Recipient of the 2004 Outstanding Master's Thesis Award - Third Place.
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Open Access Thesis
Increases in the diversity of the work force and the popularity of work teams have made managing diverse work teams increasingly important for organizations. This study uses social identity theory (Tajfel & Turner, 1986) self-categorization theory (Turner, 1985), and the common ingroup identity model (Gaertner, Dovidio, Anastasio, Bachman, & Rust, 1993) to explain and predict the interactions of members of diverse work groups. In this study, 152 participants took part in four-person, mixed-gender discussion groups. The experimenter's instructions, the group discussion topic, and the group problemsolving activity manipulated social identity salience (university affiliation, gender, or individual) of each group. After the group completed the discussion and a subsequent group problem-solving activity, the participants completed measures of group cohesion, perceived similarity of group members, and identification with their university and gender identities. Groups in which a superordinate identity was salient were higher in perceptions of perceived similarities among group members and psychological attachment to the group than groups in which a subordinate identity was salient. This study suggests that one way organizations can manage diversity and make work groups more cohesive is by reinforcing a social identity that is shared among all group members.
Year of Submission
Year of Award
Master of Arts
Department of Psychology
Helen C. Harton, Chair, Thesis Committee
1 PDF file (vi, 111 pages)
©2003 Michael Anderson
Anderson, Michael, "The effects of social identity salience on the cohesion of demographically diverse groups" (2003). Electronic Theses and Dissertations. 593.
Available for download on Thursday, June 26, 2081