Predictors of Identity Management: An Exploratory Experience-Sampling Study of Lesbian, Gay, and Bisexual Workers


This study examined workplace interactions in which lesbian, gay, and bisexual (LGB) workers faced decisions related to revealing or concealing their LGB identities at work (i.e., identity management situations). Participants were 61 LGB adults who completed a baseline survey about their organization and, over 3 weeks, responded to event-based surveys immediately after identity management situations. Results suggested that LGB workers manage their stigmatized identity strategically according to situational characteristics. Indeed, much of the variance in use of revealing and concealing strategies was due to differences within people from situation to situation. Use of identity management strategies was predicted by interaction partner cues of acceptance or rejection as well as perception of LGB-related organizational climate and policies. Results at the within-person and between-person levels diverged in noteworthy ways.

Publication Title

Journal of Management