MGMT 353 Perceptions, Attributions and Diversity

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  • Perceptions, Attributions, & Diversity

POSTER SESSION

Create a poster a poster that summarizes the current state of diversity in a familiar organization. Be prepared for a gallery walk that explains (1) the potential biases that exist in that organization, (2) actions that you would take as a manager to overcome internal and external attributions, and (3) how you might create an environment that truly fosters diversity. Be sure to cite at least one article (e.g., Harvard Business Review Article: Dear White Boss)

CHAPTER 3 Understanding People at Work: Individual Differences and Perception Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Learning Objectives After reading this chapter, you should be able to do the following: 1. Define personality and describe how it affects work behaviors. 2. Understand the role of values in determining work behaviors. 3. Explain the process of perception and how it affects work behaviors. 4. Understand how individual differences affect ethics. 5. Understand cross-cultural influences on individual differences and perception. Individuals bring a number of differences to work, such as unique personalities, values, emotions, and moods. When new employees enter organizations, their stable or transient characteristics affect how they behave and perform. Moreover, companies hire people with the expectation that those individuals have certain skills, abilities, personalities, and values. Therefore, it is important to understand individual characteristics that matter for employee behaviors at work. 3.1 Hiring for Match: The Case of Netflix FIGURE 3.1 Source: chrisdorney / Shutterstock.com Hiring is perhaps one of the most important activities that takes place in a company, and it is common to hear managers talk about hiring the “best” people. Who exactly are the best people, though? And how do you get them to join your organization? Netflix, the entertainment company specializing in media streaming, is a thought leader in recruitment and hiring, and is responsible for many talent management practices adopted by other firms in recent years, including unlimited vacation time and eliminating annual performance reviews. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. 84 Organizational Behavior In terms of the skills they look for, Netflix considers future as well as current needs. Past experience and keyword matches may not be so helpful if the job itself is new. For example, when the company first became interested in hiring someone who could analyze big data, this was not a skill listed on many résumés. So they had to look for the right people in all sorts of industries that handled large amounts of data, such as insurance or credit card companies. They caution that job descriptions may be outdated and written for the person who left the job, and the company needs to consider the skills they will need in the future, or the skills they need right now in order to solve the business problems they are experiencing. Netflix has a unique culture. Unlike many Silicon Valley technology companies, they do not have a lot of perks such as free lunch or on-site gaming. They also pride themselves in treating people like adults, which means a high level of empowerment and trust. Realizing that this culture is not for everyone, they try to attract the right person in multiple ways. The description of their culture is available for everyone to read, which they hope will weed out people who may not feel comfortable in such an environment. They also make sure that their recruitment and hiring experience signals their most important values. They avoid misleading people as part of the process. They share their biggest attractions, which they see as the ability to work with top-notch people. They also are honest in giving job candidates feedback about their concerns. Nellie Peshkov, vice president of global talent acquisition, sees this as a test: “Do they get defensive, or do they accept the feedback and seek to engage in a healthy and productive dialogue? That’s a clue to see if they will be successful or not.” [1] Video: Multimedia Extension—Patty McCord: Lessons from a Silicon Valley Maverick View the video online at: //www.youtube.com/embed/uvG0aCbuG60?rel=0 Read about the Netflix culture here: https://jobs.netflix.com/culture © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Who is Netflix looking for? Patty McCord, who served as the Chief Talent Officer for Netflix for 14 years until her departure in 2012, suggests that they are looking for a good “match.” She cautions that when people say they hire for fit with company culture, they typically are thinking of someone they would enjoy sharing a beer with, which is not how match should be defined. Such an approach leads to restricting diversity as hiring managers and teams end up hiring people who are similar to them. Instead, they should be looking for someone who can solve their current and future business problems, and someone who shares the key values and goals of the company. In a Harvard Business Review article and a follow-up podcast, she shares the example of hiring a programmer who was working in an Arizona bank. The candidate was not a typical Silicon Valley hire, as he was a quiet guy who enjoyed woodworking in his free time, and was working in a traditional industry, but he had built an app enhancing Netflix. Ultimately, he fit the company so well because he was passionate about Netflix and the customer experience, despite his different background and personality. He was hired, and eventually rose through the ranks to become a vice president. Chapter 3 Understanding People at Work: Individual Differences and Perception 85 Case Discussion Questions 1. Patty McCord cautions that in many companies, culture fit is treated as finding someone you would like to spend time with. Do you agree with this observation? How do you think culture fit should be defined? 2. How can organizations successfully hire someone who fits with their organization? What are some methods they can use? 3. Based on the case, what are the values and skills of someone who could be successful at Netflix? 4. Netflix uses realistic job previews of their culture. Do you believe that all companies should do this? Why or why not? Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab 5. Netflix cautions that hiring managers should not rely too much on the job descriptions. What are the downsides of ignoring job descriptions when hiring someone? 3.2 The Interactionist Perspective: The Role of Fit Learning Objectives 1. Differentiate between person–organization and person–job fit. 2. Understand the relationship between person–job fit and work behaviors. 