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date: 26 September 2022

Organizational Dehumanizationlocked

Organizational Dehumanizationlocked

  • Noémie Brison, Noémie BrisonUniversité Catholique de Louvain
  • Florence StinglhamberFlorence StinglhamberUniversité Catholique de Louvain
  •  and Gaëtane CaesensGaëtane CaesensUniversité Catholique de Louvain


Embodying the negative side of the employee–organization relationship, organizational dehumanization is defined as the experience of an employee who feels objectified by his or her organization, denied personal subjectivity, and made to feel like a tool or instrument for the organization’s ends. Empirical evidence shows that organizational dehumanization is linked to deleterious consequences for both employees and organizations. Specifically, organizational dehumanization impairs employees’ well-being as well as their positive attitudes toward their organization and their work, and it elicits behaviors that impede organizational functioning. Overall, self-determination theory, social exchange theory, and social identity theory provide relevant theoretical insights into the underlying mechanisms through which organizational dehumanization leads to these negative consequences. Scholars have also sought to identify its antecedents that fall into six main categories (i.e., societal factors, organizational characteristics, environmental factors, job characteristics, interpersonal factors, and individual factors). Finally, prior work highlights that organizational dehumanization perceptions are not elicited to the same extent in all employees and are dependent on demographic characteristics and on contextual features. Although organizational dehumanization has already received some empirical attention, future research is needed to enrich its nomological network by further examining its antecedents and consequences, as well as its explaining and moderating mechanisms.


  • Organizational and Institutional Psychology

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