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Diversity in organizations



The study of diversity in organizations addresses the implications of workplace diversity from social justice, legal compliance, and organizational performance standpoints. Diversity in groups and organizations is associated with social categorization and information/decision-making processes, which respectively are related to adverse and beneficial attitudes and behaviors. Diversity scholars have attempted to shed light into these mixed results by addressing the role of categorical and relational demography, diversity types, curvilinear and interactive effects, and complex conceptualizations of diversity. Diversity management strategies, such as affirmative action and management-led diversity initiatives, have been designed to reduce discrimination and stimulate the beneficial effects of diversity.
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From Gonzalez, J.A., Zamanian, A., 2015. Diversity in organizations. In: James D. Wright
(editor-in-chief), International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences,
2nd edition, Vol 6. Oxford: Elsevier. pp. 595–600.
ISBN: 9780080970868
Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. unless otherwise stated. All rights reserved.
Author's personal copy
Diversity in organizations
Jorge A Gonzalez and Azadeh Zamanian, University of Texas-Pan American, Edinburg, TX, USA
Ó2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
The study of diversity in organizations addresses the implications of workplace diversity from social justice, legal compliance,
and organizational performance standpoints. Diversity in groups and organizations is associated with social categorization
and information/decision-making processes, which respectively are related to adverse and benecial attitudes and behaviors.
Diversity scholars have attempted to shed light into these mixed results by addressing the role of categorical and relational
demography, diversity types, curvilinear and interactive effects, and complex conceptualizations of diversity. Diversity
management strategies, such as afrmative action and management-led diversity initiatives, have been designed to reduce
discrimination and stimulate the benecial effects of diversity.
Diversity refers to the extent in which members of an entity,
such as a group or organization, differ from one another. This
encompasses a very broad range of individual attributes,
although most attention has been given to differences in
gender, race/ethnicity, and age. Diversity in attributes, such as
nationality, culture, education, function, tenure, ability, sexual
orientation, religion, values, personality, goals, and many
others is gaining attention. The eld is mainly concerned with
the outcomes and management of individual differences in
organizational settings, including work groups and organiza-
tions. Its importance lies on the fact that the workplace in many
nations is growing increasingly diverse. For instance, women
and racial and ethnic minorities now constitute the majority of
workers in the USA (Bureau of Labor Statistics, U.S. Depart-
ment of Labor,
Diversity and the Goals of Its Study
Most diversity research addresses the implications of workplace
diversity taking a social justice, legal compliance, or organiza-
tional performance standpoint. Social justice goals include the
reduction of bias and discrimination, and the enhancement of
inclusion in the workplace. These objectives center on
increasing the presence and inclusion of traditionally under-
represented or disenfranchised social groups: women, racial/
ethnic minorities, and older workers. The social justice
perspective includes the study of workplace discrimination and
the implementation of diversity management programs. Such
programs may be designed to meet legal compliance goals,
such as following afrmative action and equal opportunity
legislation. Nonetheless, diversity management also includes
management-led diversity initiatives, which tend to be moti-
vated by social justice objectives, and designed to stimulate the
inclusion of a range of social backgrounds broader than the one
established by the law.
Organizational performance goals rely on the value diversity
offers to organizations (Cox and Blake, 1991). Consistent with
the business casefor diversity or value-in-diversityhypothesis,
some scholars suggest that diversity is a source of sustained
competitive advantage and leads to greater organizational
performance. For instance, with basis on the resource-based
view of the rm, organizational racial diversity is considered
a resource that is valuable, rare, and difcult to imitate and thus
a source of sustained competitive advantage (Richard, 2000).
These ideas emphasize the benets organizations draw from
their compatibility with constituents in a complex and diverse
environment, such as potential employees, business partners,
and customers. Therefore, social justice, legal compliance, and
performance goals are not necessarily incompatible. Govern-
ment legislation, such as afrmative action emphasizes the
accomplishment of social justice goals through legal compli-
ance. Moreover, the business casefor diversity is based on the
appeal of the idea that organizational performance and social
justice goals are compatible.
Diversity Outcomes
Despite the appeal of the business case for diversity, reviews of
the literature have revealed that diversity in groups and orga-
nizations has the potential for both positive and negative
outcomes (van Knippenberg and Schippers, 2007;Williams
and OReilly, 1998)
These seemingly paradoxical results have been synthesized
into two theoretical perspectives: social categorization and
information/decision making. The social categorization
perspective describes how people categorize themselves and
others into groups to make sense of a complex environment.
