2006 and Prior Abstracts
Legal and cultural changes over the past 40 years ushered unprecedented numbers of women and people of color into companies' professional ranks. Laws now protect these traditionally underrepresented groups from blatant forms of discrimination in hiring and promotion. Meanwhile, politicalcorrectness has reset the standards for civility and respect in people's day-to-day interactions. Despite this obvious progress, the authors' research has shown that politicalcorrectness is a double-edged sword. While it has helped many employees feel unlimited by their race, gender, or religion, the PC rule book can hinder people's ability to develop effective relationships across race, gender, and religious lines. Companies need to equip workers with skills--not rules--for building these relationships. The authors offer the following five principles for healthy resolution of the tensions that commonly arise over difference: Pause to short-circuit the emotion and reflect; connect with others, affirming the importance of relationships; question yourself to identify blind spots and discover what makes you defensive; get genuine support that helps you gain a broader perspective; and shift your mind-set from one that says, "You need to change," to one that asks, "What can I change?" When people treat their cultural differences--and related conflicts and tensions--as opportunities to gain a more accurate view of themselves, one another, and the situation, trust builds and relationships become stronger. Leaders should put aside the PC rule book and instead model and encourage risk taking in the service of building the organization's relational capacity. The benefits will reverberate through every dimension of the company's work.
Interpersonal conflict management is hampered by ignorance of the cultural norms that characterize an individual's racial group. Blacks' and Whites' conflict-coping preferences were examined in two studies using a scenario that manipulated an offender's race. In Study 1, Blacks, more than Whites, preferred more behaviorally expressive styles of dealing with conflict and eschewed more reserved tactics. Moreover, individuals were less confrontational with offenders of their same racial group. In Study 2, weaker evidence that Blacks prefer more expressive styles of conflict management was observed. Racial differences in attributions of malicious intent of the offender, and in diminished expectations for the relationship, are explored as possible causes of racial differences in conflict management style.
Proposes that those who study diversity conflict in the work force recognize the distinction between first-order diversity conflict and second-order conflict. The former refers to discrimination, while the latter refers to disputes over remedies designed to eliminate discrimination. First-order disputes affect subordinant group members most strongly in the organization, are morally unambiguous for most, and are organized around set organizational and societal procedures. Second-order disputes involve dominant as well as subordinant group members, which means that more people are affected. Also, these disputes are more morally ambiguous, and lack set procedures for dealing with them. As a result, second-order disputes tend to remain hidden, despite being wide-spread, resulting in autistic hostility. The presence of second-order conflict may undermine efforts to resolve first-order disputes, and lead to escalation of conflict between people from different identity groups.
The authors of this article argue that doctoral level education--an area woefully underrepresented by people of color--is an area in which the cultivation of mentoring relationships may be a critical factor in determining the successful completion of graduate programs. They write of a demographically specific dynamic: White mentors (professors) and protégés of color (graduate students). The article outlines the importance of mentoring in corporations and in education, issues relevant to cross-cultural mentoring relationships, suggestions for becoming a better cross-race mentor, and recommendations for further work in this area.
The study of negotiation has been dominated by laboratory studies. These investigate research questions arising from an economics-oriented paradigm, leading researchers to exclude many variables that impact negotiations. Emotion is one such variable. Anger, in particular, determines the intensity of the conflict between the negotiators, is both a cause and an effect of the process by which the negotiators try to reach agreement, and impacts the implementation of the settlement. Insights from clinical psychology supplement and enrich those available from social psychology, economics, and cognitive psychology. The importance of emotion is illustrated by examining interracial conflicts.
Suggests that Blacks in the US are more likely than Whites to believe that discrimination has occurred when they face negative decisions in organizations. This paper discusses why it is so common for Blacks and Whites to hold different world views regarding discrimination, and what drives these differences. The authors argue that differences between Black and White perceptions can be explained by fundamental psychological processes of attribution and group identification.
