Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Sailing on a Sea of Hope: Exploring the Impact of Federal Consolidation on Individual Identification and Organizational Identity
by Moreau, Eastine Louise, Ed.D., The George Washington University, 2014, 207; 3615174
Abstract (Summary)

Organizational consolidation and restructuring is a long held public sector quick-fix solution to issues of limited congressional funding, ineffective structure, and/or the presumption of hierarchical failures of leadership, in hope of improving organizational performance. Such attempts at federal government reorganization are often criticized in terms of dollars and sense—attempting to save dollars, but not making much sense. While a plethora of literature exists on private sector reorganization (i.e., merger and acquisition) and their workforce, there is scarce research available on similar events for the public sector.

This case study sought to understand the impact of mandated federal consolidation on the public sector workforce. Leveraging Cheney's (1983) and Bergami and Bagazzi's (2000) theories and studies on organizational identification, the second order effect on identity and identification for the associated federal workforce was revealed as having significant negative impact—worthy of immediate leadership attention and future study. A key conclusion of this study provided insight into public sector individual identification as grounded in differing psychological contracts dependent on status (military versus civil service), but revealed a shared an incremental hierarchical default to patriotism as the final vestige for rationalizing identification.

Recommendations are offered for future public sector studies as a dichotomous evaluation of military versus civil service, expanding literature beyond the private sector, and offering practical insight for the world's largest employer, the Department of Defense, with likely benefit for the workforce and the taxpayer. The question remains whether the study leadership will leverage these lessons learned or just continue their journey sailing on a sea of hope.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Marquardt, Michael J.
Commitee: Luebke, William, Redd-Clary, Mary
School: The George Washington University
Department: Human and Organizational Learning
School Location: United States -- District of Columbia
Source: DAI-A 75/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Subjects: Organization Theory, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Indifference, Individual identification, Organizational change, Organizational identity, Patriotism, Psychological contract
Publication Number: 3615174
ISBN: 978-1-303-81000-8
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