ORCID Identifier(s)


Graduation Semester and Year




Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Business Administration



First Advisor

Wendy J Casper

Second Advisor

Alison V Hall


Identity consists of the roles and expectations individuals use to define their self. My dissertation examines the effects of individual perceptions around how identities are constructed in organizations on employee outcomes, decisions, and experiences. In a three-essay format, I develop the construct of identity work supportive organizational support (IWSOP) and a scale to measure it, evaluate how IWSOP relates to affective commitment for employees, and examine whether IWSOP might affect job choice decisions. IWSOP is conceptualized as the degree to which employees perceive that their organization encourages, allows, or provides the opportunity to think about, talk about, or display aspects of their work and non-work related identities, or to engage in activities that foster understanding and sharing of their identities. Collectively, the essays address one overarching research question, “What happens when individuals believe an organization will support them in defining or affirming their identities?” Essay 1 lays the foundation for studying IWSOP, creates a valid and reliable scale that provides evidence of content and discriminant validity and ensures its psychometric properties, and demonstrates the impact of IWSOP on employee work outcomes. Essay 2 utilizes the measure of IWSOP developed in Essay 1 to examine associations between IWSOP and affective commitment and how authenticity and psychological safety mediate this relationship. I find empirical support for my hypotheses positioning living authentically at work and psychological safety as mediators between IWSOP and affective commitment. Finally, essay 3 uses an experimental design to examine how organizational support for identity work affects job seeker job choice-related outcomes. My findings provide evidence that organizational support for identity work is an important predictor of job seeker attraction to an organization. Together, these essays contribute to identity research by offering a novel lens for examining individual identity construction where the organization is believed to influence identity-related processes.


Identity, Identity work, Commitment


Business | Business Administration, Management, and Operations


Degree granted by The University of Texas at Arlington