It relies on social identity and social categorization theories,
which posit that people display in-group favoritism in their
social interactions. These theories are complemented with the
similarity-attraction paradigm, which holds that people are
attracted to others who possess similar psychological attributes,
but infer similarity through observable demographic attributes.
Diverse groups and organizations are subject to faulty social
categorization processes and therefore have more affective
conict than homogeneous ones (Ashkanasy et al., 2002), as
well as lower trust, communication, cooperation, helping,
cohesiveness, satisfaction, and commitment. For these reasons,
diverse groups and organizations may ultimately perform
poorly in comparison with homogeneous ones.
In contrast, the information/decision-making perspective
holds that diversity is related to a wider range of, skills, abilities,
expertise, and perspectives (Cox and Blake, 1991;Watson et al.,
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1993). This variety in knowledge provides a broad cognitive
resource base that permits greater creativity and innovation in
group tasks and decision making. For instance, diversity
reduces the possibility of groupthink a premature consensus
or conformity that leads to poor decisions. Instead, diversity
enhances the opportunities for dissent, debate, the rise of
a devils advocate, and other factors associated with substantive
or benecial task-related conict. In effect, this can lead to
better decision making. For instance, divergent viewpoints in
a team can result in team reexivity a careful consideration of
its functioning which can lead to increased team learning and
effectiveness. Overall, diverse groups and organizations have
the opportunity to be more effective thanks to a broader
cognitive base.
An integration of these two perspectives suggests a more
nuanced consideration of diversity and the intervening
processes that lead to its attitudinal, behavioral, and perfor-
mance outcomes. Different individual attributes may present
different processes and outcomes, and a combination or
interaction of such attributes may present complex processes.
Diversity effects may also be contingent on a variety of
moderators or contextual circumstances. Furthermore, it is
important to consider that diversity is a compositional
construct, meaning that it is an attribute of groups and orga-
nizations rather than individuals, but individual-level dissim-
ilarity from others also has an important role in the eld.
Categorical and Relational Demography
Research about diversity at the individual level of analysis is
concerned with simple demographic effects, as well as the
extent in which an individual is similar or different from
referent others. The simple or categorical demography
approach assesses the behaviors associated with specic indi-
vidual attributes. This would include, for example, the study of
the behavior associated with being Hispanic or comparing the
attitudes or managerial attributes of men and women at work.
The relational demography approach refers to the extent in
which an individual is different in an attribute or category from
referent others, such as other members of a work group or
a particular person (Riordan, 2000). Relational demography
studies typically take the social categorization perspective. Most
studies have found that people who are different from others
tend to be less committed to their organizations and satised
with their jobs, and more likely to be absent and quit their jobs
(e.g., Tsui et al., 1992). Studies concerned with dyads show
similar results. For instance, being demographically different
from a supervisor is related to lower employee commitment,
a more adverse relationship, and lower assessment of employee
performance from such supervisor (e.g., Tsui and OReilly
1989). Relational demography includes the effects tokenism,
or being extremely different from others in a group, such as of
being the sole woman in an otherwise completely male group.
Tokenism emphasizes the particular effects of visibility and
suggests the adverse effects of dissimilarity not only depend on
the feelings, thoughts, and demographic identity salience of the
token person, but also on the way that other group members
perceive and treat such person.
Relational demography can be combined with categorical
demography and group diversity to cross levels of analysis in its
study. Such interaction approach can reveal asymmetrical
social group effects. For example, relational demography
studies have shown that being different in terms of gender or
race is typically more detrimental to work attitudes for men and
Whites than for women and non-Whites (e.g., Tsui et al., 1992).
Interestingly, Chatman and OReilly (2004) found that women
were more likely than men to be affectively attached to same-
gender groups, but that women were also more likely to
leave same-gender groups. This was attributed to status, which
was higher in male-dominated groups. The interactive
approach can combine categorical and relational demography
effects with organizational-level diversity. This would suggest
that relational demography effects depend on organizational
diversity and would likely present weaker adverse effects in
heterogeneous organizations.
