Brownbag: William T. Bielby – “Is Support for Workplace EEO Interventions Influenced by Organizational Justifications and Intended Beneficiaries?”


Fri, 03/22/2013 - 12:00

Presented by: William T. BielbyDepartment of Sociology, University of Illinois, Chicago. Visiting Scholar, University of Arizona, 2013.

Title: “Is Support for Workplace EEO Interventions Influenced by Organizational Justifications and Intended Beneficiaries?”

A growing and important body of scholarship examines the efforts companies make to
manage the language and imagery of their workplace diversity and anti-discrimination
efforts in order to maintain legitimacy with internal and external stakeholders. But little
is known about whether these efforts at "symbolic management" have any impact on
Americans' inclinations to support or oppose specific workplace interventions designed
to enhance diversity or minimize discrimination. I report preliminary results of a survey
experiment in which White, Black, and Hispanic Americans are asked their opinions on a
workplace EEO interventions ranging from outreach to strict accountability. The survey
experimentally manipulates the justification for these interventions as either: (1) efforts
to minimize discrimination; (2) efforts to increase diversity; or (3) no justification at
all; and it manipulates the intended beneficiaries of these interventions as either women
or racial minorities. We hypothesize that there will be more support for interventions
targeting women than for those targeting racial minorities; that there will be more support
for interventions justified with a diversity rationale than for those justified with an anti-
discrimination legal compliance rationale; and that support for interventions that modify
organizational structures versus individual behavior will depend on respondents' beliefs
about the sources of inequality generally and the sources of gender and racial inequality

Presented in room 415 of the Social Sciences building.

For more information, contact Dr. Brian Mayer.