What is it about?

Several studies are introduced to validate a new measure of identity associated with five roles at work.

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Why is it important?

Studying only one identity, in isolation, may lead to results that are inaccurate. The concept of multiple identities being studied at the same time is important because an intervention may raise the importance of one identity, but if not studying more than one, the impact on other identities (and perhaps effort associated with those other identities) is unknown.


I've done research in companies using these scales, and we find that using multiple measures of identities at work results in new learning that would not have been possible without this approach. For example, a new incentive program might result in the team member role being more important and employees spending a lot of time on their team-related activities. But, if we had not also measured the impact on job and career identity, we would not have realized that improving team came with a reduction in job and career related identity. When job identity goes down, so does time in job, and the unwanted consequences was lower output. This does not mean team was unimportant, but being fully informed on trade off of consequences is a better way to analyze the impact of an intervention.

Dr. Theresa M. Welbourne
University of Alabama

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Advancing a Richer View of Identity at Work: The Role-Based Identity Scale, Personnel Psychology, April 2016, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1111/peps.12150.
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