3. Understand the relationship between person–organization fit and work behaviors. Individual differences matter in the workplace. Human beings bring their personality, physical and mental abilities, and other stable traits to work. Imagine that you are interviewing an employee who is proactive, creative, and willing to take risks. Would this person be a good job candidate? What behaviors would you expect this person to demonstrate? The question posed above is misleading. While human beings bring their traits to work, every organization is different, and every job within the organization is also different. According to the interactionist perspective, behavior is a function of the person and the situation interacting with each other. Think about it. Would a shy person speak up in class? While a shy person may not feel like speaking, if the individual is very interested in the subject, knows the answers to the questions, and feels comfortable within the classroom environment, and if the instructor encourages participation and participation is 30% of the course grade, regardless of the level of shyness, the student may feel inclined to participate. Similarly, the behavior you may expect from someone who is proactive, creative, and willing to take risks will depend on the situation. When hiring employees, companies are interested in assessing at least two types of fit. Person–organization fit refers to the degree to which a person’s values, personality, goals, and other characteristics match those of the organization. Person–job fit is the degree to which a person’s skill, knowledge, abilities, and other characteristics match the job demands. Thus, someone who is proactive and creative may be a great fit for a company in the high-tech sector that would benefit from risk-taking employees, but may be a poor fit for a company that rewards routine and predictable behavior, such as an accounting firm. Similarly, this person may be a great fit for a job such as a scientist, but a poor fit for a routine office job. The first thing many recruiters look for is the degree of person–job fit. This is not surprising, because person–job fit is related to a number of positive work attitudes such as satisfaction with the work environment, identification with the organization, job satisfaction, and work behaviors such as job performance. Companies are often also interested in hiring candidates who will fit into the company culture (those with high person–organization fit). When people fit into their organi© 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. person-organization fit The degree to which a person’s values, personality, goals, and other characteristics match those of the organization. person-job fit The degree to which a person’s skill, knowledge, abilities, and other characteristics match the job demands. 86 Organizational Behavior overqualification The degree to which a person’s skill, knowledge, abilities, and other characteristics exceed the job requirements. A special case of not fitting one’s job is being overqualified for the job. Overqualification is a situation in which the employee has more skills, education, and experience than the job requires. People take jobs for which they are overqualified for a number of reasons, including a lack of alternatives, to gain entry into a new field, or not realizing that the job is actually below his or her skill level. Research shows that overqualification is related to negative job attitudes, greater tendency to look for a job, and higher likelihood of counterproductive behaviors. At the same time, studies have shown that there are situations where overqualification is positively related to job performance, particularly when these employees work with other overqualified workers. Further, the negative effects of overqualification only seem to emerge when employees are not empowered. In other words, by allowing employees to control their work environment and have a say in how things are done at work, companies can benefit from these highly qualified workers.[7] Key Takeaway While personality traits and other individual differences are important, we need to keep in mind that behavior is jointly determined by the person and the situation. Certain situations bring out the best in people, and someone who is a poor performer in one job may turn into a star employee in a different job. What do you think? 1. How can a company assess person–job fit before hiring employees? What are the methods you think would be helpful? 2. How can a company determine person–organization fit before hiring employees? Which methods do you think would be helpful? 3. What can organizations do to increase person–job and person–organization fit after they hire employees? 4. How do you think organizations react to overqualified workers? Are these candidates viewed as highly desirable job candidates? Why or why not? 3.3 Individual Differences: Values and Personality Learning Objectives 1. Understand what values are. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab zation, they tend to be more satisfied with their jobs, more committed to their companies, and less likely to experience burnout, and they actually remain longer in their company.[2] Further, applicants who believe that they fit with the organization during the stages of recruitment are more attracted to the firm and are more likely to accept an offer by that company.[3] One area of controversy is whether these people perform better. Some studies have found a positive relationship between person–organization fit and job performance, but this finding was not present in all studies, so it seems that fitting with a company’s culture will only sometimes predict job performance.[4] It also seems that fitting in with the company culture is more important to some people than to others. For example, people who are in more advanced stages of their careers are more strongly affected by their level of person–organization fit.[5] Also, when they build good relationships with their supervisors and the company, being a misfit does not seem to lead to dissatisfaction on the job.[6] Chapter 3 Understanding People at Work: Individual Differences and Perception 87 2. Describe the link between values and individual behavior. 3. Identify the major personality traits that are relevant to organizational behavior. 4. Explain the link between personality, work behavior, and work attitudes. 5. Explain the potential pitfalls of personality testing. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Values Values refer to stable life goals that people have, reflecting what is most important to them. Values are established throughout one’s life as a result of the accumulating life experiences and tend to be relatively stable.[8] The values that are important to people tend to affect the types of decisions they make, how they perceive their environment, and their actual behaviors. Moreover, people are more likely to accept job offers when the company possesses the values people care about.