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Within social and organizational psychology and the other social sciences the concept of identity is now widely embraced. Two theories that are increasingly being applied…
Within social and organizational psychology and the other social sciences the concept of identity is now widely embraced. Two theories that are increasingly being applied to help make sense of group and organizational identification are social identity theory and self-categorization theory (Tajfel, 1978; Turner, 1982; Turner, Hogg, Oakes, Reicher & Wetherell, 1987). These theories, jointly referred to as the social identity perspective, recognise that people’s individual characteristics and their group memberships play a significant role in shaping attitudes, values, beliefs, and behavior. Given this focus, interest in these theories mirrors the growing popularity of group-based management techniques applied to topics such as group decision-making, team building, group performance, organizational culture and organizational change.
Social networks provide the architecture to facilitate important socio-emotional and task related exchanges within groups. However, researchers have just begun to explore…
Social networks provide the architecture to facilitate important socio-emotional and task related exchanges within groups. However, researchers have just begun to explore how relationships form in groups comprised of individuals who differ on one or more dimensions. This paper investigates the role of social categorization and social network theories on the formation of social networks within diverse groups. We suggest that each perspective offers an alternative, but incomplete, understanding of how relationships may arise in diverse groups. Specifically, we integrate these two perspectives to provide a more complete understanding of how different types of diversity impact tie formation and allow individuals in diverse groups to achieve their socio-emotional and task-related objectives.
Uncertainty-identity theory serves as our guiding theoretical framework to explore subjective uncertainty, especially uncertainty about self and identity, and the ways in…
Uncertainty-identity theory serves as our guiding theoretical framework to explore subjective uncertainty, especially uncertainty about self and identity, and the ways in which communication within groups provides valuable social identity information to group members as a means to manage subjective uncertainty.
We review and synthesize research in communication science and social identity theory, specifically uncertainty-identity theory, to compare diverse understandings of uncertainty and the identity-shaping function of communication within groups.
Uncertainty inherent in dyadic interactions has received extensive attention in communication science. However, the identity-defining function of communication that flows within and between groups as a means to resolving uncertainty about subjectively important matters has received little attention in both social psychology and communication science.
We explore how communication that flows from in-group sources (e.g., leaders) serves to shape a shared reality and identity for group members while providing a framework for self-definition. We propose an agenda for future research that would benefit from an articulation of the importance of communication in the shaping and management of identity-uncertainty.
Uncertainty arousing rhetoric by influential in-group sources, such as leaders and the media can have serious implications for intergroup relations, as uncertain individuals seek distinctive and tight-knit groups and autocratic leaders under conditions of heightened uncertainty. The role that communication plays in shaping clear and distinct identities as a panacea for identity-uncertainty has implications for the intragroup normative structure of the group and for intergroup relations.
Knowledge is critical for employee and firm success. We show that being perceived as prototypical organizational members is a source of prominence in knowledge exchange…
Knowledge is critical for employee and firm success. We show that being perceived as prototypical organizational members is a source of prominence in knowledge exchange that operates beyond preexisting communication or affective relationships. Self-categorization processes produce – through depersonalization – a positive attitude among the members which represents an autonomous mechanism of social attraction for knowledge exchange, while social network mechanisms are triggered by interpersonal attraction. Our findings also suggest that including perceived members’ prototypicality can avoid a potentially spurious relationship in assessing the role played by social identity and categorization theory in explaining attitude and behaviors.
The purpose of this paper is to review social identity theory and its implications for learning in organizations.
The purpose of this paper is to review social identity theory and its implications for learning in organizations.
This article is a conceptual paper based on a multidisciplinary review of the literature on social identity theory. This article explains the theoretical concepts, constructs, and findings of an identity‐based view of learning in organizations. The article describes the theoretical foundations of social identity theory and its elaboration as self‐categorization theory, along with some of the limitations of the theory. Important implications for workplace learning are presented.
Although multiple factors influence how people work, social identity theory portends to be a unifying theory of organizational behavior because what and how people think as members of social groups influences subsequent behavior and attitudes in social systems. This influence has important implications for workplace learning..
The social identities in organizations serve as important drivers of performance. How people think as members of groups affects the outcomes of learning interventions. Therefore, social identity is a key input to or driver of learning and performance in organizations.
