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Concepts of In and Out Groups

You have been invited by the human resources manager of a medium-sized company to prepare a "report" on "In Groups and Out Groups." The report will be distributed to departmental VPs and directors.

In the report you should:

1. Introduce the concepts of In and Out groups.

2. Describe a situation where you (or someone you know) were a member of the "In group" and another situation where you (or someone you know) were a member of the "Out group." This should be an example from your own business experience.

3. Analyze and explain the major differences between the two situations.

4. Explain how having an in-group and an out-group affected the groups and the organization.

5. To what extent was membership in either the in-group or the out-group based on task related performance factors? What non-task related factors entered into the decision?

6. Describe the implications for leadership and a leader's relationship with followers.

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Solution Preview

In-group is a group of people who share common interests and have a concern for each other's welfare, and whose members may include family, distant relatives, co-workers, and members of political and/or religious groups to which an individual belongs. Individuals form in-groups based on mutual interests and common traits since they are most likely to receive reinforcement for such traits from similar others. In-group members will view their long-term welfare in terms of the successes of the group.

source: http://frontpage.cbs.dk/ckg/downloadpaper.php?manuid=17.


1. They have an attitude that they are superior to minority groups.
2. They believe that minority groups are by their nature different and alien.
3. They believe that they have a proprietary claim to privilege, power, and prestige.
4. They have a fear and suspicion that minority groups have designs on dominant group benefits. (Williams 1964)


1. They are oppressed or persecuted at the hands of a dominant group, and as a result of the power differential that develops, they are disadvantaged, and the dominant group is advantaged.
2. They are distinguished by physical or cultural traits that distinguish them from the dominant group, allowing them to be easily "lumped" together and "placed" is less desirable locations.
3. They are self-conscious, with an idea of one-ness or peoplehood, based upon the perception of common suffering and burdens.
4. Membership is not voluntary, but is instead an ascribed position where the person is born into this status.
5. By choice or necessity, they usually marry within their own group (endogamy). It is by choice to preserve ...

Solution Summary

In and out groups are defined in this solution, as well as an example of someone being part of an in group and an out group. The distinction between the two groups is also provided, along with how these groups affect the organization and the groups themselves. Leadership is also discussed. Approximately 1,121 words with 3 references.