Diversity Typologies
As stated earlier, diversity encompasses a broad range of indi-
vidual attributes. Many diversity studies focus on a single
attribute (e.g., 43% of diversity studies reviewed by Jackson
et al., 2003). One reason may be that scholars and managers
are often interested in a single dimension of diversity. For
instance, people are often seen as having either gender or a race,
but not both. Nonetheless, diversity scholars and managers are
increasingly paying attention to a multiplicity of individual
attributes to answer the question of whether all differences
make a difference. This has given rise to individual attribute
One typology describes whether individual attributes are
task related or not. In this case, differences in education,
function, and tenure provide a variety of task-related infor-
mation, whereas differences in race/ethnicity, gender, and age
do not (Pelled et al., 1999). The rationale behind this distinc-
tion is that task-related diversity stimulates substantive conict,
which drives people to consider multiple points of view,
perspectives, and opinions, while nontask-related diversity
leads to affective conict that can be detrimental.
Another typology differentiates across surface- and deep-
level diversity. Surface-level diversity refers to differences in
observable demographic attributes, such as race, ethnicity,
gender, and age, while deep-level diversity refers to differences
in psychological attributes, such as personality traits, beliefs,
and values (Harrison et al., 1998). This distinction holds that
both surface- and deep-level diversity may harm group social
integration, cohesion, and in effect performance. However, the
effects of surface-level diversity weaken through time, while
those of deep-level diversity become stronger as group
members get to know one another. This typology diverges from
early conceptualizations of organizational demography, which
assessed cognitive (deep-level) diversity in management groups
using demographic (surface-level) attributes as a proxy.
Despite the logical appeal of typologies, meta-analyses that
have studied them, particularly the task/nontask distinction,
have not provided conclusive results (e.g., Horwitz and
Horwitz, 2007). These meta-analyses either have not shown
different outcomes for task and nontask diversity on group
cohesion and performance, or have found inconsistent
evidence about the role of social integration processes. These
inconclusive results stimulated the development of the
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categorization-elaboration model, which suggests that both
task and nontask diversity dimensions affect the elaboration of
task-related information and social categorization processes
(van Knippenberg and Schippers, 2007). A more recent meta-
analysis exploring specic attributes rather than a task/non-
task typology showed more nuanced effects. Functional and
educational backgrounds were positively related to team crea-
tivity, innovation, and performance, while educational diver-
sity was related to performance only in top management teams.
Also, racial and sex diversity had small adverse effects on
performance (Bell et al., 2011). Another meta-analysis sug-
gested that the main effects of various forms diversity was
small, but that its effect were strong once contingent modera-
tors and contextual circumstances were considered (Joshi and
Roh, 2009).
The Role of Context and Moderators in Diversity Effects
The role of diversity on behavior and performance depends on
a variety of contextual factors. Meta-analytic data have showed
that the main or direct effect of diversity attributes on team
performance is very small, but that this relationship is much
stronger when the role of contextual factors is incorporated
(Joshi and Roh, 2009). Such contextual factors and moderators
include industry setting, team interdependence, team longevity,
leadership, task complexity, regulatory pressure, and market
competition, among others. For instance, diversity is likely to
lead to better outcomes when transformational leadership is
high, and when teams are interdependent. Also, empirical
evidence, particularly from laboratory studies, suggests that
diverse groups tend to perform better than homogeneous ones
in complex and creative tasks, while homogeneous groups
perform faster and better in routine tasks.
The degree of diversity itself is a contextual factor that
shapes its outcomes. Diversity can present curvilinear effects on
attitudes and performance that are U-shaped, or even J-shaped.
In other words, adverse outcomes may be present at moderate
levels of diversity, but moderate diversity may not present such
outcomes or even have positive effects at very high levels. For
example, managerial racial diversity has a curvilinear, U-shaped
association with organizational nancial performance (Richard
et al., 2004). Similarly, a study of cultural heterogeneity in
multicultural teams found that moderate levels of diversity
were associated with lower team performance, while highly
homogeneous and highly heterogeneous teams presented
lower social categorization problems. These effects were further
contingent on team longevity (Earley and Mosakowski, 2000),
suggesting that, given time, highly diverse teams tend to de-
emphasize their demographic differences and form a hybrid
team culture or common in-group identity.
Diversity in one type of attribute can also inuence or
moderate the effect of another attribute or type. For instance,
diversity in deep-level attributes, such as values, personality, or
time urgency can increase the effects of demographic diversity
on attitudes, conict, and performance (e.g., Jehn et al., 1999).