In recent decades, many organizations have undertaken initiatives aimed at managing a more diverse workforce. Many of these initiatives have been limited in effectiveness because they focused solely on managing or preventing human-resource-related crises, rather than reconceptualizing how the work of the business is accomplished. More effective diversity change initiatives can be implemented if change agents take an overarching perspective of the business and the workforce that considers the importance of engaging both the oppressed and priviledged members of the organization. Such a perspective necessarily requires considering the impact of oppression and privilege in the organization. Common diversity change interventions are discussed and critiqued, and suggestions for formulating optimally effective diversity change initiatives are suggested.
Examines the underlying dynamics of the differences between Blacks' and Whites' responses to social accounts, explanations or excuses for negative actions and events. A total of 185 Black managers and 186 White managers participated in the studies. Across 4 studies the authors found that when Black respondents observed unjust behaviors toward a hypothetical Black victim, social accounts had a weak impact on perceptions of injustice, confirming the presence of what the authors call the "persistent injustice effect." It was also found that social accounts have a weaker impact on perceptions of injustice than on disapproval of the harm-doer and posit that the persistent injustice effect results from a combination of in-group identification with the victim and the respondent's personal experiences with injustice. These 2 factors, the authors theorize, combine to create greater empathy for the victim.
Tested whether repressors (individuals with an avoidant coping style) are actually distress-prone impression managers who provide "socially desirable" verbal reports. To establish discriminant validity, 30 repressors and 30 self-identified impression managers participated in a timed phrase-completion task. Half of the Ss were encouraged to be emotionally expressive and half to be emotionally restrained. Repressors were highly defensive regardless of the social demand, and impression managers only managed to match the repressors' level of distancing during the 1st segment of the inhibitive condition. Repressors were as physiologically reactive when they made defensive claims as they were when they made more negative disclosures to others. Only the repressors denied that their heart rate elevations might be related to their emotional responses.
The authors examined, in 2 studies, the effects of equal employment opportunity/affirmative action (EEO/AA) policies on Whites' job-related attitudes. First, in an experiment, White prospective job recruits, as expected, rated a potential employer whose EEO/AA policies were framed as targeted to benefit Blacks as less attractive than a potential employer whose EEO/AA policies were framed more generally. Second, the results of a field study showed that prejudice against Blacks moderated the relationship between Whites' perceptions that their organization's EEO/AA policies were targeted to benefit Blacks and their satisfaction with promotion opportunities. Specifically, among prejudiced Whites, this relationship was negative and considerable in size (r = -.39, p < .01); whereas, among nonprejudiced Whites, it was negligible (r = -.04, ns). The implications of our findings for the study of prejudice in organizations are discussed.
Coordination of interdependencies among firms' productive activities has been advanced as a promising explanation for sustained heterogeneity in capabilities among firms. In this paper, we extend this line of research to determine the industry structures and patterns of expected firm profits for the case when difficulty in optimizing interdependent activities does, in fact, generate and sustain capability heterogeneity among firms. We combine a widely used agent-based model where firms search to discover sets of activities that complement one another (reducing overall costs or raising product quality) with traditional economic models of competition among profit-maximizing firms. The agent-based model produces a distribution of performance (interpreted as variable cost or product quality) among firms and the competition models determine resulting industry outcomes including patterns of entry, exit, and profits. The integration of economic models of competition among firms with an agent-based model of search for improvement by firms reveals a rich relationship between interdependencies in production functions and industry structure, firm profits, and industry average profitability.
Knowledge work, which consists of goal-oriented activities that require high levels of competency to complete, comprises a large and increasing amount of work in modern organizations. Because knowledge work seldom has single correct results or methods for completion, externally specified, quantified measures of performance may not always be the most appropriate means for managing the performance of knowledge workers. Two competing models of flow, a type of subjective performance, are proposed and tested in a sample of work experiences from engineers, scientists, managers, and technicians who study and design national defense technologies at Sandia National Laboratories. Results support the definition and model that conceives of flow as the experience of merging situation awareness with the automatic application of activity-relevant knowledge and skills. Ways in which this definition and model of flow can be incorporated into theories of knowledge, performance, and social networks are explored.
