Abstract

Over their careers, IT professionals become embedded in their workplace. In the Organizational Behavior literature, research has found job embeddedness provides direct, positive benefits for employers, including lower turnover intention, 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 that, in turn, have 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 multi-phase 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 exhibits drives increases in professionalism, which, in turn, increases work-life conflict. Also, we find that both WGE and professionalism positively influence organizational citizenship behaviors. These findings indicate that WGE may play a role in socializing and driving more professional mindsets, such as professional identification, among IT professionals that lead to positive outcomes, like citizenship, but may come at the expense of negative consequences in their non-work lives. Post hoc findings highlight that belief in public service and identification with the IT profession plays in influencing work-life conflict and organizational citizenship. We conclude with implications for research and practice.

DOI

10.17705/1jais.00763

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