Pepple, D. G. (2018) Mirror Organisation: An Investigation into Ethnic Identify as a Determinant of Employee Psychological Ownership Perception. A Survey of Public and Private Sector Employees in River State, Nigeria. Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.

The implementation of employee ethnic representation has become a widespread practice for organisations operating within multi ethnic societies. However, scholars disagree on its effectiveness in positively influencing employees’ perceptions. Also, the process through which ethnic identification positively influences employee perceptions is currently unknown. The purpose of this study is to investigate the process through which ethnic identification influences employee psychological ownership perception. To achieve this aim, the thesis first reviews relevant literature which highlights the gap in literature and support the need for this study. For example, existing studies have not considered the components of psychological ownership and how they are influenced. This study contributes by showing that psychological ownership perception is a formative construct comprised of three distinct components; employee self-efficacy, organisational self-identity and employee voice. A review of literature on the empirical context show the importance of this study within the Nigerian context specifically noting Nigerians displayed high levels of ethnic identification. The problem that persist for organisations was how ethnic identification may be channelled to organisational identification.

A quantitative cross-sectional survey data collection approach was adopted for this study. Structural equation modelling was used to analyse survey responses from 1,525 employees of selected public and private sector organisations in Rivers State, Nigeria.

Findings suggest the following relational framework for linking ethnic diversity and employee psychological ownership perception; that employees who overtly identify with their ethnicity at work will positively attract co-worker social support and this is possible in an organisational climate that promotes interpersonal fairness. Co-worker social support positively mediates the relationship between employee ethnic identification and employee psychological ownership perception.

The practical implication for organisations operating within a multi ethnic environment is human resource practitioners to pay attention to ethnic identification because of its influence on co-worker social support and employee psychological ownership perception.

The originality of this thesis is seen in the relational framework designed to link ethnic diversity to employee psychological ownership perception. This study contributes to existing literature by explaining how employees’ ethnic identification influences their perception of psychological ownership. The study provides new insights on the components of employee psychological ownership perception and how they relate to ethnic identity. The investigation of psychological ownership perception at the individual component level is novel and provides new insight into how psychological ownership relates with antecedents that influences it.

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