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Making the Team: A Guide for Managers by Leigh L. Thompson

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Group Membership: The Locus of Human Identity

People naturally seek out group affiliations, and the reputation and accomplishments of the groups people belong to are a critical source of their self-esteem. To a large extent, feeling good about ourselves is dependent upon feeling that our groups are adequate or superior (Tajfel & Turner, 1986). Group affiliations also provide people with a buffer against threats and setbacks: When their self-esteem is shaken by personal setbacks, their groups provide them with reassurance and identity (Meindl & Lerner, 1984).

Although there is no limit to the ways in which people might identify themselves and others, the following categories of group identity are common in organizations:

  • Gender groups

  • Position, ...

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