Defining What You are by What You are Not: Negational Identity and Needs Fulfillment

12 Pages Posted: 29 Oct 2004

See all articles by Chen-Bo Zhong

Chen-Bo Zhong

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management

Katherine Williams Phillips

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management

Geoffrey J. Leonardelli

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management; University of Toronto - Department of Psychology

Adam D. Galinsky

Columbia University - Columbia Business School, Management

Date Written: February 16, 2004

Abstract

The social identity literature has traditionally examined affirmational identities, that is, groups defined by what they are (e.g., "we are management scholars"), but has largely overlooked negational identities, that is, groups defined by what they are not (e.g., "we are not Republicans") as a source of social identification. There are two notable exceptions that have used very different methodologies and samples to examine negational identities at different levels (McGuire & McGuire, 1986; Elsbach & Bhattacharya, 2001). However, the prevalence, antecedents, and consequences of negational identification are yet to be understood. In this paper we establish the prevalence of negational identification and examine the meaning of negational identification to group members, i.e., what needs do negational identities fulfill?

Keywords: Negational identity, Affirmational identity, Need Fulfillment

JEL Classification: D74

Suggested Citation

Zhong, Chen-Bo and Williams Phillips, Katherine and Leonardelli, Geoffrey J. and Galinsky, Adam D., Defining What You are by What You are Not: Negational Identity and Needs Fulfillment (February 16, 2004). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=610688 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.610688

Chen-Bo Zhong (Contact Author)

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
Canada

Katherine Williams Phillips

Northwestern University - Kellogg School of Management ( email )

2001 Sheridan Road
Evanston, IL 60208
United States

Geoffrey J. Leonardelli

University of Toronto - Rotman School of Management ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
Canada
1-416-946-0731 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.rotman.utoronto.ca/FacultyAndResearch/Faculty/FacultyBios/Leonardelli.aspx

University of Toronto - Department of Psychology ( email )

105 St. George Street
Toronto, Ontario M5S 3E6 M5S1S4
Canada
1-416-946-0731 (Phone)

HOME PAGE: http://www.rotman.utoronto.ca/FacultyAndResearch/Faculty/FacultyBios/Leonardelli.aspx

Adam D. Galinsky

Columbia University - Columbia Business School, Management ( email )

3022 Broadway
New York, NY 10027
United States

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