This study used a scenario design to examine whether there are different reactions among whites based on how a diversity program is justified by an organization. A reactive justification (affirmative action) was proposed to result in greater backlash than a competitive advantage justification (diversity management). In addition, this study examined the effects of personal and group outcomes on backlash and explored two individual difference variables, gender and orientation toward other ethnic groups, as potential moderators of the proposed relationships. Backlash was operationalized in four ways: an affect‐based measure (negative emotions), two cognitive‐based measures (attitude toward the diversity program, perceptions of unfairness of promotion procedures), and a behavioral‐intentions‐based measure (organizational commitment). Results indicated that the diversity management justification was associated with more favorable support of the diversity initiative, and that unfavorable personal and group outcomes adversely affected backlash reactions. There was no empirical support for the influence of the moderator variables on the proposed relationships, however, a main effect for gender was found. Implications of the study's findings and future research directions are discussed.
Kidder, D., Lankau, M., Chrobot‐Mason, D., Mollica, K. and Friedman, R. (2004), "BACKLASH TOWARD DIVERSITY INITIATIVES: EXAMINING THE IMPACT OF DIVERSITY PROGRAM JUSTIFICATION, PERSONAL AND GROUP OUTCOMES", International Journal of Conflict Management, Vol. 15 No. 1, pp. 77-102. https://doi.org/10.1108/eb022908Download as .RIS
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