[9] Value attainment is one reason why people stay in a company, and when an organization does not help them attain their values, they are more likely to decide to leave if they are dissatisfied with the job itself.[10] values Stable life goals people have, reflecting what is most important to them. What are the values people care about? There are many typologies of values. One of the most established surveys to assess individual values is the Rokeach Value Survey.[11] This survey lists 18 terminal and 18 instrumental values in alphabetical order. Terminal values refer to end states people desire in life, such as leading a prosperous life and a world at peace. Instrumental values deal with views on acceptable modes of conduct, such as being honest and ethical, and being ambitious. terminal values According to Rokeach, values are arranged in hierarchical fashion. In other words, an accurate way of assessing someone’s values is to ask them to rank the 36 values in order of importance. By comparing these values, people develop a sense of which value can be sacrificed to achieve the other, and the individual priority of each value emerges. instrumental values TABLE 3.1 Sample Items from Rokeach (1973) Value Survey Terminal Values Instrumental Values A world of beauty Broad minded An exciting life Clean Family security Forgiving Inner harmony Imaginative Self-respect Obedient Where do values come from? Research indicates that they are shaped early in life and show stability over the course of a lifetime. Early family experiences are important influences over the dominant values. People who were raised in families with low socioeconomic status and those who experienced restrictive parenting often display conformity values when they are adults, while those who were raised by parents who were cold toward their children would likely value and desire security.[12] Values of a generation also change and evolve in response to the historical context that the generation grows up in. It is important to keep in mind that generational differences, where they exist, are modest, and are not strong enough to justify treating different age groups differently in the workplace. At the same time, research identified some differences in the values of different generations. For example, Generation Xers (those born between 1965 and 1979) are thought to be more individualistic and are interested in working toward organizational goals so long as they coincide with their personal goals. This group, compared to the Baby Boomers (those born between 1946 and 1964), is also less likely to see work as central to their life and more likely to desire a quick promotion.[13] Millennials (those born between 1980 and 2000) value leisure more, report less work centrality than boomers, and value work-life balance.[14] At the same time, the cut-offs between generations tend to be fuzzy, and the trends tend to be gradual.[15] © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. End states people desire in life, such as leading a prosperous life and a world at peace. Views on acceptable modes of conduct, such as being honest and ethical, and being ambitious. 88 Organizational Behavior FIGURE 3.2 Source: Shutterstock.com The values a person holds may affect their employment. For example, someone who has an orientation toward strong stimulation may pursue extreme sports and select an occupation that involves fast action and high risk, such as fire fighter, police officer, or emergency medical doctor. Someone who has a drive for achievement may more readily act as an entrepreneur. Moreover, whether individuals will be satisfied at a given job may depend on whether the job provides a way to satisfy their dominant values. Therefore, understanding employees at work requires understanding the value orientations of employees. Personality personality The relatively stable feelings, thoughts, and behavioral patterns a person has. Personality encompasses the relatively stable feelings, thoughts, and behavioral patterns a person has. Our personality differentiates us from other people, and understanding someone’s personality gives us clues about how that person is likely to act and feel in a variety of situations. In order to effectively manage organizational behavior, an understanding of different employees’ personalities is helpful. Having this knowledge is also useful for placing people in jobs and organizations. When scholars discuss personality characteristics as being “stable,” this does not mean that an individual’s personality exhibits no degree of change. You probably remember how you have changed and evolved as a result of your own life experiences, attention you received in early childhood, the style of parenting you were exposed to, successes and failures you had in high school, and other life events. In fact, our personality changes over long periods of time. For example, we tend to become more socially dominant, more conscientious (organized and dependable), and more emotionally stable between ages 20 and 40, whereas openness to new experiences tends to decline as we age.[16] In other words, even though we treat personality as relatively stable over short periods of time, changes occur. Moreover, even in childhood, our personality shapes who we are and has lasting consequences for us. For example, studies show that part of our career success and job satisfaction later in life can be explained by our childhood personality.[17] © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Values will affect the choices people make. For example, someone who has a strong stimulation orientation may pursue extreme sports and be drawn to risky business ventures with a high potential for payoff. Chapter 3 Understanding People at Work: Individual Differences and Perception 89 Is our behavior in organizations dependent on our personality? Yes and no. While we will discuss the effects of personality for employee behavior, you must remember that the relationships we describe are modest correlations. For example, having a sociable and outgoing personality may encourage people to seek friends and prefer social situations. This does not mean that their personality will immediately affect their work behavior. At work, we have a job to do and a role to perform. Therefore, our behavior may be more strongly affected by what is expected of us, as opposed to how we want to behave. When people have a lot of freedom at work, their personality will become a stronger influence over their behavior.[18] Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Big Five Personality Traits How many personality traits exist? In the English language alone, more than 15,000 words describing personality have been identified. When researchers analyzed the terms describing personality characteristics, they realized that many different words might be used to describe a single dimension of personality. When these words were grouped, five dimensions seemed to emerge that explain a lot of the variation in our personalities.