|M.Sc Student||Vashdi Dana|
|Subject||Beyond Simple Headcounts in Diversity Management:|
Explaining the Prevalence of Supportive Relations
with Dissimilar Others
|Department||Department of Industrial Engineering and Management||Supervisor||Mr. Peter Bamberger|
We examine the conditions under which supportive cross-ethnic peer relations may emerge in a demographically heterogeneous work population. We propose that certain individual personality characteristics may predispose workers to establish and maintain supportive relations with those racioethnically dissimilar to themselves. In addition, drawing on Brickson’s (2000) argument that contextual antecedents influence the adoption of a relational orientation, we generate hypotheses regarding the impact of task, support and staffing structure on the prevalence of such relations. On the basis of a multi-level analysis of data collected from a sample of unionized blue-collar workers employed in industrial and service settings, our findings indicate that while certain structural factors influence the prevalence of cross-group supportive relations for either Whites or African Americans, for both, staffing structure (i.e., the relative proportion of Whites and African-Americans in a work unit) is strongly associated with the prevalence of supportive relations with dissimilar others.