Diversity and Homophily at Work: Supportive Relations Among White and African-American Peers

Academy of Management Journal, Forcoming

Posted: 30 Nov 2004

See all articles by Peter Bamberger

Peter Bamberger

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology - The William Davidson Faculty of Industrial Engineering & Management

Samuel Bacharach

Cornell University - School of Industrial and Labor Relations

Dana Rachel Vashdi

University of Haifa

Abstract

Recent research suggests that inter-group knowledge and information sharing are often required in order for employee diversity to yield significant dividends, and that such patterns of inter-group cooperation may themselves be contingent upon the prior emergence and continued maintenance of more intimate and supportive peer relations. However, little is known about the antecedents of such supportive relations among racially dissimilar peers in work organizations. We posit that the relative prevalence of supportive relations among racially dissimilar peers will be higher among those employed in work units characterized by greater task interdependence and a strong peer support climate, but will decline as the proportion of racially different others in the work unit increase (i.e., homophily effect). While we find an inverse relationship between the proportion of racially different others in the work unit and such inter-group supportive relations among whites and blacks, we also find this relationship to be curvilinear and subject to moderation by support climate.

Keywords: Diversity, cooperation, peer relations, support, task interdependence, homophily

Suggested Citation

Bamberger, Peter and Bacharach, Samuel and Vashdi, Dana Rachel, Diversity and Homophily at Work: Supportive Relations Among White and African-American Peers. Academy of Management Journal, Forcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=624962

Peter Bamberger (Contact Author)

Technion-Israel Institute of Technology - The William Davidson Faculty of Industrial Engineering & Management ( email )

Haifa 32000
Israel
972-4-829-4510 (Phone)

Samuel Bacharach

Cornell University - School of Industrial and Labor Relations ( email )

Institute for Workplace Studies
Ithaca, NY 14853-3901
United States
212-340-2850 (Phone)
212-340-2893 (Fax)

Dana Rachel Vashdi

University of Haifa ( email )

Haifa
Israel

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