Project Title: Being Bossy and Being Female: Gender Effects on Identity Management
Student: Megan Buys
Mentor: Dr. Melanie Henderson
How do people juggle between conflicting roles-such as being a supervisor and friend in the workplace? This paper examines the psychological processes that underlie how people manage conflicting roles within organizational settings, and how these processes affect the use of behavioral and verbal power tactics. In addition to measuring identity integration as a stable, individual difference in perceived compatibility among social identities (Study 1), this line of research also experimentally manipulated identity integration to explore identity management as a potentially malleable process (Study 2). Results showed that higher identity integration was associated with more integrative behavioral tactics and more polite verbal tactics. However, results suggested that the effect of identity integration on avoidant tactics—situational strategies that do not address the obligations of either role—differs by gender. While higher identity integration is negatively associated with the use of situational tactics for men, it is not significantly associated with the use of situational tactics for women. Additionally, higher identity integration is positively associated with the use of self-referent politeness tactics for women, but not for men. Overall, these studies demonstrate that identity integration affects how people manage role conflict, and this process might differentially affect strategies for women and men.