Goal Influence in Organizational Identification and Post-Choice Behavior Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Last Modified
  • March 20, 2019
  • Woodruff, Todd D.
    • Affiliation: Kenan-Flagler Business School
  • Consumption goals instill enduring motivational force and positive emotions, making goal-relevant knowledge more accessible, directing attention, and shaping our judgments. Consumer goals are often used to segment markets, target prospective members, and inform marketers about the appropriate use of marketing mix instruments. This article demonstrates that the individual membership goals used to generate interest and induce membership have powerful and pervasive effects on the development of organizational identification and the incidence of pro-organizational behaviors, such as retention, providing word-of-mouth endorsement, and service-use. Moreover, these individual membership goals vary significantly in their effects on identification and behavior, and therefore in their value to the organization. This paper develops and tests a conceptual framework for the relationship between membership goals, organizational perceptions and satisfaction, identification, and member behavior by using cross-sectional, multi-cohort, and two-wave panel data. It consistently finds that membership goals have significant effects on how the organization is perceived, satisfaction with the organization, organizational identification, and the incidence of pro-organizational behaviors. In general, intrinsic membership goals, such as personal self-enhancement and altruistic service to the organization's mission, are associated with more positive perceptions of the organization, higher levels of social satisfaction, increased organizational identification, and more frequent pro-organizational behaviors. Conversely, economic membership goals tend to be associated with less positive perceptions of the organization, higher levels of economic satisfaction, decrease organizational identification, and fewer pro-organizational behaviors. Interestingly, individual membership goals had no effect on identification growth. Nevertheless, the difference in identification between those with strong intrinsic goals and those with strong economic goals was quite large, with the level of post-socialization identification among those with strong economic goals failing to reach the level of pre-socialization identification among those with strong intrinsic goals. This suggests that managers and marketers must understand how individual membership goals affect perceptions of the organization, their members' level of satisfaction, their degree of identification, and their future behavioral choices. Exclusive use of consumer goal knowledge to maximizing membership numbers and marketing efficiency without considering the long-term impact on the relationship quality and behavior is myopic and may fail to maximize long-term value for the organization.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Steenkamp, Jan-Benedict
  • Doctor of Philosophy
Graduation year
  • 2012

This work has no parents.