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Identity in Work Groups: The Beneficial and Detrimental Consequences of Multiple Identities and Group Norms for Collaboration and Group Performance

Social Identification in Groups

ISBN: 978-0-76231-223-8, eISBN: 978-1-84950-352-5

ISSN: 0882-6145

Publication date: 6 July 2005

Abstract

This chapter reviews recent theoretical developments and empirical research, to examine the causes and consequences of identity processes in relation to collaboration in work groups and group performance. Our central proposition is that identification in work groups can have beneficial as well as detrimental effects, depending on the nature of the shared identity, and the content of distinctive group norms. First, we examine some of the complications stemming from the fact that identification in work settings typically involves groups that can be defined at different levels of inclusiveness and where people can be seen as having multiple cross-cutting identities. Then, we move on to show that processes of identification affect the way people view their co-workers and supervisors, causing the same objective behavior to be interpreted and responded to in a fundamentally different way. Finally, we examine how normative expectations about prototypical group behavior determine group processes and group outcomes, with the consequence that identification and commitment can affect work motivation and collective performance in different ways, depending on the content of distinctive group norms.

Citation

Ellemers, N. and Rink, F. (2005), "Identity in Work Groups: The Beneficial and Detrimental Consequences of Multiple Identities and Group Norms for Collaboration and Group Performance", Thye, S.R. and Lawler, E.J. (Ed.) Social Identification in Groups (Advances in Group Processes, Vol. 22), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 1-41. https://doi.org/10.1016/S0882-6145(05)22001-5

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2005, Emerald Group Publishing Limited