Skip to main content

Lund University Publications

LUND UNIVERSITY LIBRARIES

They (Don’t) Need Us : Functional Indispensability Impacts Perceptions of Representativeness and Commitment When Lower-Status Groups Go Through an Intergroup Merger

Rosa, Miriam ; Giessner, Steffen ; Guerra, Rita ; Waldzus, Sven ; Kersting, Anna Maria ; Veličković, Katarina LU and Collins, Elizabeth C. (2020) In Frontiers in Psychology 10.
Abstract

Intergroup changes occur often between subgroups who are asymmetric in status (e.g., size, power, prestige), with important consequences for social identification, especially among the members of lower-status groups. Mergers offer an example of such changes, when subgroups (merger partners) merge into a common, superordinate group (post-merger group). Lower-status subgroups frequently perceive they are less represented in the post-merger group, therefore committing less to the changes a merger implies. Five studies offered an intergroup relations’ perspective on mergers (N’s = 479, 150, 266, 113, and 229, respectively), examining how functional indispensability (instrumental contribution of the ingroup) positively influences perceptions... (More)

Intergroup changes occur often between subgroups who are asymmetric in status (e.g., size, power, prestige), with important consequences for social identification, especially among the members of lower-status groups. Mergers offer an example of such changes, when subgroups (merger partners) merge into a common, superordinate group (post-merger group). Lower-status subgroups frequently perceive they are less represented in the post-merger group, therefore committing less to the changes a merger implies. Five studies offered an intergroup relations’ perspective on mergers (N’s = 479, 150, 266, 113, and 229, respectively), examining how functional indispensability (instrumental contribution of the ingroup) positively influences perceptions of representativeness in the post-merger group (relative ingroup prototypicality), which, in turn, affect post-merger identification and, finally, change commitment. Additionally, the role of cognitive information processing (heuristic vs. systematic) on prototypicality was explored. Results suggest that functional indispensability impacts relative ingroup prototypicality (Studies 1–5), and this may be moderated by information processing (Study 2). Moreover, prototypicality and identification with the superordinate post-merged group mediated the effect of functional indispensability on change commitment (Studies 1–3). These findings provide important theoretical insights into prototypicality perceptions held by lower-status merger partners and minority groups in general, by identifying functional indispensability as a source of prototypicality other than relative status. In addition, by proposing a functional approach to the relations between social groups, these findings suggest better practices for managing structural changes, such as combining sources of strategic/functional and identity fit when announcing an intergroup change.

(Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
; ; ; ; ; and
organization
publishing date
type
Contribution to journal
publication status
published
subject
keywords
functional indispensability, information processing, intergroup change, intergroup relations, lower-status groups, mergers, prototypicality
in
Frontiers in Psychology
volume
10
article number
2772
publisher
Frontiers Media S. A.
external identifiers
  • pmid:31993001
  • scopus:85078776711
ISSN
1664-1078
DOI
10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02772
language
English
LU publication?
yes
id
65176fb4-7708-4107-9b3e-baac1c9f51d4
date added to LUP
2020-02-13 12:53:21
date last changed
2022-08-03 20:38:01
@article{65176fb4-7708-4107-9b3e-baac1c9f51d4,
  abstract     = {{<p>Intergroup changes occur often between subgroups who are asymmetric in status (e.g., size, power, prestige), with important consequences for social identification, especially among the members of lower-status groups. Mergers offer an example of such changes, when subgroups (merger partners) merge into a common, superordinate group (post-merger group). Lower-status subgroups frequently perceive they are less represented in the post-merger group, therefore committing less to the changes a merger implies. Five studies offered an intergroup relations’ perspective on mergers (N’s = 479, 150, 266, 113, and 229, respectively), examining how functional indispensability (instrumental contribution of the ingroup) positively influences perceptions of representativeness in the post-merger group (relative ingroup prototypicality), which, in turn, affect post-merger identification and, finally, change commitment. Additionally, the role of cognitive information processing (heuristic vs. systematic) on prototypicality was explored. Results suggest that functional indispensability impacts relative ingroup prototypicality (Studies 1–5), and this may be moderated by information processing (Study 2). Moreover, prototypicality and identification with the superordinate post-merged group mediated the effect of functional indispensability on change commitment (Studies 1–3). These findings provide important theoretical insights into prototypicality perceptions held by lower-status merger partners and minority groups in general, by identifying functional indispensability as a source of prototypicality other than relative status. In addition, by proposing a functional approach to the relations between social groups, these findings suggest better practices for managing structural changes, such as combining sources of strategic/functional and identity fit when announcing an intergroup change.</p>}},
  author       = {{Rosa, Miriam and Giessner, Steffen and Guerra, Rita and Waldzus, Sven and Kersting, Anna Maria and Veličković, Katarina and Collins, Elizabeth C.}},
  issn         = {{1664-1078}},
  keywords     = {{functional indispensability; information processing; intergroup change; intergroup relations; lower-status groups; mergers; prototypicality}},
  language     = {{eng}},
  month        = {{01}},
  publisher    = {{Frontiers Media S. A.}},
  series       = {{Frontiers in Psychology}},
  title        = {{They (Don’t) Need Us : Functional Indispensability Impacts Perceptions of Representativeness and Commitment When Lower-Status Groups Go Through an Intergroup Merger}},
  url          = {{http://dx.doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02772}},
  doi          = {{10.3389/fpsyg.2019.02772}},
  volume       = {{10}},
  year         = {{2020}},
}