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Getting Diversity at Work to Work Yves R. F. Guillaume Aston Business School, Aston University Jeremy F. Dawson Management School and School of Health.

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Presentation on theme: "Getting Diversity at Work to Work Yves R. F. Guillaume Aston Business School, Aston University Jeremy F. Dawson Management School and School of Health."— Presentation transcript:

1 Getting Diversity at Work to Work Yves R. F. Guillaume Aston Business School, Aston University Jeremy F. Dawson Management School and School of Health and Related Research, University of Sheffield Steve A. Woods and Claudia A. Sacramento Aston Business School, Aston University Michael A. West Lancaster University Management School, Lancaster University Address to NHS Employers Strategic Forum, London 9 th October 2013

2 Overview Share insights from a recently published special issue in JOOP on getting diversity at work to work Talk about the challenges in accumulating evidence-based knowledge and making it accessible to practitioners and organizations Discuss whether research in diversity asks the right questions and learn from you what questions it should be asking

3 What do we know about diversity? When effectively managed it can have positive effects – More innovation/creativity – Better decision making – Higher customer satisfaction – … When mismanaged it is likely to have negative effects – Higher absenteeism – Lower social integration – Poorer in- role and extra-role performance – Incivility and discrimination – … Given getting diversity at work to work seems to be the right and strategic thing to do, how can we actually get it to work?

4 JOOP special issue on getting diversity at work to work How do demographics affect work outcomes? How does work group diversity affect work outcomes? How can diversity in organizations be managed effectively? How can we accumulate (more) evidence-based knowledge on effective diversity management that has impact and make it (more) accessible?

5 How do demographics affect work outcomes?

6 Luksyte, A., et al. (2013). "Held to a different standard: Racial differences in the impact of lateness on advancement opportunity." Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 86(2): 142-165. Summary – Research Question How is lateness linked to advancement opportunities What role does race play in the relationship? – Method National US survey of 2789 employees working in educational services, retail, and manufacturing Experimental study with 204 full-time working adults

7 Luksyte, A., et al. (2013). "Held to a different standard: Racial differences in the impact of lateness on advancement opportunity." Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 86(2): 142-165. Practical Implications – Both employees and managers should be made aware that lateness behaviours are viewed differently for Black, White and Hispanic employees with the penalizing effect applying only to Black employees. – Managers should avoid differential evaluation of the same lateness behaviour of their racially diverse employees when evaluating performance and making subsequent promotion decisions. – Managers could be trained to focus on behaviours, not the race of employees, when making important personnel decisions.

8 Open questions How do demographics affect employability, advancement opportunities, and promotability? To what extent is differential treatment a result of discrimination, unconscious bias, real differences, or other factors? How can organizations and policymakers ensure equal treatment?

9 How does work group diversity affect work outcomes?

10 Liebermann, S. C., et al. (2013). "Age diversity and individual team member health: The moderating role of age and age stereotypes." Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 86(2): 184-202. Summary – Research Question How does age diversity in work groups affect the health of younger, middle-aged and older group members? How is this affected by age stereotypes? – Method Survey of 2,000 representative German workers via telephone interviews Examined age stereotypes by asking for agreement with five stereotypical statements Looked at general health, including days unwell due to physical and psychological impairments

11 Liebermann, S. C., et al. (2013). "Age diversity and individual team member health: The moderating role of age and age stereotypes." Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 86(2): 184-202. Practical Implications – Age diversity can have a negative impact on health – particularly prone are younger and older workers – Organisations have to be aware that age diversity can undermine the health of older and younger team members. – Younger team members' health is only affected by working in age-diverse teams if they hold negative stereotypical views about older team colleagues. In contrast, older team members' health is only affected if they hold negative stereotypical views about younger employees. – Teams and team leaders should take steps to reduce the age stereotypes of younger team members in age-diverse teams.

