Integrating Potential of Diverse Workplaces
30 Pages Posted: 13 Jul 2012 Last revised: 30 Aug 2012
Date Written: 2012
In a world of increasing diversity, workplaces are potentially one of the most important arenas for contacts between native-born populations and immigrants. We know from previous research that intergroup friendships formed in diverse arenas can reduce negative outgroup sentiments. Given this, it is unfortunate that few studies have explored how workplace diversity affects intergroup friendship formation. To make up for the gap in the research, our study explores how workplace diversity affects the native-born population’s likelihood of having immigrant friends in 21 European states and in Israel. Using data from the first round of the European Social Survey (2003), we show that workplace diversity strongly increases the native-born population’s likelihood of having immigrant friends. The effect is, for example, stronger than that of neighborhood diversity on the same likelihood. We also find that the effect of workplace diversity varies strongly between countries and is more pronounced in countries characterized by resource scarcity (i.e., a low GDP per capita), where the perceived threat from immigrants is high. The reason is that voluntary intergroup contacts outside workplaces are uncommon in such countries. Overall, our findings point to workplace integration being an especially important tool for improving intergroup relations in countries characterized by resource scarcity, where the perceived threat from immigrants is high.Abstract will be provided by author.
Keywords: Diversity, friendship, contact hypothesis, workplaces, intergroup
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