Calling in Black: a dynamic model of racially traumatic events, resourcing, and safety

Courtney L. McCluney (Department of Psychology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, USA)
Courtney M. Bryant (Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA)
Danielle D. King (Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA)
Abdifatah A. Ali (Department of Psychology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan, USA)

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion

ISSN: 2040-7149

Publication date: 20 November 2017

Abstract

Purpose

Racially traumatic events – such as police violence and brutality toward Blacks – affect individuals in and outside of work. Black employees may “call in Black” to avoid interacting with coworkers in organizations that lack resources and perceived identity and psychological safety. The paper aims to discuss this issue.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper integrates event system theory (EST), resourcing, and psychological safety frameworks to understand how external, racially traumatic events impact Black employees and organizations. As racially traumatic events are linked to experienced racial identity threat, the authors discuss the importance of both the availability and creation of resources to help employees to maintain effective workplace functioning, despite such difficult circumstances.

Findings

Organizational and social-identity resourcing may cultivate social, material, and cognitive resources for black employees to cope with threats to their racial identity after racially traumatic events occur. The integration of organizational and social-identity resourcing may foster identity and psychologically safe workplaces where black employees may feel valued and reduce feelings of racial identity threats.

Research limitations/implications

Implications for both employees’ social-identity resourcing practice and organizational resource readiness and response options are discussed.

Originality/value

The authors present a novel perspective for managing diversity and inclusion through EST. Further, the authors identify the interaction of individual agency and organizational resources to support Black employees.

Keywords

Citation

McCluney, C., Bryant, C., King, D. and Ali, A. (2017), "Calling in Black: a dynamic model of racially traumatic events, resourcing, and safety", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 36 No. 8, pp. 767-786. https://doi.org/10.1108/EDI-01-2017-0012

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Publisher

:

Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2017, Emerald Publishing Limited

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