Social Identity Theory OB

Social Identity Theory
Social identity is a person’s sense of who they are based on
their group membership(s). Henri Tajfel(famous Polish social
psychologist) in 1979 proposed that the groups (e.g. social
class, family, football team etc.) which people belong to are an
important source of pride and self-esteem.
According to the theory there are two main types of groups
where individual can participate.
In-group (us)
Out-group (them)
■ Out groups refer to those groups
with which individual does not
identify himself. These are outside
groups (Pakistan is an out group for
The groups with which individual
identifies himself are his/her ingroup (one’s family, one’s college
are example of his/her in group).
■ In-group members have positive
attitude towards their own group but
they have negative attitudes
towards their out-group.
Examples of in- and out- groups
■ Social Class: Upper and Working Classes
■ Gender: Males and Females
■ Religion: Christianity and Islam
■ Politics: Democrats and Republicans
There are three mental processes involved in evaluating
others as “us” or “them”, which follow one another. These
processes are:
■ Social Categorization - we categorize objects in order to understand them and
identify them.
■ Social Identification - we adopt the identity of the group we have categorized
ourselves as belonging to.
■ Social Comparison - once we have categorized ourselves as part of a group and
have identified with that group we then tend to compare that group with other