share information and manage expectations

- identify and empower champions (source: Ene, 2004, p.29) Just regarding the fundamental principle that concerning Lean Manufacturing mainly the blue-collar workers play a deciding key role (they are the motor for new ideas and improvements) shows the importance of the factor human being in case of a successful implementation.

“Continuous improvement is the propensity of an organisation to pursue incremental and innovative improvements of its processes, products and services” (Lee, 2004, p.623). Nowadays it is not only acknowledged in the automotive sector that became a pioneer, but also in the service sector or in the

19 / 147

financing sector that the CIP is a strategically element within the constantly increasing competition worldwide. Since traditional priorities and practices of mass production are being challenged by the new paradigm of Lean production blue collar workers’ effort to decrease costs, improve delivery and quality are seen as critical in enhancing companies’ competitiveness. (Storey, 1994)

image 19639ef88ca40fddef2ff9e4d268f122

- ƒ Massive improvements in labour productivity

- ƒ Increased share of payables in total inventory through

Figure 2: Impact of KVP used by Lean manufacturing (based on: McKinsey Automotive and Assembly, p.3)

A critical question is whether employees embody a broader and more proactive approach to their roles in which they feel responsible for work beyond their immediate operational tasks. More human resource-based methods have proved to have profound effects on continuous improvement activities among blue collar workers. “Its primary aim is to reform psychological and/or

20 / 147

attitudinal states of employees in order to achieve the goal of continuous improvement efforts by employees.” (Lee, 2004, p.624) In the opinion of the author organizational identification and commitment are two candidates for the human based determinants of continuous improvement.

The XXXX Corporation belongs to the XXXX business unit ‘busses’ and demonstrates all XXXX activities in this segment. Moreover, the XXXX Corporation has the leading role in the worldwide bus activities of XXX. At the end of the nineties, the bus business was faced with a serious crisis - the business unit has to become more profitable for further engagements of DC in the omnibus market. XXXX had the common problems of many German industrial enterprises at that time: high labour cost, high inventory, non satisfying quality, long delivery times. A possible solution was found in the introduction and expansion of an holistic CIP approach.

Th company has an IT-based employee suggestion system. Every employee (or two or more employees together) can enter a suggestion for improvement. Afterwards, this proposal is assessed by the supervisor (possibly with the help of a specialist) and, as there is a cognizable use for the company, the proposal is awarded and will finally be realized.

Another approach is seen in the introduction of corporation-wide Kaizen-Workshops. This procedure proved to be very successful in the following years. According to this, a Kaizen organization was implemented with the help of an external consultancy in 1997. In a narrower sense, Kaizen means a constant improvement that includes managers as well as employees. According to a Japanese translation, the word Kai means “change” and Zen means “to the better”. Main principles are: 1) the comprehension of all employees, 2) incremental improvement; gradual optimization; 3) no high investments; 4) “Just Do it” = immediate implementation. In the Japanese practice, Kaizen is mainly known as the philosophy of the “everlasting change”. First of all, some pilot workshops were made, the management was sensitized and Kaizen trainers were qualified 5 . Kaizen offices 6 were installed in the production departments. Since then, Kaizen-Workshops (duration: five days) have been carried out continuously in the whole production. Gradually, the employees have been qualified in the Kaizen procedure. Since 2003, Kaizen workshops have also been carried out through foremen of the production - with this step, the CIP was established as an inherent part of task of every manager and supervisor in the production.

21 / 147

ƒ CIP within the scope of group work

As a form of organization of the lowest level, the principle of group work is used. That means that the smallest organizational entity is a group with an elected spokesman. Work allocation, organization of vacation, group meetings, advancing the teamwork belong to these group tasks. Qualification and permanent optimization of the working systems, structure and occupational safety belong to it as well. Consequently, the CIP is a fundamental component of group work. The group has to optimize itself continuously during their work and group meeting. The management has to support the groups in doing so.