Also, a collective culture an aggregation of shared values that
emphasize cooperation can reduce demographic diversity
effects on conict (Chatman et al., 1998).
An organizations diversity climate also moderates diversity
effects. Diversity climate refers to the shared organizational
member perceptions of the fairness of the organizations
diversity-related structural characteristics and values. A positive
or inclusive diversity climate can counter the adverse effects of
relational demography on workplace attachment, particularly
for people of color. It can also enhance the positive effects of
diversity on performance (Gonzalez and DeNisi, 2009;McKay
et al., 2007). Diversity climate is similar to the concept of
diversity perspectives or paradigms. Ely and Thomas (2001)
described three different diversity perspectives, which refer to
the manner in which organizational members express and
manage diversity-related tensions. The discrimination-and-
fairness perspective is present when organizational members
believe that the point of diversity initiatives is to reduce
discrimination and enhance fairness. In contrast, an access-
and-legitimacy perspective consists of beliefs that the goal is
to tap diverse markets more effectively. Also, an integration-
and-learning perspective is present when people believe that
cultural differences drive diverse knowledge and insight, and
this third perspective is associated with the greatest degree of
effectiveness (Ely and Thomas, 2001). In other words, a diverse
organization is likely to perform better when its members
believe that cultural differences drive diverse knowledge and
insight than when members assume that diversity is only
valuable to gain niche markets or to avoid blatant discrimi-
nation and lawsuits. The notions of diversity climate and
perspective are similar to diversity culture (Cox and Blake,
1991) and mind-set (van Knippenberg and Schippers, 2007).
The effects of organizational racial and gender diversity on
nancial performance also depend on environmental factors.
Consistent with the social categorization perspective and
requisite variety arguments, racial and gender diversity-
performance effects tend to be stronger in the service than in
manufacturing. One reason may be that diverse rms are better
able to best serve a diverse stakeholder and customer base.
Studies addressing the role of diversity in organizational
nancial performance (Richard et al., 2004) also report
a stronger positive relationship between racial diversity in rms
that have an innovation strategy, have a narrow span of control,
are in their early life cycle stages, and operate in municent
environments. Studies that have considered community
demographics as context and explored the match between
organizations and community demographics have reported
both positive and negative effects on attitudes and performance
(Joshi and Roh, 2009).
Complex Conceptualizations of Diversity
Complex conceptualizations of diversity include the combi-
nation or alignment of various attributes or types. This includes
diversity faultlines, a correlation of multiple individual attri-
butes that provide a clear basis for subgroup differentiation
(Lau and Murnighan, 1998). For example, a group comprised
of young, African-American men and older, White women
shows the combination of three different attributes into
subgroups. Diversity faultlines are related to heightened
conict, less communication, lower learning, and disrupted
group functioning.
Diversity typically refers to the variety or dispersion or variety
in terms of a specic individual attribute. However, it may also
refer to separation or disparity (Harrison and Klein, 2007).
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Separation refers to differences in position or opinions, such as
in values, beliefs, or attitudes. A group that is fragmented due to
different values or polarizing opinions would be an example.
Disparity refers to vertical differences in the proportion of
valuable assets and resources held by unit members, which
acknowledges the important role of power and status differ-
ences. An example would be a group with inequitable pay or
network access. Combinations of these three types are possible.
For example, members of an ethnically diverse group may hold
values that are similar within each ethnic group but distinct
across ethnic groups, showing ethnic variety and value separa-
tion. Such ethnically diverse group could also present no
differences in pay, which would mean having high variety but
low disparity.
Diversity Management
The potential for positive, negative, and complex effects from
diversity warrants efforts to manage diversity. Diversity
management refers to the development and implementation of
practices, processes, and systems designed to enhance work-
place diversity, exploit its benets, and minimize adverse
outcomes. Diversity management includes afrmative action
policies, which aim to comply with the law, as well as
management-led diversity initiatives, which refer to formalized
human resource management practices designed to reduce bias
and discrimination, promote and sustain organizational
diversity, and improve performance. Afrmative action
predates the notion of diversity management, and many
diversity scholars and consultants differentiate across them.
The reason is that the focus of afrmative action is to comply
with a legal mandate, while diversity management seeks to
increase organizational performance, fairness, equality, and
inclusion through management-led initiatives. Nonetheless,
some scholars refer to management-led diversity initiatives
as voluntaryafrmative action programs. A source of
benchmarking on diversity management is the Web site
and magazine DiversityInc, which publishes a list of the
top companies who champion diversity (DiversityInc, www.
