Corporate diversity programs and employee networks: A study of congruence between organizational perspectives

by Huber, Dawn Fremgen, Ph.D., CAPELLA UNIVERSITY, 2013, 162 pages; 3557410

Abstract:

Since the beginning of the new millennium, corporate diversity programs have become a fundamental component of contemporary organizational life, with employee networks (also known as affinity groups) playing a key role in many of these diversity initiatives. While employees who are represented by these affinity groups may feel less isolation and enjoy an increased sense of identification within their organization, specific stated goals of the affinity groups often remain unclear, raising questions of whether these employee networks are able to sustain congruence with established strategic goals of corporate diversity programs. This qualitative research study investigated the congruence between corporate diversity programs within the Los-Angeles based entertainment industry and the perspectives of existing affinity group members within that industry. Relying on a multiple case study methodology, initial questionnaires coupled with 27 semi-structured interview sessions yielded data from both corporate diversity professionals and affinity group members, resulting in the emergence of several themes that were analogous across the cases. These themes included (a) job satisfaction, (b) organizational identity, (c) career advancement, (d) professional networking, and (e) work/life balance. Research findings suggest that the existence of affinity groups is a significant factor in both recruitment and job search efforts, with existing affinity groups members almost unanimously expressing a sense of fulfillment from participation in group functions. Results of this study, therefore, revealed that congruence does exist between organizational diversity initiatives and the perspective and expectations of existing employee populations, findings that may prove beneficial to organizations seeking to modify or update existing diversity programs as they relate to corporate sustainability.

AdviserMaudie Gallop Holm
SchoolCAPELLA UNIVERSITY
Source TypeDissertation
SubjectsManagement; LGBTQ studies; Organizational behavior
Publication Number3557410

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