The pernicious effects of unstable work group membership: How work group changes undermine unique task contributions and newcomer acceptance

Floor Rink*, Naomi Ellemers

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This research demonstrates that group membership instability tends to raise self-related concerns that make it less likely that people value and accept constructive task contributions offered by newcomers. In Study 1 (N = 88), unstable group membership heightened self-related concerns. Participants indicated increased intentions to make unique task contributions and lowered the evaluations of others' contributions, particularly those from a newcomer. Study 2 (N = 81) used an online minimal group paradigm to obtain behavioral outcomes. Unstable group membership again heightened self-related concerns and gave rise to unique task contributions, even when a newcomer had just offered a high-quality task solution that benefitted the group. Because of their self-related concerns, members with an unstable position also evaluated other membersand the newcomer in particularmore negatively than did members with a stable position. In this way, workgroup instability can undermine (rather than foster) change and innovation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)6-23
Number of pages18
JournalGroup Processes & Intergroup Relations
Volume18
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan-2015

Keywords

  • group commitment
  • group membership (IN)stability
  • newcomer acceptance
  • self-related concerns
  • task behavior
  • DISRESPECTED GROUP MEMBERS
  • SELF-ESTEEM
  • SOCIAL IDENTITY
  • JOB INSECURITY
  • PERFORMANCE
  • CONSEQUENCES
  • COMMITMENT
  • EMPLOYMENT
  • TRUST
  • CATEGORIZATION

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