Effects of social identity salience on motivational orientation and conflict strategies in intergenerational conflict

Research output: Journal Publications and ReviewsRGC 21 - Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)108-116
Journal / PublicationInternational Journal of Psychology
Issue number1
Online published1 Jun 2017
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2019


With the upsurge of older adults still working, the labour force is becoming increasingly diverse in age. Age diversity in an organisation can increase the likelihood of intergenerational conflict. The present study aims to integrate the dual concern model and social identity theory to explain the underlying mechanisms of intergenerational conflict by examining the effects of social identity salience on motivational orientation and conflict strategies. A 2 (subgroup identity salience: low vs. high younger/older group membership) × 2 (superordinate identity salience: low vs. high organisational group membership) factorial design with a structured questionnaire on motivational orientation and conflict strategies in relation to a hypothetical work conflict scenario was implemented among 220 postgraduate university students in Hong Kong. Results revealed that subgroup and superordinate identities had a combined influence on conflict strategies but not in motivational orientation. Subgroup and superordinate identification promoted integrating and compromising strategies, superordinate identification promoted obliging strategy, subgroup identification promoted dominating strategy and no identification promoted avoiding strategy. Age did not moderate these relationships. This study contributes to the development of the integrated model of conflict.

Research Area(s)

  • Conflict strategies, Intergenerational relations, Intergroup conflict, Motivational orientation, Social identity