From Categorization to Individuation: A New Perspective on Self-presentations and the Socialization of Racial Minorities

Open Access
Houston, Lawrence
Graduate Program:
Doctor of Philosophy
Document Type:
Date of Defense:
March 04, 2015
Committee Members:
  • Alicia Ann Grandey, Dissertation Advisor
  • Alicia Grandey, Committee Chair
  • Rick R Jacobs, Committee Member
  • Lance Ferris, Committee Member
  • Songqi Liu, Committee Member
  • self-presentations
  • socialization
  • workplace diversity
  • person-environment fit
  • relational demography
I extend the application of expectation states theory to develop, test, and replicate a model that explains how and when strategic self-presentations is associated with person-environment fit perceptions. In Study 1, a laboratory experiment with student teams, results support the prediction that the enhancing effects of strategic self-presentations (self-promotion and ingratiation) on coworker receptivity to newcomers (knowledge utilization and newcomer acceptance) is stronger when the self-presenter is White compared to racial minorities. However, these group effects are attenuated when the perceiver holds a favorable mindset about how diversity might affect team and organizational processes. Study 2, a multi-wave longitudinal study of hospital employees, shows that the effect of strategic self-presentation on coworker receptivity to newcomers is stronger for Whites than racial minorities, particularly for racial minorities characterized as tokens. Coworker receptivity, in turn, was positively associated with the extent to which newcomers perceived their organization and job as a good fit. These studies extend theory and research on workplace diversity, socialization, and impression management.