“The long waves of economy” - this was the title of an article of Nikolai Kondratieff, which was published in a German professional journal in 1926. In this article, Kontratieff postulates the existence of periodically long phases of the economic revivals and the recession. He describes a duration of the single phases of 45 to 60 years. In honour of Kondratieff, these cycles of the long economic waves were named Kondratieff cycles. (Nefiodow, 2001) „One of the advantages of the theory of the long waves is the possibility of a holistic access to the problems of the time. It is basically the only scientific theory that helps to explain the interactions of technical, economical, social and cultural development in a convincing way. […] We can recognize more and more clearly that the society is something integral or holistic and that a lot of its problems will remain unsolved if they are only dealt with in the limits of individual disciplines.” (Nefiodow, 2001, p.2)

developments. Kondratieff himself was only able to describe two complete waves in 1926. He mainly used descriptively statistical data of Germany, France, England and USA (Hagemeister, 2001). The Kondratieff cycles are caused by certain technical-economical innovations, which are called basic innovations in the following text. At the beginning, these waves of economy cycles and recession were seen as purely economical. But economy and society are connected with each other very closely. “The Kondratieff cycle is much more than an economical cycle. It is a value chain, caused by basic innovations and it influences the economical growth for several decades in a deciding way including

22 / 147

nearly all fields in society. In other words: It is a process of reorganization of the entire society that happens with the aim to exploit large fields of demands with the help of basic innovations.” (Nefiedow, 2001, p. 4)

information ? petrochemistry, technology electro technology,

image 16c055d83350c1dc199b2dc0090c15b0

steam engine,

1780 20?? 1980 1940 1890 1850

Figure 3: Long economic waves and their basis-innovation (based on Hagemeister, 2001, p. 18; and Nefiodow, 2001, p.3)

For this paper, mainly the fifth and in future the sixth Kondratieff have a special importance. This is the reason for the closer description of these two cycles in the following text.

Critics see in these waves only external coincidence, revolutions, wars, new discoveries of gold and so on. But according to Kondratieff, cause and effect are confused here. (Händeler, 2005) “No, not wars do firstly influence the economic cycle. But as there are changes of (economical) power in times of high tensions in economical growth, wars are mainly arising just before the maximum of a long-termed upswing (also to get limited resources) - such as, for instance, the Napoleonic wars in the first Kondratieff, as well as World War One in the third Kondratieff cycle. […] The Russian October th were during Revolution took place at the peak of the electrification. The student unrests of the 1968 the dynamic spread of the automobile in the fourth Kondratieff” (Händeler, 2005, p. 27/28). Also other events in society follow the cycles: In phases of a long upswing, the society has more leftwing tendencies and becomes more liberal because of the higher economical security - the same reasons are responsible for the increasing birth-rates. “Long waves are not only an economical process but also a process of extensive new organization that is related to society as a whole” (Händeler, 2005, p.31).

23 / 147

downward trend. This happened for instance, as another extension of the railway network did not lead to new increases in productivity- the second Kondratieff came into a cyclical downturn.

1.2.2 The 5 th Kondratieff - Human being: the new row material

the economical field but also the whole society. The information technology is the basic innovation of the fifth Kondratieff and from that time on, it is the most important support of the economy. No other technology influences the economical innovation process that much, influenced the cultural and social change.

Data Communications processing

image 4c6152e3c83c28e97c499cc16e88d45f

Figure 4: The value chain of information technology (Nefiodow, 2001, p.15)

24 / 147

The consumption of energy and the economic growth were proportional to each other up to the late 1970th. In all cycles before, the economical development was always based on exploiting and on using new amounts of energy and raw material (Nefiodow, 2001).

There are only two factors in the theory of systems that make growth possible: energy and information. If the consumption of energy cannot be increased anymore or the increased growth does not lead to new growth, there only remains information as a factor of growth. This change happened in the Seventies - and the end of the industrial society began. Since this time, the productive and creative handling of information has been deciding for the economical and social success. Energy Information

image 173b11867dd3e299a50c1c3fbfbe7383

Figure 5: From an industrial to an information society (based on Nefiodow, 2001, p.13)

„What predominantly matters now are attributes as the willingness to learn, handling of knowledge,

thinking in systems, the ability to communicate and to create and maintain relationships. Additionally to

material demands, spiritual, psychological and ecological needs came into the fore. As the human

being is the most important producer, carrier, agent, user and consumer of information, his

informational needs and potentials come into the fore of the structural change.” (Nefiodow, 2001, p.14)

Nefiodow (2001) shows 10 criterions that clearly separate the information society from the industrial

society. Productivity and qualification are the most important ones for this work and they are dealt with

in more detail at the end of this table:

image af3d2220a887f7ed5bd9c67b272d5684

Figure 6: Success criteria of the information society (based on Nefiowow, 2001, p.23-39)

25 / 147

ƒ Qualification

In the industrial society, most of the blue-collar workers had very poor qualification. Jobs on the assembly line or on a machine were easy to learn. Manpower should be “cheap, obedient and exchangeable” (Nefiodow, 2001, p.29) in the first instance. An employee in the information society has to have a totally different qualification: He has to have a technical education of several years, he has to be able to work independently as well as in a team and he has to prepare for lifelong learning. The work on the assembly line or on the machine was mostly designed to be done by one single worker. But work in the information sector is reliant on communication and cooperation, it has to be cooperated with other people in a productive and creative way.