Training and development have focused primarily on the individual and occasionally the organizational levels with little attention to the identity‐based dynamics of group behavior in organizational settings. This paper offers insights from social identity theory for training and development.
Investigating diversity presents researchers with a paradox because extremely inconsistent and conflicting findings about the effects of diversity have emerged in this…
Investigating diversity presents researchers with a paradox because extremely inconsistent and conflicting findings about the effects of diversity have emerged in this field of study. It has been argued that the theoretical frameworks used have contributed to the paradox. Different and contradictory effects concerning the influence of group diversity can be predicted using these frameworks. The purpose of this paper is to examine the application of the main theoretical frameworks in the context of researching diversity.
The focus of this paper is a critical examination of three theoretical frameworks in the field of diversity research – similarity‐attraction theory, social categorization theory and the information/decision‐making approach. These are commonly applied in researching diversity. The basic elements of each theory, its applications in diversity research and its strengths and limitations are considered.
The discussion suggests that the paradox in diversity research emerges from a research tradition that views the three frameworks as being best applied separately because each framework predicts different and even contradictory outcomes. These differences are a consequence of distinctive theoretical operations. In addition, the strengths and limitations associated with each theoretical framework suggest that they might be integrated and subsequently applied in specific settings according to their respective strengths and limitations.
In order to produce more consistent results in research on diversity, it is suggested that future researchers should not rely solely on a single theoretical framework to predict the effects of diversity. In particular, different theoretical frameworks may work well with certain types of diversity as well as certain levels of analysis.
The paper provides a framework for dissecting the diversity paradox and a foundation for designing fresh approaches that might produce findings that are more consistent.
This paper theorizes the role of shared responsibility in the development of affective group attachments, interweaving ideas from social exchange and social identity…
This paper theorizes the role of shared responsibility in the development of affective group attachments, interweaving ideas from social exchange and social identity theories. The main arguments are that (1) people engaged in task interaction experience positive or negative emotions from those interactions; (2) tasks that promote more sense of shared responsibility across members lead people to attribute their individual emotions to groups or organizations; and (3) group attributions of own emotions are the basis for stronger or weaker group attachments. The paper suggests that social categorization and structural interdependence promote group attachments by producing task interactions that have positive emotional effects on those involved.
Aims to illustrate how the use of a social identity approach can help to refine our understanding of how organizational professionals experience the introduction of…
Aims to illustrate how the use of a social identity approach can help to refine our understanding of how organizational professionals experience the introduction of managerialism and the incorporation of managing specialist roles.
Draws on theories of social identity and social categorization to examine the process by which clinical directors tackle and assign meaning to their managing roles. Interviews were conducted with a sample of current and previous clinical directors over a five year period. Variations in doctors’ responses were explained by a range of self enhancement strategies that emerged to deal with tensions between prepared management identities and actual role experiences.
Reveals the importance of multiple self‐enhancement strategies as a way for doctors to protect self definitions in failing identity situations where immediate exit from a new role is not feasible. Concludes that a greater use of social identity and social categorization theory may add much to general explanations of how varied stances towards management interventions emerge and develop among professional workers.
Points to how we might achieve a deeper understanding of the diverse ways that the organizational professionals experience the introduction of managerialism and the incorporation of managing the specialist roles.
Social categorization processes may lead work groups to form different types of group norms. We present a model of norm formation and suggest that group norms may emerge…
Social categorization processes may lead work groups to form different types of group norms. We present a model of norm formation and suggest that group norms may emerge immediately following the group’s inception. Further, the content of such norms may be influenced by group members’ demographic heterogeneity. We outline a profile of work group norms and describe how social categorization processes influence norm formation. We also develop a series of testable propositions related to these norms. Finally, we discuss the implications of our social categorization model for future research on work groups in organizations.
This chapter explores the role of language in the relationship between diversity and team performance. Specifically, we consider how a linguistic approach to social…
This chapter explores the role of language in the relationship between diversity and team performance. Specifically, we consider how a linguistic approach to social categorization may be used to study the social psychological mechanisms that underlie diversity effects. Using the results of a study examining the effects of gender, ethnicity and tenure on language abstraction, we consider the potential implications for team processes and effectiveness. In addition, we propose a revised team input-process-output model that highlights the potential effects of language on team processes. We conclude by suggesting directions for future research linking diversity, linguistic categorization, and team effectiveness.