Leadership and the management of conflicts in diverse groups: Why acknowledging versus neglecting subgroup identity matters



Past research suggests that reactions to an authority's decision are most influenced by treatment quality when individuals value their relationship with the authority and the group s/he represents. The present experiments examine how institutional recognition of self-relevant identities (implicit in Study 1 and explicit in Study 2) affects the relationship between treatment quality and reactions to the delivery of a negative outcome by an outgroup authority. The overall pattern of results suggests that treatment quality affects reactions to the decision only when the common identity shared with the authority and a subgroup identity that distinguishes one from the authority are both recognized. Possible mechanisms for the observed effect are discussed along with implications for the dual identity approach to conflict resolution. Copyright © 2004 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.