- To meet or to compete?
- The effect of ethnic and gender workforce diversity on ingroup preferences in the workplace
- Award date
- 27 September 2018
- Number of pages
- Document type
- PhD thesis
- Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences (FMG)
- Amsterdam Institute for Social Science Research (AISSR)
This dissertation investigates how so-called contact theory and threat theory can be used to quantify the effect of gender and ethnic diversity at work on ingroup preferences. Contact and threat theory have been tested against each other many times in the context of someone's social circles, but until now neither at the workplace nor with respect to gender. This dissertation thus fills a gap by combining two novel empirical aims: first, to verify whether and to what extent these theories hold in a context that is different but of considerable importance to many people: the work place; and second, to verify whether these theories are applicable to explain gender ingroup preferences in addition to ethnicity.
The ingroup preferences are operationalised using the two inherently workplace-related processes of dismissal and recruitment. To be explicit, it is assessed how the composition of the workforce, in terms of (1) ethnicity and (2) gender, influences: (A) someone's preference to dismiss an outgroup member rather than an ingroup member; (B) someone's support for tiebreak preferential treatment in the recruitment process. This results in four combinations and empirical studies: 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B.
The dataset underlying this dissertation is derived from a survey conducted among more than 1000 employees from various organisations. Results indicated that the degree of diversity at the workplace is a relevant factor, but not always confirm the hypotheses.
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