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Smudging, connecting, and dual identities: case study of an aboriginal ERG

Deborah McPhee (OBHREE, Brock University, St Catharines, Canada)
Mark Julien (OBHREE, Brock University, St Catharines, Canada)
Diane Miller (OBHREE, Brock University, St Catharines, Canada)
Barry Wright (OBHREE, Brock University, St Catharines, Canada)

Personnel Review

ISSN: 0048-3486

Article publication date: 4 September 2017

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691

Abstract

Purpose

Drawing upon the theoretical concept of social identities, the purpose of this paper is to investigate if an aboriginal employee resource group (ERG) helps to improve connectedness between the participants of the ERG and the organization in a Canadian context.

Design/methodology/approach

Qualitative research was used to interview 13 members of this ERG situated within a large Canadian bank.

Findings

The ERG created a positive experience for its members. It provided a bridge between the aboriginal identity and the organizational identity. Those who were part of the ERG felt that it encouraged them to bond to their cultural identity and that it also generated affirmative connections to the organization.

Practical implications

For employers seeking a more diverse workforce who have struggled with retaining employees from marginalized groups, ERGs may prove helpful.

Originality/value

This study posits a theoretical perspective of how ERGs are able to connect minority members to organizations through the recognition of dual identities. This is also the first study to examine the benefits of an aboriginal ERG.

Keywords

Citation

McPhee, D., Julien, M., Miller, D. and Wright, B. (2017), "Smudging, connecting, and dual identities: case study of an aboriginal ERG", Personnel Review, Vol. 46 No. 6, pp. 1104-1119. https://doi.org/10.1108/PR-10-2015-0270

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited