The purpose of this paper is to examine how employees’ perceptions and the perceptions of others close to them influence employee reactions to perceived racial discrimination at work.
Integrating the interactional model of cultural diversity (IMCD) with signaling theory, this study examines how others close to an employee can influence employee job satisfaction and turnover in response to potentially racist encounters. The research question is tested using a field study.
Results from a field study of paired participants (surveying the employee plus a paired participant who knew them well) showed that employees’ reactions to perceived racial discrimination are influenced by the perceptions of others close to them. For employees who perceive low discrimination, job satisfaction is lower when others close to them perceive high discrimination against the employee. While the probability of turnover for employees who perceive low discrimination is similar whether paired participants perceive low or high discrimination, their probability of turnover is highest when both they and the other person perceive high racial discrimination against the employee.
Suggestions are provided to avoid the appearance and/or practice of discriminatory acts.
This paper integrates the influence of others close to employees in the IMCD diversity climate, individual career outcomes and organizational effectiveness.
Chapa, O., Triana, M. and Gu, P. (2020), "Relying on second opinions for potentially racist encounters", Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 39 No. 2, pp. 219-234. https://doi.org/10.1108/EDI-09-2019-0242Download as .RIS
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