“The ability to cooperate and to create and maintain relationships becomes a central qualification feature in the information economy (Nefiodow, 2001, p.30). “The value of a company, the Goodwill, the imaginary capital is defined through the stability of these relationships […] The contracts of employment with those employees, who have the experience and the knowledge, and their commitment to the company are called human capital”. (Resch)

Studies in the USA show that the productivity of the information jobs has improved insignificantly in the years between 1960 - 1990. This circumstance is mainly interesting as there were made lots of investments in the information technology at this time (Nefiodow, 2001). Once again, this clearly point out that increases in productivity in the information sector can not be reached anymore only with hardware-investments […]. To reach productivity progresses, it increasingly depends on the human capital as well as on new “soft” competencies like the ability to cooperate and willingness to perform (civic virtue).” (Nefiodow, 2001, p. 35). It was already indicated several times in this work that improvements of productivity are indispensable for a society in the free market economy. If these are missing, mass unemployment, underemployment and the losses of prosperity will follow.

26 / 147

According to this, the structures and markets of tomorrow develop on the shortages of today” (Händeler, 2005, p.108/109). There will not be a new ”steam engine” that makes our minds more productive. “In the information society, the deciding capital equipment does not belong any longer to the company, but to the employees.” (Händeler, 2005, p.110)

th Kondratieff The 6

Nefiodow (2001) prognoses the health market 8 as a new motor of growth and in his opinion, the most important barrier of growth is the “inadequate productivity of interpersonal relations” (Nefiodow, 2001, p.127).

According to him, two candidates cause the sixth Kondratieff and will carry it: psychosocial health and 9 biotechnology . 1. „The greatest misrouted resources at the end of the fifth Kondratieff […] anxiety, mobbing, aggression, conflict, frustration, drugs, crime-rate, divorces, ruined families, increasing mental troubles und diseases may picture the biggest resource of productivity and growth all over the world. A basic innovation that influences the structural change in the first part of the 21st century is the improvement of the psychosocial health.” (Nefiodow, 2001, p. 137)

2. The innovation potentials of the biotechnology can only be categorized as huge. The biotechnology “will change the whole health sector […], the environmental protection, agriculture, the electrical power supply, the information technology, nutrition and the social, ethical and mental life in a fundamental way” (Nefiodow, 2001, p.139).

steam engine, steal, electro technology, petrochemistry, psychosocial healthiness information cotton train chemistry automobil bio technology technology

information, mass individual healthiness

communication clothing transport consumption mobility

image 2eb5a576630235a01440db075bb80cdf

1780 20?? 1980 1940 1890 1850

Figure 7: Basis innovation and their most important areas of application (based on Nefiodow, 2001, p.133)

27 / 147

The deciding factors today are productivity improvements. But not better machines are responsible for the productivity improvements within the information society, but a better education, better cooperation, better management, better organization, better health, motivation and research (Nefiodow, 2001). Consequently, better human skills are the deciding factor. „Human competency has been and still is the most important source of productivity“ (Nefiodow, 2001, p. 142)

(Nefiodow, 2001, p. 149)

image 263f80213e507848c5d771a5cc572064

Figure 8: Qualification demand of employees in the information society (Nefiodow, 2001, p.31)

28 / 147

as a whole (of all employees), these qualifications can neither be copied, nor be bought (for instance by a competitor). This is also decisive for employees and labour representatives, as these two qualifications also cannot be relocated or copied to another (foreign) location - like for instance machines, software or processes.

From the psychological point of view, expert knowledge is a cognitive attribute, but cooperation ability and willingness to perform are psychosocial competencies. Here it is deciding that these two competencies are gained in two entirely different ways.

The importance of the expert knowledge will increasingly drop within a globalized world, the importance of cooperation ability and willingness to perform will increase (Nefiodow, 2001) - this makes a rethinking of strategies (spec. HR strategies) indispensably.

