Development-Ally Focused: a Review and Reconceptualization of Ally Identity Development

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Equality Diversity and Inclusion

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Purpose Although allies have been shown to be effective at helping to ignite positive change for marginalized groups, the literature on ally identity development is fragmented. Design/methodology/approach We draw from developmental, contextual, and identity theories to review the existing literature and focus squarely on the ally experience, resulting in a synthesized process-based conceptualization of ally identity development. Findings At each stage, we discuss intrapersonal experiences individuals are likely to have internally, interpersonal experiences that are likely to occur with others, and catalysts for progression to subsequent stages. In doing so, we outline the multilevel factors that influence and are influenced by ally development in hopes of identifying what motivates or dissuades individuals from becoming more active allies. Originality/value We provide practitioners and scholars with a deeper understanding of the organizational and societal benefits associated with allyship behaviors, as well as tools for increasing their presence within organizations.


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