[19] The “Big Five” dimensions of Openness, Conscientiousness, Extraversion, Agreeableness, and Neuroticism can be remembered using the acronym OCEAN. Everyone has some degree of each of these traits; it is the unique configuration of how high a person rates on some traits and how low on others that produces the individual quality we call personality. Keep in mind that these five traits are not necessarily the only ones that exist. There are other, specific traits that represent dimensions not captured by the Big Five. Still, understanding the main five traits gives us a good start for describing personality. Openness is the degree to which a person is curious, original, intellectual, creative, and open to new ideas. People high in openness thrive in situations that require being flexible and learning new things. For example, in a study tracking individuals from childhood to the age of 64, childhood openness showed indirect effects on upward social mobility because these individuals were more likely to acquire higher levels of education.[20] As employees, they have an advantage when they enter into a new organization. Their open-mindedness leads them to seek a lot of information and feedback about how they are doing and to build relationships, which leads to quicker adjustment to the new job.[21] Open people are highly adaptable to change, and teams that experience unforeseen changes in their tasks do well if they are populated with people high in openness.[22] Compared to people low in openness, they are also more likely to start their own business.[23] One downside of openness is that their absorption in creative pursuits has been shown to result in less time spent with spouses at home, which could lead to higher work-life conflict. [24] openness Conscientiousness refers to the degree to which a person is organized, systematic, punctual, achievement oriented, and dependable. Conscientiousness is the one personality trait that uniformly predicts how high a person’s performance will be across a variety of occupations and jobs. Conscientiousness has advantages on and off the job. For example, conscientiousness measured during childhood predicts likelihood of unemployment in adulthood (with high conscientiousness predicting low unemployment.[25] Not surprisingly, conscientiousness is the trait most desired by recruiters, and highly conscientious applicants tend to succeed in interviews.[26] Once they are hired, conscientious employees not only tend to perform well, but they also have higher levels of motivation to perform, lower levels of turnover, lower levels of absenteeism, and higher levels of safety performance at work.[27] In other words, conscientious employees are highly desirable to businesses. In return, companies tend to reward those who have this trait, treating them in more fair and considerate ways.[28] Finally, conscientiousness is a particularly valuable trait for entrepreneurs. Highly conscientious people are more likely to start their own business compared with those who are not, and their firms have longer survival rates and better performance.[29] This trait is not without a downside, however. When they experience failure, such as in the form of unemployment, the wellbeing of conscientious people is much more negatively affected.[30] conscientiousness © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. The degree to which a person is curious, original, intellectual, creative, and open to new ideas. The degree to which a person is organized, systematic, punctual, achievement oriented, and dependable. extraversion The degree to which a person is outgoing, talkative, sociable, and enjoys being in social situations. Organizational Behavior Extraversion is the degree to which a person is outgoing, talkative, sociable, and enjoys socializing. Interacting with others and being social energizes extraverts, whereas similar levels of stimulation and interactions may be viewed as draining to someone who is an introvert. One of the established findings is that extraverts tend to be effective in jobs involving sales. For example, when they force themselves to show “service with a smile,” they are more effective and convincing, which results in earning more tips from customers, whereas similar behaviors seem to backfire for introverts and result in less tips![31] Moreover, they tend to be effective as managers and they demonstrate inspirational leadership behaviors.[32] Extraverts tend to be effective in job interviews and even have higher starting salaries. Part of this success comes from preparation, as they are likely to reach out to their social network in order to prepare for the interview.[33] Extraverts have an easier time than introverts do when adjusting to a new job. Adjusting to a new job requires seeking a lot of information and feedback early on, which they seem to be more comfortable with.[34] Interestingly, extraverts are also found to be happier at work, which may be because of the relationships they build with the people around them and their easier adjustment to a new job.[35] However, they do not necessarily perform well in all jobs; jobs depriving them of social interaction may be a poor fit. Moreover, they are not necessarily model employees. For example, they tend to have higher levels of absenteeism at work, potentially because they may miss work to hang out with or attend to the needs of their friends.[36] FIGURE 3.3 Studies show a positive relationship between being extraverted and effectiveness as a salesperson. Source: Shutterstock.com agreeableness The degree to which a person is nice, tolerant, sensitive, trusting, kind, and warm. Agreeableness is the degree to which a person is affable, tolerant, sensitive, trusting, kind, and warm. In other words, people who are high in agreeableness are likable and get along with others. Not surprisingly, agreeable people help others at work consistently; this helping behavior does not depend on their good mood.[37] They are also better able to cope with stressors such as family interference with work.[38] This may reflect their ability to show empathy and to give people the benefit of the doubt. Agreeable people may be a valuable addition to their teams and may be effective leaders because they create a positive environment when they are in leadership positions. In fact, they are regarded as highly ethical leaders by their subordinates.[39] At the other end of the spectrum, people low in agreeableness are less likely to show these positive behaviors. Moreover, people who are disagreeable are shown to quit their jobs unexpectedly, perhaps in response to a conflict with a © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab 90 Chapter 3 Understanding People at Work: Individual Differences and Perception 91 boss or a peer.[40] Despite its advantages, agreeableness also has some downsides. Research shows that agreeable individuals tend to have lower levels of financial credit ratings, which may be a result of making promises they are not able to keep, or even co-signing loans for friends and family and then getting into financial trouble because of it.