Identity Theory: Applications to Individual, Group, and Organizational Interventions

Group Dynamics


            A set of individuals in the same surrounding constitute to a group. In these groups certain norms are established which have a great influence on the ultimate behavior of individuals in the group. Norms are a set of beliefs of how individuals should relate and behave. Examples of factors that influence group members to conform to the group norms include social acceptance, social identity, correctness, and to align with similar people(Carter, 2012). However, individuals do not always conform to group norms but at times they behave on a personal basis. This may make define their role in the group or it may make them prejudiced from the group.

What factors will influence group members to conform to a group’s norms, and when will members remain independent?

            Performance is one of the key factor that makes individual conform to group norms. Each individual in a department is required to produce results to contribute for the success of that business unit. The appearance norm is another compelling factor for group members to conform. For instance pilots would dress in a certain way as their group norm which distinguishes them from the air hostesses group(Hale, 2013). Another determinant is the social arrangement in which an individual belongs to. High ranked executives tend to behave in certain way in their clusters that is unique to their group norms.

Do individuals who do not conform to the group’s norms ever succeed in influencing the rest of the group?

            Individuals, though in a group, they become independent when they break the norms of a given group. This is to enhance accountability and responsibility by each member in a group(Carter, 2012).

            Individuals who do not conform to the group norms succeed to have influence on the rest of the members. This is because they establish their own norms apart from the group that defines their roles in the group(Hale, 2013). For instance different line managers are part of the group in their departments, but they may not conform to all the norms in their sections which gives earns them respect and hence influence to the rest of the members.


Carter, R. (2012). Identity Theory: Applications to Individual, Group, and Organizational Interventions. New York : Routledge Publishers.

Hale, J. (2013). The Performance Consultant’s Fieldbook: Tools and Techniques for Improving Organizations and People. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Source document