The paradox of dueling identities : the case of local senior executives in MNC subsidiaries

Yan ZHANG, Jennifer M. GEORGE, Tsang Sing CHAN

Research output: Journal PublicationsJournal Article (refereed)

30 Citations (Scopus)


This study focuses on how employees cope with dueling social identities when one is of relatively low status compared to the other by studying local senior executives in mulinational corporations' (MNC's) subsidiaries who can identify with the local staff and/or headquarters' management. As hypothesized, perceptions of local staff incompetence are positively related to executives' turnover intentions. This relationship becomes weaker if they have high-quality communication with, or high levels of trust in, headquarters' management. Results suggest that employees disidentify with a stigmatized identity group by intending to quit; however, identification with a higher status alternative identity group can mitigate this effect.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)400-425
Number of pages26
JournalJournal of Management
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2006



  • Communication
  • MNC management
  • Social identity
  • Trust
  • Turnover intentions

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