29 / 147


2.1 Origins and Definitions of Management Consulting

“Management consulting is advice and assistance at development and implementation of solution to problems in all economical, technical and administrational functional area. The management consultant is the person who operates totally and only on the client’s assignment and in clients’ best interests” (BDU e. V., Association of Management Consulting Firms, Germany)

Management consultants often submit to a code of occupation and ethics as for instance the Association of Management Consulting Firms (AMCF) or the Association of German Management Consultants incorporated society (BDU). These normally include the following elements: distributors or other market partners of the customer must be dealt with.

objectivity of advice in consideration of all chances and risks.

competence: giving advice only in fields with a provable competence of the management consultant

confidentiality: none of the knowledge and information earned from the consulting process can fall into the hands of a third person. (source:

30 / 147

Broader interests in other dimensions of business organizations have led to new areas of consulting: e.g public sector, strategy, selling and marketing, finance, human relations.

2.2 The management consulting process

2.2.1. Phases of the consulting process

acquisition: The discussion about a topic that is suitable to be a project is the interface to the phase of acquisition. Ideally for the consultant, this phase ends up with the request for a proposal. The consultant has to convince the potential client of his know-how and his competence in this phase.

consulting: The consulting phase is the most important part of the consulting project - this is were the consultant does his job. The consulting phase is structured in several sub phases. In this part of the consulting process, intervention possibilities that have to be elaborated in this work are used. As this is very important for the objectives of this work, there is a closer look on the sub phases in chapter 2.3.

31 / 147

image 1bc2b5c854bfd9b0a08ac400f190deb8

Figure 9: phases of the consulting process (own illustration)

It is important for a high productivity of the consultant that the analysis structure and the solution alternatives do not have to be “developed” again all the time. Professional consulting companies standardize successful and individual ways of solving a problem and market these like products. Thus, for instance, the product value analysis or value analysis of overheads came into being in the first years of the management consulting. Such products are nothing else than “skeletal flow charts of the phases and the input of methods of a certain solving procedure”. (Niedereichholz, 2004, p.12). It is stated in this procedure what the contents of the as-is analysis should be, what should be taken into account concerning the to-be concept and how the structure of the problem solving will look like at the end. Within this scope, any customized adjustments are made.

For the intervention possibilities of a consulting approach that have to be developed, the following has to be considered:

- there has to be the opportunity to standardize

- neutral for every client and industry

- possibility of abstraction into a phase procedure

2.2.3 Consulting product stencil and structure of a consulting approach

32 / 147

interest for the objectives of this MBA-dissertation. That is why there is now a detailed consideration of this phase. In the majority of cases of carrying out a consulting project it is fallen back on the following structure:

image 3d8432a6d306be09e6cdff7f74789ead

Documentation, Controlling, Quality management

Figure 10: standardized phases of a consulting project (own illustration)

image 2532bfb524e346645afd78717759b046

. . .

. . . . . .

Figure 11: stencil of a consulting product (example, source Niedereichholz, 2004)

33 / 147

Adapted to the product stencil, a quality assurance should be integrated in every project. For this reason, also quality criterions of possible phases and segments should be considered for the consulting approach that has to be drawn up.

image 2d776fb4632588fa91d5654ca084f179

Figure 12: quality assurance in a consulting project (source: Niedereichholz, 2004)

34 / 147

3.1 The Social Identity Approach

(1) Human beings want to keep or create a positive self-evaluation.

(2) Human beings derive their self-evaluation, which is part of their social identity, from their group membership. (3) The evaluation of this group results from the comparison between this group and other relevant groups.

In 1987 Turner (Turner, 1987) expanded the SIT by the Self-Categorization Theory (SCT) - this theory contains assumptions about the behaviour within groups. According to his assumptions, people can compare and categorize themselves on different levels: group level, individual level or as an individual compared to other individuals.

Depending on the situation, the prevailing level of self-categorization will be salient through similes with relevant objects on the same level.

It depends on the prevailing context whether an individual classifies himself to the personal or social identity. Similes with relevant external groups Æ social identity (e. g. group) Similes with other individuals Æ personal identity (e. g. own career)

35 / 147

Currently many scientists successfully tried to convert the ideas of the Social Identity Approach into an organizational context. (Ouwerkerk, Ellemers & de Gilder, 1999; van Kippenberg, 2000; vanDick; Wagner 2004)

Critical appraisal:

In this approach identification is not comprehended contextually. Only the psychological component is considered, external factors of influence (e. g. history, politics, society) are disregarded. The causes of identification are not included, despite a minimum of identification is required. Thereby it is assumed that a categorization as a member has to happen. This is the beginning of a causal chain.

