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Category salience and organizational identification


Correspondence should be addressed to Rolf Van Dick, Aston University, Aston Business School, Work & Organisational Psychology Group, Aston Triangle, Birmingham B4 7ET, UK (e-mail:


The aim of this study was to examine (1) the effects of increased salience on three work-related identities (i.e. career, school and occupation), (2) whether these effects had an impact on extra-role behaviours, and (3) whether identification mediated these effects. Standardized questionnaires were completed by 464 schoolteachers concerning identification with the focuses career, school, and occupation as well as scales measuring work extra-role behaviours. The questionnaire was administered under four experimental conditions. As expected, teachers identified more strongly with their schools when their school-type was made salient; they identified more strongly with their occupation when they were told that they were compared with other professional groups. Higher salience of the school membership identity was associated with higher levels of self-reported extra-role behaviours on behalf of the school. This effect was mediated by school identification.