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Group B5

People - Literature Seminar

Ro Van den broeck

Question 1. How could the following facilitate harmonious relationships in organizational contexts? a) Social Categorization Theory The Self Categorization Theory (SCT) is an extension of the Social Identity Theory (SIT). SCT refers to the fact that people organize social information by categorizing individuals into groups. This allows them to focus on the collective properties that are relevant for that particular situation (Boros, 2008, p. 11).Thus, SCT deals with the perception of the self in respect to certain social groups and other individuals. An important aspect of SCT is that an individual has various self-concepts, where a specific identity is more salient at a given time, and that identity drives behavior (Scales, 2007, p. 9). This theory focuses on the inter-group differences unlike the identity theory, which focuses on intra-group differences. This will allow seeing the differences within i.e. the lower identity groups which in turn enables the organization to overcome those differences that will limit tensions and creating harmony within the overall organization. b) Salience According to the identity theory (Ashford & Johnson, 2001, p. 32), salience is seen as the likelihood that a given identity will be invoked, and that multiple identities can be ranked in a salience hierarchy according to their relative salience. Salience differs between lower- and higher order identities. Lower order identities are more often subjectively important as well as situationally relevant. This is due to the fact that lower order identities are more exclusive, concrete and proximal. Controversially, higher order identities are less salient since they are more inclusive, abstract and distal which consequently makes it challenging for all members of an organization to relate and identify themselves with the organization as a whole (Ashford & Johnson, 2001, p. 36). As the lower identities tend to have ongoing salience, frictions could be created as the different nested identities have difficulties in having a shared common identity. Through the usage of substantive and symbolic management salience of higher order identities will become more stable which is necessary as they might be rendered as temporarily salient (Ashford & Johnson, 2001, p. 38). This draws attention to the organization as a whole, allowing in establishing a corporate identity which will overcome the intergroup differences within the organization. c) Prototype Groups are regarded as prototypes. Prototypes are fuzzy sets of interrelated attributes that simultaneously capture similarities and structural relationships within groups and differences between the groups, and prescribe group membership (Hogg, et al., 2004, p. 253). Prototypes embody all attributes that enable to categorize a group as well as what makes it distinct from other groups. A prototype shows through all these attributes that categorize the group on how an individual ideally should behave in being a group member. All those attributes allow putting an emphasis on the similarities of the intra-group and inter-group differences. Such a set of attributes can be established by an organization in which it creates an ideal picture of the individuals their ideal behavior within the group. Such attributes will enable these individuals to have shared attributes to create a common identity.

Group B5 d) Depersonalization

People - Literature Seminar

Ro Van den broeck

Depersonalization relates to the ability in seeing the self as an embodiment of the in-group prototype rather than as a unique individual (Hogg & Terry, 2000, p. 123). It is the basis of underlying group phenomena such as social stereotyping, group cohesiveness, ethnocentrism, cooperation and altruism, emotional contagion, and collective action (Hogg & Terry, 2000, p. 123). When the in-group is positively valued, it will improve the intra-group relationship as the individual will see itself similar as other in-group members. e) The Meta-Contrast Principle The Meta-Contrast Principle entails maximizing the ratio of apparent intergroup differences to intra-group differences (Hogg & Terry, 2000, p. 124). It foresees that a specified set of items is more probable to be categorized as a single entity to the degree that differences within that set of items are less than the differences within that set and others within the comparative context (Hogg & Reid, 2006, p. 10). Principally, this principle allows predicting whether an individual can be regarded as an in-group or out-group member, the comparative fit. This enables to prevent upcoming tensions within groups as it allows seeing whether the individual actually fit within a certain group beforehand.

Question 3. How do you encourage organizational identification of people when the natural level of identification is the subgroup level? It is not easy for subgroups to identify themselves with the corporate identity. Subgroups tend to be more exclusive, concrete, and proximal as this nested identity is part of lower order identities. Compared to higher order identities, membership of lower order identities is quite exclusive as the individuals need to meet certain requirements. In addition, lower order identities are also relatively concrete as it is more detailed in what their job entails; a more specific job description. The impact made by the lower-order identities is also more direct and immediate meaning it is relatively proximal. The fact that lower order identities are both more exclusive and concrete than higher order identity, it becomes easier for individuals to identify with those who share these identities as they tend to be more homogeneous. This result in higher entitativity (Ashford & Johnson, 2001, p. 35) as a group meaning that there is a higher shared identity as well as commitment to the shared identity, which is more salient than higher order identities.` This makes it rather difficult for the organizational members to identify with the organization as a whole. It is important that higher order identities are salient. The more salient they are, the more likely it is that an organizational member is able to think, feel and act in consistency with the organizational identity. This level of salience of higher order identities can be increased by substantive management and symbolic management in an attempt to unite the disparate members within an organization. Substantive management refers to real, material change in organizational practices (Ashford & Johnson, 2001, p. 37). Examples of substantive management are resolutions for inter-group conflicts, job rotation, a reward system for higher order goals, etc. Symbolic management

Group B5

People - Literature Seminar

Ro Van den broeck

refers to the ways that management portrays the organization to member, and tends to focus on what is central, distinctive, and relatively enduring about the organization (Ashford & Johnson, 2001, p. 38). This relates more to i.e. articulating mission statements, public relations, dress codes, speaking in terms of we instead of I, etc. It is important to create subjective importance and situational awareness for the organization as a whole. Unlike lower order identities, higher order identities are unable to be constantly salient. Higher order identities are more turned into achieving temporarily salience meaning that these two tools must be used constantly to remain more salient than lower order identities. This can be assisted when the organization appears to be of high status, holographic, uniquely associated with unique goals and values, chronically threatened by external sources, and individuals must look up to the organization for direction and resources (Ashford & Johnson, 2001, p. 37).

Bibliography Ashford, B. E. & Johnson, S. A., 2001. Which Hat to Wear? The Relative Salience of Multiple Identities in Organizational Contexts. In: M. A. Hogg & D. T. Terry, red. Social Identity Processes in Organizational Contexts. New York, USA: Psychology Press, pp. 31-48. Boros, S., 2008. Organizational identification: Theoretical and Emperical Anlyses of Competing Conceptualizations. Cognition, Brain, Behavior, XII(1), pp. 1-27. Hogg, M. A., Abrams, D., Otten, S. & Hinkle, S., 2004. The Social Identity Perspective: Intergroup Relations, Conception, and Small Groups. Small Group Research, 35(3), pp. 246276. Hogg, M. A. & Reid, S. A., 2006. Social Identity, Self-Categorization, and the Communication of Group Norms. Communication Theory, Volume 16, pp. 7-30. Hogg, M. A. & Terry, D. J., 2000. Social Identity and Self-Categorization processes in organizational contexts. Acadey of Management Review, Volume 25, pp. 121-140. Scales, M., 2007. Self Categrization Theory: Predicting Adolescent Health Behavior, Athens, USA: University of Georgia.