Afrmative Action
Afrmative action refers to activities taken to reduce discrimi-
nation and provide employment and promotion opportunities
for disenfranchised groups. Afrmative Action was initially
enacted for US government contractors through executive
orders by President Kennedy and Johnson in the 1960s, and
was expanded by the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Title VII of the
civil rights act prohibited organizations with more than 50
employees from discriminating on the basis of race, color,
religion, sex, or national origin. It also established the Equal
Employment Opportunity Commission (
oversee the law. Related legislation has been expanded to cover
age, disability, pregnancy, veteran status, genetic information,
and sexual orientation. The goal of afrmative action was to
compensate for past discrimination, prevent ongoing discrim-
ination, and provide equal employment opportunities to
covered demographic groups. Similar antidiscrimination laws
have been passed in many other countries. For example, Can-
adas Employment Equity Act covers visible minorities
(language and religion relevant to Canadas English and
French heritage are invisible attributes), women, people with
disabilities, and Aboriginal peoples. Also, Malaysias New
Economic Policy protects the majority Malay population,
who traditionally has had lower access to business and income
opportunities than the Malaysian Chinese minority.
Scholars and practitioners have discussed issues with
employee acceptance of afrmative action. Some argue that the
legal coercive pressure of afrmative action may neutralize
rather than enhance equality. This occurs because afrmative
action promotes the idea that beneciaries are hired due to
preferential treatment rather than their qualications. For this
reason, afrmative action can be associated with a stigma of
incompetence among beneciaries and associated feelings of
unfairness on the part of the majority group. Other scholars
posit that different programs have different degrees of
perceived fairness and acceptance. In general, programs that
promote hiring gain greater acceptance than other programs,
such as those involving promotions, compensation, and
training. In addition, program beneciaries (e.g., African-
Americans) typically report greater acceptance of afrmative
action programs, particularly beneciaries who report to have
experienced discrimination before (Kalev et al., 2006).
Management-Led Diversity Initiatives
Unlike afrmative action, management-led diversity initia-
tives and other diversity management practices focus on
reducing discrimination and improving the effectiveness of
diversity organizations by changing its practices, culture, and
climate. Diversity initiatives may be inclusive of individual
attributes that are not covered by law. They are likely to
emphasize the inclusion and of all social groups, including
the majority group. Many diversity initiatives are designed to
increase competitive advantage (Cox and Blake, 1991). Also,
they may be designed to underscore the importance of
acknowledging the uniqueness of employees and social group
members as individuals, rather than their assimilation into
the dominant culture (Shore et al., 2011). Despite their
voluntary nature, management-led diversity initiatives may
also have a backlash. For instance, employees may become
distrustful or cynical and resist the implementation of
diversity programs if prior efforts have failed in the past
(Kalev et al., 2006). Examples of management-led diversity
initiatives include targeted recruitment, retention, promotion,
mentoring, and diversity training.
Organizations use a variety of targeted recruitment strate-
gies to attract women and minority job applicants to increase
diversity. For instance, organizations may adopt impression
management techniques, such as displaying pictorial diversity
and inclusive policy statements in their job marketing,
recruiting from colleges with a large minority population, and
employing female and minority recruiters (Avery and McKay,
2006). Research shows similarity-attraction race effects in job
interviewerapplicant dyads, and that these effects inuence
interview quality, the interviewers evaluation of the applicant,
and the applicants perceptions of the organizations diversity-
related attributes. Gender effects are also present, but these tend
598 Diversity in organizations
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to be confounded with interpersonal attraction in cross-sex
recruiterapplicant dyads. Recruitment suggestions from the
literature include the use of structured interviews, which can
serve to minimize the potential for bias in job interviews and
applicant assessment. The use of employee informal networks
may help the recruitment of women and minorities in orga-
nizations that already have some diversity. Workplace diversity
initiatives also focus on retention. This is important due to the
positive relationship between diversity and turnover, and
because women and people of color in general turn over at
a higher rate than Whites and men. Retention efforts may also
be necessary after targeted recruitment, since failing to meet the
expectations of an unrealistic job preview may result in future
turnover (Avery and McKay, 2006).
