Original Research

The level of organisational identification amongst students at a post-merged South African university

Nadia Breytenbach, Michelle Renard, Robin Snelgar
SA Journal of Human Resource Management | Vol 11, No 1 | a477 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajhrm.v11i1.477 | © 2013 Nadia Breytenbach, Michelle Renard, Robin Snelgar | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 02 May 2012 | Published: 29 April 2013

About the author(s)

Nadia Breytenbach, Industrial and Organisational Psychology Department, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
Michelle Renard, Industrial and Organisational Psychology Department, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
Robin Snelgar, Industrial and Organisational Psychology Department, Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa

Abstract

Orientation: Organisational  identification  (OI)  refers to individuals  perceiving  that  they belong  to and  are one with  their  organisation.  Limited  research  has  been conducted  on university students’ levels of OI within the South African context.

Research purpose: The aim of the study was to determine the level of OI amongst students at a post-merged university in the Eastern Cape Province of South Africa.

Motivation for the study: Levels of OI amongst students at a post-merged university could be low, as a result of students not yet adopting the values of the merged university. Yet, no such study has been undertaken at this university since the merger.

Research design, approach and method: Mixed methods were used in this study, consisting of qualitative  research  (N = 16)  for  which  focus  group  discussions  were  used,  as  well as quantitative  research  (N =  603)  for  which  an  online questionnaire  was  sent  to  the student sample.

Main  findings: The  level  of  OI  amongst  the  students  was found  to  be  high.  Furthermore, students’  race,  campus, university  tenure  and  residence  have  a  significant influence  on students’ levels of OI. Black students identified more with the university than other races and students who studied longer at this university had lower levels of OI. Residence students had a greater level of OI than those who stayed off-campus.

Practical/managerial implications: Students should be encouraged to adopt the core values of this university to ensure that OI levels increase. In order to improve OI, university management should  implement  action  plans  for those  student  segments  who  have  exhibited  low  levels of OI.

Contribution/value-add: This  research  contributes  to  the current  body  of  knowledge concerning OI which is under-researched within a post-merged university context.

Keywords

Organisational identification, Emotional attachment, Involvement, Perceived educational effectiveness, Perceived institutional prestige, University image

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