Conflict and complementarity between religious and occupational identities in the workplace

Y. Heliot, I.H. Gleibs, A. Coyle, D.M. Rousseau, C. Rojon

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution


Despite its recognition as an organizational diversity issue impacting personal well-being, little research to date addresses religious identity in the workplace. We conduct a systematic review of relevant literature and develop a conceptual framework to address a critical question: How do religious and occupational identities relate to each other in the workplace and with what antecedents and consequences?’ We specify key definitions and explicate the importance of the connection between religious and organizational identity to contemporary debates regarding workplace diversity. The systematic review uses a search strategy informed by an advisory panel of experts. Through a well-specified search process we conduct comprehensively screen the literature and ultimately identify 32 relevant peer-reviewed articles that form the basis of our synthesis and analysis. Findings point to three forms of religious and occupational identity relationships: compatible, incompatible and non-overlapping. Each has distinct implications for identity tension and employee well-being. Evidence suggests the benefits of expressing religious identity at work and helping employees negotiate their religious and occupational identities. Finally, we develop a theoretical framework that specifies the antecedents of the activation of religious and occupational identity in the workplace, the nature of the identity negotiation that activation triggers and its outcomes for individuals and the organization.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationAcademy of Management Proceedings
EditorsGuclu Atinc
PublisherAcademy of Management
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 30 Oct 2017
Event77th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management - Atlanta, United States
Duration: 4 Aug 20178 Aug 2017

Publication series

NameAcademy of Management Proceedings
ISSN (Print)0065-0668
ISSN (Electronic)2151-6561


Conference77th Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management
Abbreviated titleAOM 2017
CountryUnited States


  • diversity
  • identity
  • religion
  • faith
  • spirituality


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