How does psychological safety and team identification emerge? An empirical study

Psychological safety can be regarded as the foundation for successful teamwork and identification with the team, fostering team cohesion and, consequently, supporting agile work and New Work
10 minute
About the Authors:

PD Dr. Thomas Bachmann, Dipl.-Psych., has been providing organizational consulting and coaching services to management, executives, teams, and individuals since 1993. He is a co-founder and partner of artop GmbH - Institute at Humboldt-University in Berlin. He serves as the training director for the artop Coaching Program and is a certified Professional Certified Coach (PCC) by the International Coach Federation, a GISC Certified Coach by the Gestalt International Study Center in Wellfleet, MA, and a Senior Coach at the Deutscher Bundesverband Coaching (DBVC).

Katherina Bravo is an organizational psychologist specializing in leadership, shared leadership, teamwork, and topics such as psychological safety and future skills. Currently working as a consultant at HRpepper, she guides companies through their roles in structural transformation processes and supports in the design and implementation of talent development programs.


The importance of psychological safety and team identification as well as the factors for their development are discussed in the context of New Work and agility. In an empirical study, team members were asked about characteristics of their team, perceived psychological safety, and their identification with the team. The results distinguish and identify essential factors to describe work teams. Furthermore, a close relationship between psychological safety and team identification could be demonstrated. Differences between both constructs lie in the social dimension, which as a predictor of team identification marks a difference to psychological safety.

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