Social identity patterns and trust in demographically diverse work teams

K.I. van der Zee*, Menno Vos, Kyra Luijters

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


The article presents a model that links trust in a demographically diverse work context to three different social-identity patterns. Trust is considered to be beneficial for interpersonal relationships and work outcomes in diverse teams as well as for a healthy work relationship between minority members and their company. First, imposing a common ingroup identity based on similarities has been put forward as a useful method of creating depersonalized forms of trust among members of different demographic subgroups. However, its usefulness seems to be limited to situations of low identity threat. Alternatively, recent findings support the usefulness of creating a relational identity orientation or a common ingroup identity that explicitly embraces the value of diversity. The latter methods seem to enforce more personalized and more robust forms of identity-based trust in teams. They may also be useful in promoting trust of minority members in the organizational setting as a whole and in its authorities, probably because these identity patterns contribute to feelings of respect among minority members. Practical implications of these findings are discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)175-198
Number of pages24
JournalSocial Science Information
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2009


  • Common ingroup identity
  • Demographic diversity
  • Justice
  • Relational identity orientation
  • Respect
  • Trust
  • Value-in-diversity


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