Dedicate Your Life to the Company! A Terror Management Perspective on Organizations
Article first published online: 21 DEC 2011
© 2011 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Journal of Applied Social Psychology
Volume 41, Issue 12, pages 2858–2882, December 2011
How to Cite
JONAS, E., KAUFFELD, S., SULLIVAN, D. and FRITSCHE, I. (2011), Dedicate Your Life to the Company! A Terror Management Perspective on Organizations. Journal of Applied Social Psychology, 41: 2858–2882. doi: 10.1111/j.1559-1816.2011.00854.x
- Issue published online: 21 DEC 2011
- Article first published online: 21 DEC 2011
Terror management research has examined many institutions and beliefs, which provide people with a sense of psychological security against death awareness. However, one important area has yet to receive attention: the workplace. For many employees, corporate culture is not only connected to earning a salary, but also to a sense of security and even personal transcendence. We present evidence that pro-company judgments can serve as psychological defenses under existential threat. In Study 1, following mortality salience, employees gave a more favorable evaluation of the company-praising essay and a more negative evaluation of the critical one. In Study 2, employees and students at a German university were more likely to endorse aspects of organizational culture under mortality salience.