Toward a communication-centered measure of organizational identification : initial scale development and validation of the C-OI




Fontenot, Jolie Carol

Journal Title

Journal ISSN

Volume Title



Due to the lack of an operationalization that centers on communication, the communication field has needed a measure that captures the unique elements interaction plays in the formation of organizational identification (OI). This dissertation offers an alternate conceptualization and operationalization of organizational identification designed to be communication-centered, and labels it Communicative Organizational Identification (C-OI). C-OI is a type of behavioral identification that is defined as the manifestation of solidarity with the values of a collective through verbal and nonverbal behaviors expressed to internal and external others. This measure was theorized as having 4 subscales: internal verbal communication, external verbal communication, internal nonverbal communication, and external nonverbal communication. To validate this measure, three rounds of data collection were utilized, ultimately reducing the measure from 46 to 10 items with three subscales: internal verbal, external verbal, and nonverbal. Both confirmatory factor analysis and exploratory factor analysis were used in examining underlying dimensions. This measure was shown to have acceptable levels of internal consistency (Chronbach’s [alpha] = .87), comparable to alternate measures of OI. Through the use of hierarchical multiple regression the C-OI measure and its subscales were shown to have at least some incremental validity in comparison to the Mael and Ashforth (1992) in predicting communication competence of co-workers, perceived organizational support, organization-based self-esteem, intent to quit, and organizational tenure. The C-OI measure also had incremental validity in comparison to the Cheney (1982) Organizational Identification Questionnaire (OIQ) in predicting organizational tenure. The C-OI’s three subscales also showed incremental validity over several existing measures. Through Pearson product moment correlations convergent validity was illustrated for the C-OI and its subscales. The C-OI does not focus on the decision-making elements of OI’s conceptualization (Cheney, 1982), nor does it attend to its role in motivation. This dissertation also used self-report measures, and the issue of common method bias could apply here. Future research is needed to validate further the measure of C-OI particularly in terms of establishing discriminant validity, and measuring multiple targets of identification.