Racial Differences in Sensitivity to Behavioral Integrity: Attitudal Consequences, In-Group Effects and Trickle Down among Black and Non-Black Employees
56 Pages Posted: 19 Oct 2006
Date Written: October 2006
Recent research suggests that employees are highly affected by perceptions of their managers' pattern of word-action consistency, which Simons (2002) called "behavioral integrity" (BI). We suggest that some employee racial groups may be more attentive to BI than others. We test this notion using data from 1,944 employees working at 107 different hotels. We found that black employees rated their managers as demonstrating lower BI than did non-black employees. Mediation analyses are consistent with the notion that these differences in perceived BI, in turn, account for cross-race differences in trust in management, interpersonal justice, commitment, satisfaction, and intent to stay. Results of Hierarchical Linear Modeling were consistent with the idea that middle managers' perceptions of their senior managers' BI "trickle down" to affect line employee perceptions of the middle managers, and that this trickledown effect is stronger for black employees. We interpret these results as indicative of heightened sensitivity to managers' BI on the part of black employees. We also found a reverse in-group effect, in that black employees were substantially more critical of black managers than were non-black employees.
Keywords: race,behavioral integrity,diversity,justice,black
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