Diversity management also includes efforts to promote of
women and racial/ethnic minorities into management posi-
tions. This can be meant to break the glass ceiling,which
traditionally referred to the lack of top-level managerial-level
representation of such groups. Mentoring is a strategy meant to
stimulate such promotions. It refers to a formal developmental
relationship between an individual (protégé) and a senior
employee (mentor). Some perspectives favor same-gender and
same-race mentoring for women and people of color because
a common background tends to lead to a better mentoring
relationship. For instance, women in same-sex mentoring rela-
tionships have more social interaction than in cross-sex rela-
tionships (Ragins and Cotton, 1999). Other perspectives favor
cross-sex and cross-race mentoring in male and White-
dominated settings to provide access to network contacts,
power, and opportunities that otherwise would not be available.
Regardless of the demographics, results from mentoring studies
suggest that women and people of color protégés experience
higher quality relationship and better career outcomes from
informal than from formal mentoring.
Diversity training refers to formal efforts to enhance skills
and knowledge about diversity. Diversity training programs
may include the objective to provide employees with infor-
mation about legal issues (e.g., equal opportunity laws and
sexual harassment), increase employeesawareness and sensi-
tivity to backgrounds other than their own, and develop
communication and interpersonal skills helpful in diverse
settings. The success of diversity training has been evaluated on
a number of factors, such as the demographics of the trainer
and training content. For example, diversity training designed
to build skills tends to be evaluated better than programs
intended to inform about legal compliance requirements or
raise awareness. Factors associated with the adoption and
perceived training success include the support of top manage-
ment, mandatory attendance, evaluation of results, rewards for
increasing diversity, and an inclusionary diversity denition
(Rynes and Rosen, 1995).
A review of diversity initiatives stated that programs that
established management responsibility such as afrmative
action, diversity committees, and diversity management posi-
tions were more strongly associated with organizational
managerial diversity than mentoring, networking, diversity
training, and diversity audits or performance evaluations.
Moreover, organizations with diversity initiatives establishing
responsibility obtained better effects from diversity training
and evaluations (Kalev et al., 2006).
Research Trends
The study of diversity has shown that diversity in groups and
organizations has the potential for both positive and negative
effects on attitudes, behavior, and performance. Meta-analytic
data have shed some light into the manner different diversity
attributes and types inuence these outcomes (e.g., Bell et al.,
2011), but a synthesis of these results is still inconclusive.
These mixed results suggest that empirical efforts to explore
the role of contextual moderators and to understand the
processes involved in diversity effects will continue. The study
of interactive and complex effects involving different diversity
types, multiple levels of analysis, and faultlines hold the most
promise. For instance, studies of faultlines could pay atten-
tion to various combinations of diversity attributes and types
to reveal which combinations present the most harmful
effects, and which combinations stimulate benecial
processes and outcomes. One should note that much research
has been conducted from a US perspective, but diversity is
a global issue. Studies that explore diversity in different
nations and pay attention to their local demographics and
relevant social conditions are likely to uncover novel
diversity-related issues.
See also: Aging and Work; Gender and Womens Studies,
Applied Research On; Personality and Values at Work;
Personnel Selection, Psychology of; Population Composition
by Race and Ethnicity: North America; Power, Politics, and
Inuence in Organizations; Race Identity; Race and Racism in
the Twenty-First Century; Race and Racism, Geography of;
Race and the Law; Race: Ethnicity and Health; Racial Relations;
Racism, Sociology of; Teamwork and Team Performance
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Relevant Websites
600 Diversity in organizations
International Encyclopedia of the Social & Behavioral Sciences, Second Edition, 2015, 595–600
Author's personal copy
... Silva and Lucas [25] argue that discussions about gender equality in the job market need to go beyond academia, and the topic requires an urgent management model restructuring. Gonzalez and Zamanian [26] argue that companies should include diversity management in their management models through the establishment of affirmative policy actions, commitment to laws and the formalization of human resource practices to reduce wage differences and others kinds of discrimination. A continuous improvement of these actions is required, and many benefits may be achieved from the management of diversity in companies [26]. ...
... Gonzalez and Zamanian [26] argue that companies should include diversity management in their management models through the establishment of affirmative policy actions, commitment to laws and the formalization of human resource practices to reduce wage differences and others kinds of discrimination. A continuous improvement of these actions is required, and many benefits may be achieved from the management of diversity in companies [26]. ...
