Over the last 3 years, we have taken the leading social psychological approach for understanding group behaviour – the social identity approach – and applied it to teams in order to recognise the challenges, problems and most crucially solutions to the ever changing sports team landscape. This research involved collecting two longitudinal data sets that investigated 528 individuals in 52 amateur and elite teams across 14 different sports in three countries. This is out first published article – we have two more in the review process.
Social Identification in Sports Teams: The Role of Personal, Social, and Collective Identity Motives.
William E. Thomas, Rupert Brown1, Matthew J. Easterbrook, Vivian L. Vignoles, Claudia Manzi, Chiara D’Angelo,and Jeremy J. Holt. In Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin 1-16, 2017
Based on motivated identity construction theory (MICT; Vignoles, 2011), we offer an integrative approach examining the combined roles of six identity motives (self-esteem, distinctiveness, belonging, meaning, continuity, and efficacy) instantiated at three different motivational levels (personal, social, and collective identity) as predictors of group identification. These identity processes were investigated among 369 members of 45 sports teams from England and Italy in a longitudinal study over 6 months with four time points. Multilevel change modeling and cross-lagged analyses showed that satisfaction of four personal identity motives (individuals’ personal feelings of self-esteem, distinctiveness, meaning, and efficacy derived from team membership), three social identity motives (individuals’ feelings that the team identity carries a sense of belonging, meaning, and continuity), and one collective identity motive (a shared belief in group distinctiveness) significantly predicted group identification. Motivational processes underlying group identification are complex, multilayered, and not reducible to personal needs.