This research examines the interactive effects of status and perceived time delay on acceptance of partner knowledge contributions within a distributive collaboration work environment. Results across 2 studies suggest that within distributed collaboration, time delays attributed to low-status partners had a significantly more harmful effect on influence acceptance than time delay attributed to high-status partners. This was so, despite the fact that partners' actual behavior was held constant across experimental conditions. In addition, results indicate that judgments of partner competence significantly mediated the interactive effects of perceived time delay and partner status on acceptance of partner influence.
This study investigates how the contribution, identification, and consideration of expertise within groups are affected by gender differences. The authors examined the effects of member expertise and gender on others' perceptions of expertise, actual and own perceptions of influence, and group performance on a decision-making task. The authors' findings are consistent with social role theory and expectation states theory. Women were less influential when they possessed expertise, and having expertise decreased how expert others perceived them to be. Conversely, having expertise was relatively positive for men. These differences were reflected in group performance, as groups with a female expert underperformed groups with a male expert. Thus, contrary to common expectations, possessing expertise did not ameliorate the gender effects often seen in workgroups. The findings are discussed in light of their implications for organizational workgroups in which contribution of expertise is critical to group performance.
This study investigated the effects of social status and perceived expertise on the emphasis of unique and shared knowledge within functionally heterogeneous groups. While perceived expertise did not increase the individual's emphasis of their own unique knowledge, perceived experts were more likely than nonexperts to emphasize shared knowledge and other member's unique knowledge contributions. Additionally, socially isolated members participated more in discussions and emphasized more of their unique knowledge than did socially connected members. While unique knowledge contributions increased the positive perception of social isolates, similar unique knowledge contributions decreased the positive perception of socially connected members. Finally, socially connected group members gave greater attention to the unique knowledge contributions of the socially isolated member than to the contributions of their socially connected other, but more favorably evaluated members to whom they were more favorably connected than those to whom they were not. We discuss the implications of our findings for managing knowledge exchange within diverse groups.
Archival studies of political decision-making groups show that the public statements of policy makers in the majority are higher in integrative complexity than those of minority-faction or unanimous group members. However, whether these differences reflect policy makers' private thoughts, or their public impression management strategies, cannot be inferred using only data from the public record. The experiment reported here established that in freely interacting groups composed of majorities and minorities, this pattern is obtained under private communication conditions as well as in public statements. Results suggest that cognitive flexibility in response to influence from insiders, rather than communication strategies designed to influence outsiders, underlies the differences observed.
Explored the effects of nonlinear preferences on negotiated settlements. The shape of negotiators' preferences (linear, increasing marginal utility, or decreasing marginal utility) was hypothesized to influence negotiated outcomes. Prior relationship between the negotiators (friends vs strangers) was hypothesized to moderate the effects of negotiators' preferences on negotiated outcomes by virtue of the influence of prior relationship on communication effectiveness within the negotiation dyad. Ss participated in a buyer/seller negotiation role play. Results demonstrated a strong main effect for negotiators' preferences on negotiated outcomes. Negotiators were much more effective at negotiating issues for which preferences entailed decreasing subjective marginal utilities than those for which preferences entailed linear or increasing subjective marginal utilities. In turn, negotiators were significantly more effective at negotiating issues for which preferences entailed linear marginal utilities than at those for which preferences entailed increasing marginal utilities. Results also supported a moderating role for prior relationship on these effects; this moderating role was not accounted for by communication effectiveness.
Presents a social cognitive, reference point (RP) model of 2-party price negotiations which focuses on the role of RPs play as a means of calibration and social influence in bargaining. Three studies with 606 MBA students examined how RPs based on personal preferences and budget constraints were combined with RPs based on available market information to affect outcomes. In captive transactions, contextual cues determined the extent to which market information vs reservation values influence outcomes. Certain contextual cues trigger perceptions of low vs high price variance, which leads negotiators to weight market information more or less heavily in internal processing and bargaining. When perceptions of low price variance were present, market information influenced outcomes more than private reservation values. When perceptions of high price variance were present, reservation values tended to be more dominant in determining outcomes.