[41] Because they avoid conflict, they may miss opportunities for initiating constructive change or may get into difficulties while attempting to please others. Finally, recent research answered the age-old question: Do nice guys finish last? It seems that for men, agreeableness negatively relates to income level, whereas no relationship exists for women.[42] What are your Big Five traits? Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Go to http://www.outofservice.com/bigfive/ to see how you score on these factors. Neuroticism refers to the degree to which a person is anxious, irritable, temperamental, and moody. It is the only Big Five dimension in which scoring high is undesirable. People very high in neuroticism experience a number of problems at work. Most of their problems are due to difficulties in handling stress. Neurotic employees experience lower levels of satisfaction with their lives, indicating their habitual levels of unhappiness.[43] Research has shown that they are more prone to experience stressors such as work-life conflict, more negatively affected by stressors such as autocratic leadership, and have less healthy ways of coping with their daily stress, such as in the form of increasing their daily intake of alcohol.[44] Out of the big five traits, this one is the strongest (and negative) correlate of job satisfaction.[45] This personality trait has mixed effects on job search behavior: On the one hand, they experience greater burnout on the job and greater financial inadequacy, motivating them to look for an alternative. On the other hand, they feel less confident about their ability to find a new job, discouraging them from seeking a new job.[46] FIGURE 3.4 One of the world’s most famous (and most neurotic) artists, Vincent Van Gogh did not see success during his lifetime. Myers-Briggs Type Indicator Aside from the Big Five personality traits, perhaps the most well-known and most often used personality assessment is the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI). Unlike the Big Five, which assesses traits, MBTI measures types. Assessments of the Big Five do not classify people as neurotic or extravert: It is all a matter of degrees. MBTI on the other hand, classifies people as one of 16 types.[47] In MBTI, people are grouped using four dimensions. Based on how a person is classified on these four dimensions, it is possible to talk about 16 unique personality types, such as ESTJ and ISTP. MBTI was developed in 1943 by a mother-daughter team, Isabel Myers and Katharine Cook Briggs. Its objective at the time was to aid World War II veterans in identifying the occupation that would suit their personalities. Since that time, MBTI has become immensely popular, and according to one estimate, around 2.5 million people take the test annually. The survey is criticized because it relies on types as opposed to traits, but organizations who use the survey find it very useful for training and team-building purposes. More than 80 of the Fortune 100 companies used Myers-Briggs tests in some form. One distinguishing characteristic of this test is that it is explicitly designed for learning, not for employee selection purposes. In fact, the Myers & Briggs Foundation has strict guidelines against the use of the test for employee selection. Instead, the test is used to provide mutual understanding within the team and to gain a better understanding of the working styles of team members.[48] © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Source: Shutterstock.com neuroticism The degree to which a person is anxious, irritable, temperamental, and moody. 92 Organizational Behavior TABLE 3.2 Summary of MBTI Types Dimension Explanation EI Introversion: Those who derive their energy from inside. Extraversion: Those who derive their energy from other people and objects. SN Sensing: Those who rely on their five senses to perceive the external environment. Intuition: Those who rely on their intuition and hunches to perceive the external environment. TF Thinking: Those who use logic to arrive at solutions. Feeling: Those who use their values and ideas about what is right and wrong to arrive at solutions. Positive and Negative Affectivity positive affective people People who experience positive moods more frequently, who tend to be happier at work. negative affective people People who experience negative moods with greater frequency, focus on the “glass half empty,” and experience more anxiety and nervousness. You may have noticed that behavior is also a function of moods. When people are in a good mood, they may be more cooperative, smile more, and act friendly. When these same people are in a bad mood, they may have a tendency to be picky, irritable, and less tolerant of different opinions. Yet some people seem to be in a good mood most of the time, and others seem to be in a bad mood most of the time regardless of what is actually going on in their lives. This distinction is manifested by positive and negative affectivity traits. Positive affective people experience positive moods more frequently, whereas negative affective people experience negative moods with greater frequency. Negative affective people focus on the “glass half empty” and experience more anxiety and nervousness.[49] Positive affective people tend to be happier at work,[50] and their happiness spreads to the rest of the work environment. As may be expected, this personality trait sets the tone in the work atmosphere. When a team comprises mostly negative affective people, there tend to be fewer instances of helping and cooperation. Teams dominated by positive affective people experience lower levels of absenteeism.[51] When people with a lot of power are also high in positive affectivity, the work environment is affected in a positive manner and can lead to greater levels of cooperation and finding mutually agreeable solutions to problems.[52] OB Toolbox: Help, I Work With a Negative Person! Source: Shutterstock.com Employees who have high levels of neuroticism or high levels of negative affectivity may act overly negative at work, criticize others, complain about trivial things, or create an overall negative work environment. Here are some tips for how to work with them effectively.[53] • Understand that you are unlikely to change someone else’s personality. Personality is relatively stable and criticizing someone’s personality will not bring about change. If the behavior is truly disruptive, focus on behavior, not personality. • Keep your emotional distance. It is very easy for their emotions to affect yours. As much as you can, maintain emotional distance from their negativity. • Keep an open mind. Just because a person is constantly negative does not mean that they are not sometimes right. Listen to the feedback they are giving you. