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Date of Award

6-2017

Document Type

Restricted Thesis: Campus only access

Degree Name

Master of Science in Psychology

Department

Social Sciences

First Reader/Committee Chair

Agars, Mark

Abstract

Every individual associates him/herself with a specific and sometimes a unique identity. In a workplace setting individuals may choose to either openly display and/or speak about their identity or they may choose to conceal it. Research shows that manifestation and/or suppression of an identity in the workplace can affect individual outcomes such as perceptions of discrimination, job satisfaction, and turnover intentions.

The present study investigated whether an identity characterized as visible and/or invisible would affect an individual’s decision to either manifest and/or suppress his/her identity. The study further examined the effects of identity management techniques used by individuals on their perceptions of discrimination in the workplace, job satisfaction, and intentions to leave the organization. The sample included 369 individuals who were at the time of the survey at least half time employed. Independent-samples t-tests were used to test the relationship between identity characteristics and identity management. Path analyses was used to analyze the hypothesized relationship between identity management, perceptions of discrimination, job Satisfaction, and turnover intentions. The study found that individuals with an invisible identity are more likely to suppress their identities. It was also found that identity suppression had a direct positive relationship with perceptions of discrimination. Perceived discrimination was found to have a negative correlation with job satisfaction and a positive relationship with turnover intentions. Additionally, the study found that Job satisfaction is negatively correlated with Turnover Intentions. The importance of proper diversity management strategies and the role of an inclusive work environment on employees’ decision to either manifest and/or suppress their identities are discussed.

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