The Social Psychology of Inclusion: How Diversity Framing Shapes Outcomes for Racial-Ethnic Minorities

(2022). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. 2427.

34 Pages Posted: 3 Feb 2022 Last revised: 6 Feb 2022

Date Written: February 2, 2022

Abstract

Research on the efficacy of organizational diversity efforts has yielded mixed results. It remains unclear when positive or negative outcomes should be expected, and why. This article fills a gap in the sociological literature by examining critical social psychological mechanisms. In Experiment 1, I found that common diversity messaging led to increased bias towards racial minorities. In Experiment 2, I examined how alternative framing may influence these outcomes. Findings revealed that the common “business case” emphasizing profit and performance gains made decision-makers less likely to select a Black job candidate than emphasizing civil rights law. I then examined social psychological mechanisms that make civil rights framing more effective. Discussing civil rights promoted the belief that striving for diversity is morally “the right thing to do,” which mediated the promotion of a Black job candidate. Beyond theoretical contributions, findings can help organizational leaders better understand the effects of alternative diversity strategies.

Keywords: Training, workplace, bias, discrimination, race, corporate, diversity

Suggested Citation

Bowman Williams, Jamillah, The Social Psychology of Inclusion: How Diversity Framing Shapes Outcomes for Racial-Ethnic Minorities (February 2, 2022). (2022). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. 2427., Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=4024504 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.4024504

Jamillah Bowman Williams (Contact Author)

Georgetown University Law Center ( email )

600 New Jersey Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20001
United States

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