Identity Stigmatization

By Alia El Banna and Steven A. Murphy.

Published by The Diversity Collection

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Article: Print $US10.00
Article: Electronic $US5.00

Recently, identity research has become a subject of interest for organization studies, as it provides insights into the way organizations and their employees operate by describing and explaining individual and organizational identities (Gioia et al., 2000; Korte, 2007). It has been argued that organizations that foster diversity and focus on positive deviance by maximizing inclusion and understanding, while minimizing resistance will reap the greatest benefits from their employees (Stevens et al., 2008). Stigmatization of identities, on the other hand, is a process of identity devaluation that puts the identity and the well being of the individual at stake (Cusack et al., 2003; Jones et al., 1984).
Although stigmatization effects on identities are clearly referred to in the literature at both the individual and group level (Cohen & Garcia, 2005; Cusack et al., 2003; Schur, 1980; Walton & Cohen, 2007), there have not been systematic attempts to consolidate both identity and stigmatization research. More research is needed to analyze the relationship between stigma as part of an individual’s identity, and the expected negative consequences on work outcomes. To this end, this paper proposes an identity stigmatization construct that specifically refers to the effect of stigmatization on identities and emphasizes the processes through which identities are stigmatized.

Keywords: Identity, Stigma, Stigmatization, Organization

International Journal of Diversity in Organizations, Communities and Nations, Volume 9, Issue 1, pp.135-146. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 1.190MB).

Alia El Banna

Ph.D. Candidate, Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Alia El Banna is a Ph.D. candidate at the Sprott Scholl of Business at Carleton University, in Ottawa, Canada. She graduated with an MBA from the same school. Alia’s research focus is on identity and emotions. Her research interests have advanced her understanding of identities and their influence on individuals, organizations and the society as a whole.

Dr. Steven A. Murphy

Associate Dean, Sprott School of Business, Carleton University, Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Steven Murphy is an Associate Dean (Research and Graduate Programs) and Associate Professor in the Sprott School of Business in Ottawa, Canada. His research involves applying behavioral and social psychological concepts into other academic realms. In particular, he has applied business concepts to practices in design, the fine arts and theatre. Human emotions form the pillar of Steven’s research, and he has examined them in relation to corporate boards, computer mediated communication and the leader-follower dyad.


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