Group identity, performance transparency, and employee performance

Ruidi Shang, Margareth Abernethy, Chung-Yu Hung

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleScientificpeer-review

14 Citations (Scopus)


Economics, social psychology, and management studies suggest that group identity plays an important role in directing employee behaviors. On the one hand, strong group identity could motivate high effort by resolving conflicts of interests in the workplace. On the other hand, it could encourage conformity towards group norms. We examine whether the effect of group identity is conditional on managers' performance reporting choices. Drawing on survey and archival data from a field site, we find that when performance transparency is low, the interest alignment effect is more salient and group identity positively relates to employee performance. However, when performance transparency is high, the conformity effect is more salient and higher group identity is associated with more homogeneous, but not necessarily higher, employee performance. Our findings contribute to the management control literature by documenting that managers' performance reporting choices determine whether group identity has positive effects on employee performance.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)373-397
JournalAccounting Review
Issue number5
Early online dateOct 2019
Publication statusPublished - Sept 2020


  • management accounting
  • management control
  • employee performance
  • group identity
  • performance transparency


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