Colloquium Talk by Geoffrey Leonardelli on November 30, 16:00, 7A-33 (main building)

Colloquium Talk by Geoffrey Leonardelli

Date: November 30, 16:00-17:00, room 7A-33 (main building)

Speaker: Geoffrey Leonardelli, Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
Title: Building a Better Understanding of “Us”: Three Kinds of Self-Categorization and Implications for Loyalty

Social categorization has just about become an assumption in many theories in social psychology and organizational behavior – a topic worth acknowledging but not worth studying directly. In my deep dive into this concept, I am concluding that there is remarkable flexibility in its application to ingroups and outgroups (self-categories), overturning some of the established assumptions researchers have made about its very formation. Typically, it is assumed that ingroup categories are contrasted from outgroup ones; by contrast, I propose and find that just the ingroup or outgroup may be a category and the other one not. Moreover, we find that ingroup categorizations are associated with greater loyalty, especially so when the outgroup is not a category. The talk concludes with a proposal that different categorizations serve different purposes such as pursuing competitive advantage (creating an “us” versus “them”) or to build cooperative cultures (creating an “us” without a “them”), and proposes that ingroup-only categorizations are motivationally primary.