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Managing cultural diversity and perceived organizational support: Evidence from Australia

Lynne Leveson (La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia)
Therese A. Joiner (La Trobe University, Bundoora, Australia)
Steve Bakalis (School of Applied Economics, Faculty of Business and Law, Victoria University, Melbourne, Australia)

International Journal of Manpower

ISSN: 0143-7720

Article publication date: 10 July 2009

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Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to investigate the relationship between employee perceptions of their organization's management of cultural diversity, their perceived organizational support and affective commitment.

Design/methodology/approach

A questionnaire survey was developed and distributed to a sample of employees working in a large Australian financial institution.

Findings

Analysis of the data shows that, when controlling for perceived organizational support, there is no direct relationship between cultural diversity management perceptions and affective commitment. Rather, the data support an indirect relationship between the two variables via perceived organizational support.

Research limitations/implications

Implications are, first, that managers need to recognize the potential contribution of developing a positive workplace atmosphere for cultural diversity to strengthen employee perceived organizational support, which in turn enhances affective commitment. Second, the research findings underscore the importance of perceived organizational support in linking cultural diversity management perceptions to organizational outcomes, such as affective commitment. Third, managers should not underestimate the influence of initiatives, such as making all employees feel included in the “taken‐for‐granted” informal networks in engendering positive organizational and individual attitudes.

Originality/value

The paper examines cultural diversity management from the employees' (rather than a management) perspective to develop a fully mediated model using organizational support to link cultural diversity management perceptions to commitment. The study reinforces the need to rethink simple relationships between cultural diversity management perceptions and organizational/individual outcomes, to consider more complex models that include important mediating variables to more fully understand the effects of cultural diversity management.

Keywords

Citation

Leveson, L., Joiner, T.A. and Bakalis, S. (2009), "Managing cultural diversity and perceived organizational support: Evidence from Australia", International Journal of Manpower, Vol. 30 No. 4, pp. 377-392. https://doi.org/10.1108/01437720910973061

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2009, Emerald Group Publishing Limited