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intergroup relations

Roderick M. Kramer and Dana A. Gavrieli


The classic definition of intergroup relations was originally provided by Sherif (1966) , who suggested: “Whenever individuals belonging to one group interact, collectively or individually, with another group or its members in terms of their group identification, we have an instance of intergroup behavior” (p. 12). Within organization theory , the term intergroup relations refers to both individual interactions involving members from different groups and the collective behavior of groups in interaction with other groups, at either the intra‐ or inter‐organizational level ( see levels of analysis ). The study of intergroup relations has recently enjoyed a considerable resurgence from social scientists (e.g., Brett and Rognes, 1986 ; Brewer, 2003 ; Brown and Gaertner, 2001 ; Mackie and Smith, 2001 ; Sedikides, Schopler, and Insko, 1998 ). This resurgence has been driven in part by contemporary international conflicts that have highlighted the importance of understanding the origins of intergroup tensions and how those tensions can be reduced or eliminated. It reflects also increasing recognition of the importance of intergroup cooperation, especially in large, multinational firms ( see collaboration ). Several important traditions distinguish how intergroup relations have been conceptualized in organizational theory (for useful reviews, see Alderfer and Smith, 1982 ; ... log in or subscribe to read full text

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