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An Uncertainty Reduction Model of Relational Demography

Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management

ISBN: 978-0-85724-553-3, eISBN: 978-0-85724-554-0

ISSN: 0742-7301

Publication date: 12 July 2011


In this chapter, we review relational demography literature underpinned by the similarity–attraction paradigm and status characteristics and social identity theories. We then develop an uncertainty reduction model of relational demography, which describes a two-stage process of uncertainty emergence and reduction in a workgroup setting. The first stage depicts how structural features of the workgroup (workgroup composition) and occupation (the legitimacy of its status hierarchy) induce two forms of uncertainty: uncertainty about group norms and uncertainty about instrumental outcomes. The second part of the model illustrates employees' choice of uncertainty reduction strategies, depending on the type of uncertainty they experience, and the status of their demographic categories. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.


Chattopadhyay, P., George, E. and Kaman Ng, C. (2011), "An Uncertainty Reduction Model of Relational Demography", Joshi, A., Liao, H. and Martocchio, J.J. (Ed.) Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management (Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, Vol. 30), Emerald Group Publishing Limited, Bingley, pp. 219-251.



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