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab JP Judgment: Those who are organized, Perception: Those who are curious, open systematic, and would like to have clarity and minded, and prefer to have some ambiguity. closure. Chapter 3 Understanding People at Work: Individual Differences and Perception 93 • Set a time limit. If you are dealing with someone who constantly complains about things, you may want to limit these conversations to prevent them from consuming your time at work. • You may also empower them to act on the negatives they mention. The next time an overly negative individual complains about something, ask that person to think of ways to change the situation and get back to you. • Ask for specifics. If someone has a negative tone in general, you may want to ask for specific examples and evidence for the problems they have identified. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Self-Monitoring Self-monitoring refers to the extent to which a person is capable of altering his or her actions and appearance in social situations. In other words, people who are self-monitors are social chameleons who understand what the situation demands and act accordingly, while low self-monitors tend to act the way they feel.[54] High self-monitors are sensitive to the types of behaviors the social environment expects from them. Their greater ability to modify their behavior according to the demands of the situation and to manage their impressions effectively is a great advantage for them.[55] In general, they tend to be more successful in their careers. They are more likely to get cross-company promotions, and even when they stay with one company, they are more likely to advance.[56] Self-monitors also become the “go to” person in their company and they enjoy central positions in social networks.[57] They are rated as higher performers, and emerge as leaders.[58] While they are effective in influencing other people and get things done by managing their impressions, this personality trait has some challenges that need to be addressed. First, when evaluating the performance of other employees, they tend to be less accurate. It seems that while trying to manage their impressions, they may avoid giving accurate feedback to their subordinates to avoid confrontations.[59] This tendency may create problems for them if they are managers. Second, high self-monitors tend to experience higher levels of stress, probably caused by behaving in ways that conflict with their true feelings. In situations that demand positive emotions, they may act happy although they are not feeling happy, which puts an emotional burden on them. Finally, high selfmonitors tend to be less committed to their companies. They may see their jobs as a stepping-stone for greater things, which may prevent them from forming strong attachments and loyalty to their current employer.[60] self-monitoring The extent to which people are capable of monitoring their actions and appearance in social situations. Proactive Personality Proactive personality refers to a person’s inclination to fix what is perceived as wrong, change the status quo, and use initiative to solve problems. Instead of waiting to be told what to do, proactive people take action to initiate meaningful change and remove the obstacles they face along the way. In general, having a proactive personality has a number of advantages for these people. For example, they tend to be more successful in their job searches.[61] Proactive employees are also more successful over the course of their careers, because they use initiative and acquire greater understanding of the politics within the organization.[62] Proactive people are valuable assets to their companies because they may have higher levels of performance.[63] They adjust to their new jobs quickly because they understand the political environment better and often make friends more quickly and are more responsive to the feedback they receive.[64] Proactive people are eager to learn and engage in many developmental activities to improve their skills.[65] Despite all their potential, under some circumstances a proactive personality may be a liability for an individual or an organization. Individuals who are proactive but who are perceived as being too pushy try to change things other people are not willing to let go, or use their initiative to make decisions that do not serve a company’s best interests. Research shows that the success of proactive people depends on their © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. proactive personality A person’s inclination to fix what is perceived to be wrong, change the status quo, and use initiative to solve problems. 94 Organizational Behavior understanding of a company’s core values, their ability and skills to perform their jobs, and their ability to assess situational demands correctly.[66] self-esteem The degree to which a person has overall positive feelings about oneself. Self-esteem is the degree to which a person has overall positive feelings about themselves. People with high self-esteem view themselves in a positive light, are confident, and respect themselves. On the other hand, people with low self-esteem experience high levels of self-doubt and question their self-worth. High self-esteem is related to higher levels of satisfaction with one’s job and higher levels of performance on the job as well as higher levels of creativity at work.[67] People with low selfesteem are attracted to situations in which they will be relatively invisible, such as large companies.[68] Managing employees with low self-esteem may be challenging at times, because negative feedback given with the intention to improve performance may be viewed as a judgment on their worth as an employee. Individuals with low self- esteem are sensitive to social feedback, and they interpret ambiguous situations as definitive signals of social exclusion, which in turn leads to negative self-evaluations.[69] Therefore, effectively managing employees with relatively low selfesteem requires tact and providing lots of positive feedback when discussing performance incidents. FIGURE 3.5 Source: Adapted from information in Denissen, J. J. A., Penke, L., & Schmitt, D. P. (2008, July). Self-esteem reactions to social interactions: Evidence for sociometer mechanisms across days, people, and nations. Journal of Personality & Social Psychology, 95, 181–196; Hitti, M. (2005). Who’s No. 1 in self-esteem? Serbia is tops, Japan ranks lowest, U.S. is no. 6 in global survey. WebMD. Retrieved June 1, 2018 from http://www.webmd.com/skin-beauty/news/20050927/whos-number-1-in-self-esteem; Schmitt, D. P., & Allik, J. (2005). The simultaneous administration of the Rosenberg self-esteem scale in 53 nationals: Culture-specific features of global self-esteem. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89, 623–642. