Journal of the Association for Information Systems


Over the course of their careers, IT professionals become embedded in their workplace. In the organizational behavior literature, research has found that job embeddedness provides direct, positive benefits for employers, including lower turnover intentions, lower levels of withdrawal behaviors, lower actual turnover, and more. In this paper, we present a more nuanced view, namely that embeddedness among IT professionals may influence the development of professionalized mindsets, which, in turn, has a mix of positive and negative consequences. To understand these relationships, we introduce a concept called workgroup embeddedness (WGE). WGE captures how IT professionals become embedded in their organizational workgroup or unit. We report a multiphase study that (1) developed a measure of WGE, (2) established the validity of WGE, and (3) evaluated the implications of WGE among 150 IT professionals using data collected at two points in time. We found that WGE drives an increase in professionalism, which, in turn, increases work-life conflict. Also, we found that both WGE and professionalism positively influence organizational citizenship behaviors. These findings indicate that WGE may play a role in socializing and driving more professionalized mindsets among IT professionals, such as professional identification, which leads to positive outcomes like citizenship behaviors but may come at the expense of negative consequences in professionals’ nonwork lives. Post hoc findings highlight that belief in public service and identification with the IT profession influence work-life conflict and organizational citizenship. We conclude with implications for research and practice.





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