3.2 Basics of organizational identification and commitment

As the most important sources, the authors John P. Meyer, Natalie J. Allen, Klaus Moser, Rolf van Dick, Rolf Wunderer and Josef Mittmann can be named - see bibliography.

36 / 147

3.2.1 Definitions of identification and commitment


Identification as such means, first of all, the general classification of an object in a class of objects (a red football belongs to the class of "red objects" or to the class of "balls", et cetera). In the case of human identification such a classification can be done externally as well as internally through the person himself.

In that respect, oranizational identification (OI) “describes the ‘integrated bond’ to the organization, which means that the employees know that they are members of a certain organization. But they also associate feelings with this knowledge and act accordingly” (vanDick, 2004, p. 2). VanDick also points out that identification can be focused to different objects (e. g. company, task, team) and consists of different dimensions. (see chapter 3.2.2 and 3.2.3). According to van Kippenberg, identification is even the basis for all attitudes and behaviours (van Kippenberg, 2000). Furthermore, Van Dick accentuates that identification, e. g. as a smoker, has no consequences for thinking, feeling and acting. “Only, the identification with the group of smokers affects the human experience and behaviour” (vanDick, 2004, p. 14)


First of all, Moser distinguishes two types of commitment in his work: structural and perceived commitment, whereas he equals structural with organizational commitment. (Moser 1996). Considering the structural commitment, he mainly emphasizes the “structural fact” - “The signature in a tenancy agreement is a structural connection due to an external circumstance like the civil right e. g.” (Moser, 1996).The point is to show certain behaviours or rather the willingness to this, as well as to do without other behaviours. In case of a structural commitment, the renunciation comes to the fore.” (Moser, 1996).

37 / 147

In other words: Human beings repeat certain behaviours and do without other alternatives or options respectively (Moser, 1997). As Moser gives no empirical proofs, his approach should be considered as purely theoretical.

3.2.2 Dimensions of identification and commitment

Dimensions of identification

The ambition to analyze identification in several dimensions is based on the theory of the Social Identity (Taifel, 1978). First of all, Taifel separates identity into a personal and social component. For all further considerations of this work, the social component is the most important one. This component describes the knowledge about a membership in a social organization “together with the value of the emotional meaning, which is connected to this membership” (Taifel, 1978).

A special importance needs to be given to the cognitive component because this is the prerequisite one for other dimensions. In other words: First of all, identification as 11 a group member, is a necessary precondition for all further components, which then will describe the identification with a group.(VanDick, 2994, p. 15)

38 / 147

image 7d5250b402a045925a18d2b48f3634a7

Figure 13: Components of identification (based on: vanDick, 2004, pp.15/16)

aspects, which are still not clearly empirically proven, the following picture arises:

image 5374672263126ae1a6142abe2c637340

. . . Identification as a group-member

. . . Identification with the group

Figure 14: Dimensions of identification (own illustration)

Dimensions of commitment

The nowadays probably best-known concept how to divide commitment into different dimensions comes from John P. Meyer and Natalie J. Allen (Allen&Meyer, 1990,; MeyerAllen, 1997). With this concept, they ”exceed the differentiation of attitude-based and behaviour-based commitment and talk about a multidimensional approach. They “take commitment as a psychological condition, which describes the relationship between the employee and the organization” (Koob, 2004). Allen&Meyer talk about three dimensions: affective, normative and continuance commitment. Affective commitment mainly stands for the emotional connection to the organization. The organization has a high emotional meaning to those members with a high affective commitment - consequently, the persons like to continue to belong to it. (cp. vanDick, 2004, p. 3; Meyer&Allen, 1997, p. 11) Meyer&Allen exactly write: “Employees with a strong affective commitment continue employment with the organization because they want to do so”. (Meyer&Allen, 1991)

39 / 147

Continuance commitment is finally described as the commitment to an organization, which begins with the awareness of the employee that changing or leaving the company generates costs or rather the loss of benefits for the employee himself. According to this, employees stay in a company “because they need to do so”. (Meyer&Allen, 1991, p. 67) This approach is comparable to the “Site-bet theory” (cp. Becker, 1960; Moser, 1996) also see chapter 3.3.2.