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Self-Esteem Chapter 3 Understanding People at Work: Individual Differences and Perception 95 Self-Efficacy Self-efficacy is a belief that one can perform a specific task successfully. Research shows that the belief that we can do something is a good predictor of whether we can actually do it. Self-efficacy is different from other personality traits in that it is job specific. You may have high self-efficacy in being successful academically, but low self-efficacy in relation to your ability to fix your car. At the same time, people have a certain level of generalized self-efficacy, and they have the belief that whatever task or hobby they tackle, they are likely to be successful in it. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Research shows that self-efficacy at work is related to job performance.[70] This relationship is probably a result of people with high self-efficacy setting higher goals for themselves and being more committed to these goals, whereas people with low self-efficacy tend to procrastinate.[71] Managerial self-efficacy is a good predictor of whether the manager seeks input from employees as managers with low self-efficacy will be more defensive of themselves, and less likely to want to hear about how they can manage more effectively. [72] Is there a way of increasing employees’ self-efficacy? Hiring people who are capable of performing their tasks and training people to increase their self-efficacy may be effective. Some people may also respond well to verbal encouragement. By showing that you believe they can be successful and effectively playing the role of a cheerleader, you may be able to increase self-efficacy. Giving people opportunities to test their skills so that they can see what they are capable of doing (or empowering them) is also a good way of increasing self-efficacy.[73] OB Toolbox: Ways to Build Your Self-Confidence Source: Shutterstock.com Having high self-efficacy and self-esteem are boons to your career. People who have an overall positive view of themselves and those who have positive attitudes toward their abilities project an aura of confidence. How do you achieve higher self-confidence?[74] • Take a self-inventory. What are the areas in which you lack confidence? Then consciously tackle these areas. Take part in training programs; seek opportunities to practice these skills. Confront your fears head-on. • Set manageable goals. Success in challenging goals will breed self-confidence, but do not make your goals impossible to reach. If a task seems daunting, break it apart and set mini goals. • Find a mentor. A mentor can point out areas in need of improvement, provide accurate feedback, and point to ways of improving yourself. • Don’t judge yourself by your failures. Everyone fails, and the most successful people have more failures in life. Instead of assessing your self-worth by your failures, learn from mistakes and move on. • Until you can feel confident, be sure to act confident. Acting confident will influence how others treat you, which will boost your confidence level. Pay attention to how you talk and behave, and act like someone who has high confidence. • Know when to ignore negative advice. If you receive negative feedback from someone who is usually negative, try to ignore it. Surrounding yourself with naysayers is not good for your self-esteem. This does not mean that you should ignore all negative feedback, but be sure to look at a person’s overall attitude before making serious judgments based on that feedback. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. self-efficacy A belief that one can perform a specific task successfully. 96 Organizational Behavior internal locus of control A person’s belief they they control their own destiny and what happens to them is their own doing. external locus of control A person’s belief that things happen because of other people, luck, or a powerful being. Locus of control deals with the degree to which people feel accountable for their own behaviors. Individuals with high internal locus of control believe that they control their own destiny and what happens to them is their own doing, while those with high external locus of control feel that things happen to them because of other people, luck, or a powerful being. Internals feel greater control over their own lives, and therefore they act in ways that will increase their chances of success. For example, they are more involved with their jobs. They demonstrate higher levels of motivation and have more positive experiences at work. When they are faced with problems, they adopt problem-focused coping strategies.[75] Interestingly, internal locus is also related to one’s subjective well-being and happiness in life, while being high in external locus is related to a higher rate of depression.[76] The connection between internal locus of control and health is interesting, but perhaps not surprising. In fact, one study showed that having internal locus of control at the age of 10 was related to a number of health outcomes, such as lower obesity and lower blood pressure later in life.[77] It is possible that internals take more responsibility for their health and adopt healthier habits, while externals may see less of a connection between how they live and their health. Internals thrive in contexts in which they have the ability to influence their own behavior. Successful entrepreneurs tend to have high levels of internal locus of control.[78] FIGURE 3.6 Core Self-Evaluations Researchers view neuroticism, locus of control, self-efficacy, and self-esteem as part of a person’s self-evaluations. Positive feelings about oneself are beneficial for effectiveness and happiness at work. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Locus of Control Chapter 3 Understanding People at Work: Individual Differences and Perception 97 Personality Testing in Employee Selection FIGURE 3.7 Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Goldman Sachs started using a personality test focusing on the Big Five traits in 2018. Source: 360b / Shutterstock.com Personality is a potentially important predictor of work behavior. Matching people to jobs matters, because when people do not fit with their jobs or the company, they are more likely to leave, costing companies as much as a person’s annual salary to replace them. In job interviews, companies try to assess a candidate’s personality and the potential for a good match, but interviews are only as good as the people conducting them. Unfortunately, research has shown that most interviewers are not particularly good at detecting the one trait that best predicts performance: conscientiousness.[79] One method some companies use to improve this match and detect the people who are potentially good job candidates is personality testing. Several companies conduct pre-employment personality tests. Companies using them believe that these tests improve the effectiveness of their selection and reduce turnover. For example, Overnight Transportation in Atlanta found that using such tests reduced their on-the-job delinquency by 50%–100%.