Psychological ownership and feelings of possession: Three field studies predicting employee attitudes and organizational citizenship behavior

Linn Van Dyne, Jon L. Pierce

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

611 Scopus citations

Abstract

An increasing number of scholars and practitioners have emphasized the importance of 'feelings of ownership' for the organization (even when employees are not legal owners). In this exploratory study, we examine the relationships of psychological ownership with work attitudes and work behaviors. We start by developing hypotheses based on the psychology of possession and psychological ownership literatures. We then test these hypotheses with data from three field samples, using responses from over 800 employees, as well as manager and peer observations of employee behavior. Results demonstrate positive links between psychological ownership for the organization and employee attitudes (organizational commitment, job satisfaction, organization-based self-esteem), and work behavior (performance and organizational citizenship). More important, psychological ownership increased explained variance in organization-based self-esteem and organizational citizenship behavior (both peer and supervisor observations of citizenship), over and above the effects of job satisfaction and organizational commitment. Contrary to prior theoretical work on psychological ownership, results, however, fail to show an incremental value of psychological ownership in predicting employee performance.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)439-459
Number of pages21
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Volume25
Issue number4
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 1 2004

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