The study presented in this article examined the role of social recognition as an equal in group members' motivation to serve their ingroup as well as actual group-serving behavior. We predicted and found that social recognition as opposed to non-recognition as an equal, communicated by fellow group members, increased participants' group-serving motivation and behavior. In addition, the psychological processes underlying this effect were examined. We theoretically derived a mediational chain, which was then tested empirically. As expected, social recognition as an equal led to experiences of being respected, and perceived equality of self played a mediational role in this relationship. The experience of respect, in turn, was associated with stronger collective identification, which played a mediating role linking the respect experience with higher motivation and better behavioral performance in group-serving tasks. Moreover, these effects operated over and above group members' perceptions of being liked by others. The practical and broader social implications of equality-based respect are discussed. Copyright © 2011 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.