Something of Collaborative Manufacture: The Construction of Race and Gender Identities in Organizations

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Using qualitative data, this article documents how organizations contribute to the construction of their members' race and gender identities. Data collection took place in four organizations, from a small nonprofit to a large financial services firm. Using interactions as the unit of analysis, the author compiled and investigated a database of 114 interactions, creating a process model of how working in an organization can spotlight and change the expression of racial, ethnic, and gender identities. The article makes four contributions: It suggests a broader reach for organizational influence on individual identity, since earlier research has explored work-related identities; it distinguishes among levels of influence by isolating the discrete role of interpersonal encounters, organizational practices, and the combination of the two; it casts light on how identity construction happens even without intentional effort by individuals or organizations; and it illustrates the importance of modest changes in the construction of identity.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)495-524
Number of pages30
JournalJournal of Applied Behavioral Science
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 2012


  • identity construction
  • interactions
  • organizational context
  • race and gender

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology


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