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Social Identification and Sense of Community Among Members of a Cooperative Company: The Role of Perceived Organizational Values


  • The study was supported by Coopsette. The authors thank the President and all cooperative members for their collaboration. A preliminary version of the paper was presented at the 15th general meeting of the European Association of Social Psychology (EASP), Opatija, Croatia, June 2008.

Elvira Cicognani, Department of Sciences of Education, University of Bologna, Via Filippo Re, 6, 40126 Bologna, Italy. E-mail:


The aim of this study was to investigate, among members of a large cooperative company, the role of worker status (partner vs. employee), length of service, and cooperative values in influencing organizational identification (OI) and organizational sense of community (OSC). The study involved the totality of members of the cooperative (N = 805; 67.7% partners, 32.3% employees), who completed a self-administered questionnaire, measuring perceived cooperative values, OI, OSC, and, among partners, identification as a partner. The results indicate that partners, more than employees, perceived the cooperative as living up to its core values and scored higher on OI and OSC. The impact of worker status on OI and OSC was mediated by perceived cooperative values.