The different dimensions can additionally be distinguished via their output variables. (see chapter 4.2) For instance, it is very interesting that continuance and affective commitment seem to correlate to OCB with different algebraic signs. That means that they partly arouse opposed consequences.

image 55607e30fa9581ee1f070199233b9be4

Figure 15: Dimensions of commitment (own illustration)

image ce265850dac8c95e18c8d5070bdbd1d9

Figure 16: Explanation of commitment dimensions (own illustration, based on Meyer&Allen, 1991)

When talking about identification or commitment, these are, according to today’s state of knowledge, always aimed at an object or rather an objective. In the following these objects, matters or objectives are named as foci. Unfortunately, to date there is no scientific work considering the foci of Identification and Commitment in common. Therefore, the current cognitions are first of all described separately and then tried to put them together.

40 / 147

Leading personalities and the aims of a company are considered as the most important objects of identification in numerous management literatures. “Not rarely one can put down the fundamentals to the classical values: sense of duty, obedience and hierarchy (…) It is doubtful whether such models of inner orientation today rather impede the necessary permanent learning orientation of a company in the conflict with market challenges and environmental trends than not.

It should better start at that point, where demand and supply of identification objects have a common intersection. Thus, mainly such identification objects start to get interesting for employees, which are comparable to central interests of life” (Wunderer, 1995, p.33).

Identification objects are supposed to be derived directly from the strategical aims of a company. As it is indispensable to life for a company to orient towards the market directly, the offered identification objects should be positioned close to the market, e. g. products, tasks, working teams and customers. The enterpriser in a company is strengthened by that. (cp. Wunderer, 1995)

Foci - regarding the point of view of a company - can be firstly divided into three classes: structural and personal objects in a company and external objects. Contrary to the dimensions of identification, the foci have no finite number. Foci arise from the particular context and their empirical verifiability depends on the respective salience of the object. Wunderer tries to structure the foci in the following way: Structural foci

- Task: mainly includes objectives, matters and values of different activities in a company

- products/services: including either the final products of a company or (mainly in larger companies) the single products for “in-house costumers”

- Working place: includes all physical and mental conditions which are given at the arrangement and the surroundings of the working place

- Organizational unit: Unit, in which every single employee works in the company (group up to a company as a whole) (source: Wunderer, 1995)

41 / 147

Personal Foci

- Supervisor: a disciplinary supervisor, who is authorized to give instructions within the hierarchy

- Colleague: the individual colleague

- Customer: first of the external customer, who receives services/products from companies. In larger companies, this position can also be taken by the “internal customer”

- Working group: unit of human beings/colleagues of the direct working field which has the same tasks and aims

External Foci

- family

- residence

- hobbies

- sports clubs et cetera

Importance of the size of the foci

Van Kippenberg (2000) derives from the Social Identity Theory that identification with smaller units should be pronounced more intensely than identification with large objects - e. g. identification with the working group should be more intensive than identification with the company. „Because identification with large-size groups implies sameness with a large number of other people, identification with relatively large groups forms a threat to individual distinctiveness. Identification with smaller groups on the other hand may provide a sufficient level of distinctiveness, whereas at the same time it fulfils a need for inclusiveness“ (VanKippenberg, 200, p.139)

He was able to verify the practical existence und importance of the different foci in a study - he found out that identification with the team or working group is pronounced a lot more than the identification with the company as a whole. Furthermore, it is easier to forecast output variables like motivation, satisfaction or the intention to quit the job with “identification with the team” than with “identification with the company”.

42 / 147

Foci of Commitment

Reichert (1985) comes to the conclusion that an organization up to now „typically is viewed as a monolithic undifferentiated entity that elicits an identification and attachment on the part of the individual“(p. 469) However, she brings forward the argument that in reality, organizations include a multitude of coalitions and constituencies. Every single one has own objectives and values that either correlate with the organization as a whole or do not (Meyer&Allen, 1997).

Excerpt out of 147 pages


Identification and commitment as a catalyst of a strong organizational citizenship behavior on the shop floor level of manufacturing companies
Development of intervention possibilities for a consulting approach
University of Applied Sciences Ludwigshafen
Catalog Number
ISBN (eBook)
ISBN (Book)
File size
2589 KB
identification, development
Quote paper
Peter Bebersdorf (Author), 2006, Identification and commitment as a catalyst of a strong organizational citizenship behavior on the shop floor level of manufacturing companies, Munich, GRIN Verlag,


  • No comments yet.
Read the ebook
Title: Identification and commitment as a catalyst of a strong organizational citizenship behavior on the shop floor level of manufacturing companies

Upload papers

Your term paper / thesis:

- Publication as eBook and book
- High royalties for the sales
- Completely free - with ISBN
- It only takes five minutes
- Every paper finds readers

Publish now - it's free