THE DARK SIDE OF STRONG IDENTIFICATION IN ORGANIZATIONS: A CONCEPTUAL REVIEW

Dan V. Caprar, Benjamin W. Walker, Blake E. Ashforth

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Identification (a state of perceived “oneness” with a given target) fulfills fundamental human motives and facilitates a range of positive outcomes, but it also has a dark side. While detrimental effects of identification in organizations have been captured in vari-ous studies, the field of management lacks a comprehensive blueprint of the state of this research. This omission is particularly significant given recent calls for some “course corrections” in the field, which signal the need to balance the dominant preoccupation with the positive effects of identification and identity with more consideration of their negative effects. It is also a missed opportunity for impact given the relevance of the topic to understanding current identity-related tensions and issues within organizations (e.g., debates around diversity and inclusion). We address this oversight with a comprehensive review of the dark side of strong identification, focusing specifically on exclusive, mixed, and multiple identifications. In doing so, we highlight the need for a more bal-anced understanding of the ways identification processes influence our lives, organiza-tions, and society at large.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)759-805
Number of pages47
JournalAcademy of Management Annals
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jul 2022

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Business and International Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

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