Seeing red (or blue): How political identity influences interpersonal judgments at work

Academic Article


  • While research in employee identities continues to garner increased attention, political identity and related attitudes, values, and behavioral intentions have been largely overlooked. Considering the increasingly charged political climate in the United States and other areas of the world, we sought to examine how political identity may affect the determination to hire and work with fictitious candidates who disclose information related to their political identity. Guided by social identity theory (SIT) through a series of exploratory studies, we find support for several tenants of SIT including similarity bias and reversals of ingroup favoritism for candidates who hold similar political identities as respondents. Additionally, we find notable differences in the effects of candidate-respondent political identity congruence depending on job position (i.e., HR professional or prospective coworker) as well as identification with other common identities (e.g., employees of all ages or those in a specific age-based peer group). Taken together, our results shed light on the influence of political identity in organizations and highlight opportunities for future consideration.
  • Authors

  • Griffith, Jennifer
  • Baur, John
  • Buckley, Michael
  • Status

    Has Subject Area