Exit, loyalty, and collective action among workers in a simulated business environment

Interactive effects of group identification and boundary permeability

Irene V. Blair, John Jost

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Past research on the effects of boundary permeability and tokenism (open boundaries with restricted access) suggests that when options for individual mobility exist, members of low status groups tend to exit their group and attempt to enter higher status groups. We hypothesized that the effects of boundary permeability on preferences for individual vs. collective action would depend upon prior levels of in-group identification, such that people who are more identified with their group would remain loyal and choose collective action, even under conditions of high boundary permeability. To test this hypothesis, a 2 (High vs. Low Group Identification) × 2 (High vs. Low Permeability) experimental design was employed to assess preferences for exit and loyalty in the context of a simulated business environment. For both rating measures and behavioral choices, the interaction hypothesis was supported. Implications for group loyalty and strategies of tokenism are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)95-108
Number of pages14
JournalSocial Justice Research
Volume16
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2003

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permeability
collective behavior
loyalty
worker
status group
Group
rating
interaction

Keywords

  • Collective action
  • Group loyalty
  • Social dilemma
  • Social identity
  • Tokenism

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences(all)

Cite this

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abstract = "Past research on the effects of boundary permeability and tokenism (open boundaries with restricted access) suggests that when options for individual mobility exist, members of low status groups tend to exit their group and attempt to enter higher status groups. We hypothesized that the effects of boundary permeability on preferences for individual vs. collective action would depend upon prior levels of in-group identification, such that people who are more identified with their group would remain loyal and choose collective action, even under conditions of high boundary permeability. To test this hypothesis, a 2 (High vs. Low Group Identification) × 2 (High vs. Low Permeability) experimental design was employed to assess preferences for exit and loyalty in the context of a simulated business environment. For both rating measures and behavioral choices, the interaction hypothesis was supported. Implications for group loyalty and strategies of tokenism are discussed.",
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