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Disclosure of stigmatized identities at work: An interdisciplinary review and agenda for future research

Written by: Alecia M. Santuzzi, Robert T. Keating, Jesus J. Martinez, Lisa M. Finkelstein, Deborah E. Rupp, Nicole Strah
Published on: Aug 18, 2023

Workplace identity
Photo credit: VectorMine/ Adobe Stock

This review focuses on the disclosure decisions faced by employees with concealable stigmatized identities—one of the most challenging decisions these individuals must make on a day-to-day basis.

Indeed, multiple theoretical frameworks have provided a foundation for understanding the antecedents and outcomes associated with the decision to disclose or not to disclose a stigmatized identity. What is less clear, however, is the extent to which these frameworks have been empirically supported. This systematic review serves to unify the extant literature and prompt continued research related to employees with concealable stigmatized identities. Specifically, we draw upon multiple fields of study, including applied psychology, management, social psychology, and occupational health as a means to systematically synthesize the existing empirical research related to disclosure of stigmatized identities at work. In addition to advancing the scholarly knowledge of disclosure, this review also provides practical utility to organizations as they continue to create work environments that foster inclusion of all stigmatized and nonstigmatized employees.

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