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This article aims to perform a critical analysis of wage gaps according to gender from information provided by sustainability reports that were disseminated by Brazilian companies listed in the Ibovespa index. To conduct this analysis, bibliographic research was performed, followed by a deductive content analysis of sustainability reports from Brazilian companies listed in the Ibovespa index, considering item 405-2 of the Global Reporting Initiative standard. From this analysis, it was possible to show that only some companies disseminate detailed information related to the gender wage ratio. Many companies do not present this data or present it superficially. The findings of this research present important insights that may be used to motivate debates on the topic.
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Attitudes among 178 professional men and women working for a clothing manufacturer and retailer depended on their work groups' sex composition. Findings were consistent with status considerations: women expressed a greater likelihood of leaving homogeneous groups than did men, even though women expressed greater commitment, positive affect, and perceptions of cooperation when they worked in all- female groups. These results suggest that similarity-attraction may be inadequate as the primary theoretical foundation for understanding how work group sex composition influences men and women.
We examined the effect of type of mentoring relationship and its gender composition on mentoring functions and outcomes. Proteges with informal mentors viewed their mentors as more effective and received greater compensation than proteges with formal mentors. Gender composition had direct and moderating effects on mentoring functions/outcomes.
The interaction processes of culturally homogeneous and culturally diverse groups were studied for 17 weeks. Initially, homogeneous groups scored higher on both process and performance effectiveness. Over time, both homogeneous and heterogeneous groups showed improvement on process and performance, and between-group differences converged. By week 17, there were no differences in process or overall performance, but the heterogeneous groups scored higher on two task performance measures. Implications for management and future research are given.
We examined the impact of surface-level (demographic) and deep-level (attitudinal) diversity on group social integration. As hypothesized, the length of time group members worked together weakened the effects of surface-level diversity and strengthened the effects of deep-level diversity as group members had the opportunity to engage in meaningful interactions.
Integrating macro and micro theoretical perspectives, we conducted a meta-analysis examining the role of contextual factors in team diversity research. Using data from 8,757 teams in 39 studies conducted in organizational settings, we examined whether contextual factors at multiple levels, including industry, occupation, and team, influenced the performance outcomes of relations-oriented and task-oriented diversity. The direct effects were very small yet significant, and after we accounted for industry, occupation, and team-level contextual moderators, they doubled or tripled in size. Further, occupation- and industry-level moderators explained significant variance in effect sizes across studies.
Although "valuing diversity" has become a watchword, field research on the impact of a culturally diverse workforce on organizational performance has not been forthcoming. Invoking a resource-based framework, in this study I examined the relationships among cultural (racial) diversity, business strategy, and firm performance in the banking industry. Racial diversity interacted with business strategy in determining firm performance measured in three different ways, as productivity, return on equity, and market performance. The results demonstrate that cultural diversity does in fact add value and, within the proper context, contributes to firm competitive advantage.
We used self-categorization theory--which proposes that people may use social characteristics such as age, race, or organizational membership to define psychological groups and to promote a positive self-identity--to develop and test hypotheses about the effects of demographic diversity in organizations on an individual's psychological and behavioral attachment to the organization. Individual-level commitment, attendance behavior, and tenure intentions were examined as a function of the individual's degree of difference from others on such social categories as age, tenure, education, sex, and race. We expected that the effect of being different would have different effects for minorities (i.e., women and nonwhites) than for members of the majority (i.e., men and whites). Analyses of a sample of 151 groups comprising 1,705 respondents showed that increasing work-unit diversity was associated with lower levels of psychological attachment among group members. Nonsymmetrical effects were found for sex and race, with whites and men showing larger negative effects for increased unit heterogeneity than nonwhites and women. The results of the study call into question the fundamental assumption that underlies much of race and gender research in organizations--that the effect of heterogeneity is always felt by the minority.
The recent business trends of globalization and increasing ethnic and gender diversity are turning managers' attention to the management of cultural differences. The management literature has suggested that organizations should value diversity to enhance organizational effectiveness. However, the specific link between managing diversity and organizational competitiveness is rarely made explicit and no article has reviewed actual research data supporting such a link. This article reviews arguments and research data on how managing diversity can create a competitive advantage. We address cost, attraction of human resources, marketing success, creativity and innovation, problem-solving quality, and organizational flexibility as six dimensions of business performance directly impacted by the management of cultural diversity. We then offer suggestions for improving organizational capability to manage this diversity.