12 Gilson, L. L., et al. (2013). "Unpacking the cross-level effects of tenure diversity, explicit knowledge, and knowledge sharing on individual creativity." Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 86(2): 203-222. Summary – Research Question How is diversity in group tenure linked to individual creativity? What roles do individual knowledge and knowledge sharing play in the relationship? – Method Survey of 341 employees in 76 groups at a Korean insurance company Individual creativity rated by managers

13 Gilson, L. L., et al. (2013). "Unpacking the cross-level effects of tenure diversity, explicit knowledge, and knowledge sharing on individual creativity." Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 86(2): 203-222. Practical Implications – Individual creativity can benefit from being in teams that include a mixture of older and newer members – However, working in a diverse group is not enough; the knowledge has to be shared. If it is not, then tenure diversity can actually stifle creativity – It is only through increasing individual knowledge in this way that creativity is released – For complex jobs, where creativity is desired, but much of the work is independent, managers need to encourage employees with diverse levels of tenure to share experiences and ways of performing their tasks

14 Open questions What mitigates the negative effects of diversity, and how can work groups reap its benefits? What can teams and leadership do to harness diversity for effectiveness? Does diversity have the same impact on all employees? How does diversity affect employee well-being and health?

15 How can diversity in organizations be managed effectively?

16 Singh, B., et al. (2013). "Managing diversity at work: Does psychological safety hold the key to racial differences in employee performance?" Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 86(2): 242-263. Summary – Research Question Via which mechanisms can diversity climate affect performance, and how is this effect dependent on individuals race? – Sample Survey of 165 employees from a Midwestern US mid-size production organization and respective colleagues/supervisors.

17 Singh, B., et al. (2013). "Managing diversity at work: Does psychological safety hold the key to racial differences in employee performance?" Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 86(2): 242-263. Practical Implications – In the midst of increasing workforce diversity, the study highlights the importance of a psychologically safe work environment where employees feel confident in expressing their true selves without fear of being judged as inferior or incompetent. – By necessitating the creation of psychologically safe work environments, the study establishes psychological safety as a principal motivator of employee performance behaviors in a racially diverse work setting. – The study cautions organizational practitioners that when dealing with racial diversity, one size does not fit all. Rather, positive organizational contexts (such as diversity climate and psychological safety) hold a greater significance for minorities and are more effective in shaping their performance behaviors.

18 Groggins, A. and A. M. Ryan (2013). "Embracing uniqueness: The underpinnings of a positive climate for diversity." Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 86(2): 264-282. Summary – Research Question What underlies a strong positive climate for diversity? – Method Case study of a diverse organisation including focus groups, interviews, and reviews of organizational documents and artefacts. 32 staff members of a large non-profit organization responsible for running one of the largest vocational community rehabilitation programmes in the US.

19 Groggins, A. and A. M. Ryan (2013). "Embracing uniqueness: The underpinnings of a positive climate for diversity." Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology 86(2): 264-282. Practical Implications – Having a norm of accommodation can create attitudes of openness to change and help develop efficacy for change. – When respecting difference is essential to everyday functioning, interpersonal competence and openness to others is promoted. – Framing a diverse workplace as necessitating continuous learning can provide for openness to error that allows for organizational improvement. – To promote a positive diversity climate, attend to structural inclusiveness.

20 Open questions How can we create positivity diversity cultures that engage all employees in promoting positive attitudes and behaviors to diversity? What approaches to involving employees in shaping cultures of positive diversity are most effective and sustainable? How do people management practices impact upon cultures of diversity positivity? What other generic factors underpin cultures that manage diversity effectively?

21 How can we accumulate (more) evidence-based knowledge on effective diversity management that has impact and make it (more) accessible?

22 State of the Art Organizations invest millions of pounds in diversity initiatives Only 20% of the literature on diversity management is purely evidence based 80% of the literature on diversity management does not address the critical question which diversity interventions will lead to which desired diversity outcomes Research in diversity often opportunity based than careful methodological planning because of the sensitive nature of the topic

23 The Way Forward Rigorous research assessing the effectiveness of diversity interventions and their results in situ Collaborations between practitioners, organizations, and academics Dissemination of evidence based findings in a language accessible for practitioners Development of evidence-based tools that are useful

24 D&I Group Group of people that seeks to engage with organizations to … – Accumulate evidence-based knowledge on how to manage diversity in the workplace effectively and to make the knowledge accessible – Help organizations create inclusive work environments in which employees no matter what their background can flourish

25 Q & A

26 Does research in diversity ask the right questions? What questions should it be asking?

27 Thank You!


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