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Seminar – Employee resource groups: An incubator for in-house activism?

Universiteit van Amsterdam

In this talk, Chris will discuss a series of initial studies (1 longitudinal study, 3 pre-registered experiments) suggesting another key function that ERGs may play: as an incubator for in-house activism – that is, a space for fostering heightened vigilance to persisting forms of bias and inequality in the organization, and strengthening employee’s motivation to speak up and call out these continuing inequalities (i.e., engage in ‘in-house’ or organization-focused collective actions). Bridging theory on intragroup relations and collective action, these studies show that when individuals have high-quality interactions with individuals from a shared, marginalized social group (members of one’s own racial/ethnic minority group), it positively affects their sense of value to the group and, in turn, their willingness to engage in collective action. They also show how these processes feed into other established determinants of collective action (as outlined in the social identity model of collective action; SIMCA). Stemming from this initial evidence, Chris will discuss how in organizational contexts ERGs may facilitate these same high-quality interactions and thus heighten employees’ attention to persisting forms of injustice at work, and ultimately their willingness to take action against it. In this way, ERGs may serve as an important incubator for in-house (organization-focused) activism.

Hybrid from REC M4.02


  • Christopher Begeny (University of Exeter)


Plantage Muidergracht 12,
1018 TV Amsterdam