Symposium 1266 - Attachment Theory At Work: New Evidence And Future Directions

Emerging themes in I/O psychology
Friday May 19   01:15 PM to 02:45 PM (1 hour 30 minutes)
Emerging themes in I/O psychology
Attachment theory at work: New evidence and future directions
A. Game*
Main Abstract Content:

State of the Art
In recent years the relevance of attachment theory (e.g. Bowlby, 1969) in organizational contexts is increasingly acknowledged.  However, research adopting attachment theory as a framework for understanding employees’ work-related experiences and outcomes is only slowly emerging. There remains much to learn about the nature, role and effects of attachment dynamics at the individual, dyadic, group and organizational levels.
New Perspectives / Contributions
The symposium explores recent developments in the study of attachment theory in the workplace. New theory and evidence are presented concerning the links between attachment and organizational attitudes; attachment and individual wellbeing; and – the area that has received most research attention – attachment and leadership.  Five contributions from an internationally diverse group of scholars are included. First, Engel and Straatmann draw on relationship-specific attachment to explain employees’ attachment to their organizations. Second, Pheiffer and Ridler explore the role of adult attachment in employee work-life balance, work engagement and satisfaction. Third, Gruda examines how followers’ attachment based self-models influence transference processes in the perception of leaders. Fourth, Kafetsios and Koutouvidis investigate the interaction of culture and attachment schemas in shaping leadership perceptions. Finally, Game and Kamble explore how theoretical developments in related fields of personal and developmental psychology may help researchers to better capture the dynamism of leader-follower relationships. 
Research / Practical Implications
Together, these new empirical and conceptual insights into attachment theory at work will help to set the agenda for future research and practice in this emergent field.


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