Social Identity Theory in Practice

The Social Identity Theory is the notion that leader emergence and then leader followership depends on how closely members of the group attribute themselves to being a part of that group. This is clearly put into practice within the culture of Now What Research. Every Monday, we have a company-wide meeting in the morning led by the President of Now What Research. Due to the nature of the industry, we are always trying to “win” projects. This means that we are competing with other agencies that are similar to our own to be chosen to work on a consumer insights project. Usually this is between two to three other agencies where Now What Research must provide a proposal that goes above and beyond the other agencies the company has the choice to work with. During these staff meetings, we go into detail about the different agencies we were up against and celebrate the proposals that our company was chosen for. The President never singles out the person who wrote up the final proposal, but instead attributes the win to the whole company. This makes every member, whether they worked on it or not, a vital part to the success. Additionally, it creates an “us” versus “them” competition where we side with Now What Research as a distinguished team from that of other agencies, further placing us into a similar identity.

Additionally, the floor plan allows for the social identity theory to be put into practice even further. The layout of the company has only two offices: the CEO/Founder and the President. The rest of the office is an open floor plan with just an arrangement of desks throughout. Most Strategists rarely even sit at their desks and instead sit in the Kitchen or on the various couches around the office. However, regardless of any one’s hierarchy status, they all come into work and sit in the same desk as that of an intern, Associate Strategist, Strategist, and even Director. Therefore, this allows each employee to feel on the same playing field as their superiors creating a stronger identity as a complete unit.

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