Organizational Diversity Philosophies and Minority Representation: Testing Perceptions of Safety and Threat in the Workplace

Daniel L King, Purdue University


Extant research has established that workplace discrimination negatively predicts turnover and influences targets’ job commitment and satisfaction. Historically, diversity research explored the consequences of colorblind diversity philosophies and the benefits of multicultural diversity philosophies for minorities; however, it may be that multicultural work environments are not universally beneficial for minorities. The present study examines how organizational philosophies regarding diversity influence minorities’ perceptions of trust, affective commitment, organizational attraction, and perceptions of tokenism towards an organization. Results indicate main effects of minority representation and diversity philosophy such that participants in the high representation condition reported greater trust and comfort than participants in the low representation condition, and participants in the multicultural condition reported greater trust and comfort than participants in the colorblind condition. Moreover, results reveal a significant indirect effect of minority representation on trust and comfort, affective commitment, and organizational attraction through perceived tokenism. Implications for theory and practice are discussed.




Ashburn-Nardo, Purdue University.

Subject Area

Occupational Therapy

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