[80] Experts have not yet reached an agreement regarding the best way to select employees, and the topic is highly controversial. Some experts cite data that personality tests predict performance and other important criteria such as job satisfaction. A key consideration in this debate is the knowledge that how a personality test is used influences its validity. Imagine filling out a personality test in class. You may be more likely to fill it out as honestly as you can. Then, if your instructor correlates your personality scores with your class performance, we could say that the correlation is meaningful. In employee selection, one complicating factor is that people filling out the survey in a hiring context do not have a strong incentive to be honest. In fact, they have a greater incentive to guess what the job requires and answer the questions to match what they think the company is looking for. As a result, the rankings of the candidates who take the test may be affected by their ability to fake desired qualities. Some experts believe that this is a serious problem. In fact, it is estimated that 20%–50% of all job applicants give fake responses in personality tests.[81] Others point out that even with faking, the tests remain valid because the scores are still related to job performance.[82] It is even possible that the ability to fake is related to a personality trait that increases © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. faking The practice of answering questions in a way one thinks the company is looking for. 98 Organizational Behavior success at work, such as self-monitoring. This issue raises potential questions regarding whether personality tests are the most effective way of measuring candidate personality. Another problem with personality tests is the uncertain relationship between performance and personality. Research has shown that personality is not a particularly strong indicator of how a person will perform at work. According to one estimate, personality only explains about 10%–15% of variation in job performance. Our performance at work depends on many factors, and personality does not seem to be the key factor for performance. In fact, cognitive ability (your overall mental intelligence) is a much more powerful influence on job performance, and instead of personality tests, cognitive ability tests may do a better job of predicting who will be good performers. Personality is a better predictor of job satisfaction and other attitudes, but screening people out on the assumption that they may be unhappy at work is a challenging argument to make in the context of employee selection. Reprinted by permission. Originally published on ScienceForWork. In any case, if you decide to use personality tests for selection, you need to be aware of their limitations. Relying only on personality tests for selection of an employee is a bad idea, but if they are used together with other tests such as tests of cognitive abilities, better decisions may be made. The company should ensure that the test fits the job and actually predicts performance. This process is called validating the test. Before giving the test to applicants, the company could give © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Scores are not only distorted because of some candidates faking better than others. For example, using a survey assumes that individuals understand their own personalities, but this may not be the case. How supervisors, coworkers, and customers see our personality matters more than how we see ourselves. Therefore, using self-report measures of performance may not be the best way of measuring someone’s personality, whereas asking our former colleagues or supervisors may reveal more accurate answers. In fact, observers are surprisingly accurate in assessing our personality. In one study, evaluators were able to accurately assess the personality of others simply by looking at and rating their Facebook pages.[83] In addition, individuals may be tempted to give “aspirational” answers to surveys. If you are asked if you are honest, you may think, “Yes, I always have the intention to be honest.” While this answer is related to how you value honesty, it may say nothing about your actual level of honest behavior in any given situation. Chapter 3 Understanding People at Work: Individual Differences and Perception it to existing employees to find out the traits that are most important for success in the particular company and job. Then, in the selection context, the company can pay particular attention to those traits. The company should also make sure that the test does not discriminate against people on the basis of sex, race, age, disabilities, and other legally protected characteristics. Rent-A-Center experienced legal difficulties when the test they used was found to be a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The test they used for selection, the Minnesota Multiphasic Personality Inventory, was developed to diagnose severe mental illnesses and included items such as “I see things or people around me others do not see.” In effect, the test served the purpose of a clinical evaluation and was discriminating against people with mental illnesses, which is a protected category under ADA.[84] Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Key Takeaway Values and personality traits are two dimensions on which people differ. Values are stable life goals. When seeking jobs, employees are more likely to accept a job that provides opportunities for value attainment, and they are more likely to remain in situations that satisfy their values. Personality comprises the stable feelings, thoughts, and behavioral patterns people have. The Big Five personality traits (openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism) are important traits that seem to be stable and can be generalized to other cultures. Other important traits for work behavior include self-efficacy, self-esteem, self-monitoring, proactive personality, positive and negative affectivity, and locus of control. It is important to remember that a person’s behavior depends on the match between the person and the situation. While personality is a strong influence on job attitudes, its relation to job performance is weaker. Some companies use personality testing to screen out candidates. This method has certain limitations, and companies using personality tests are advised to validate their tests and use them as a supplement to other techniques that have greater validity. What do you think? 1. Think about the personality traits covered in this section. Can you think of jobs or occupations that seem particularly suited to each trait? Which traits would be universally desirable across all jobs? 2. What are the unique challenges of managing employees who have low self-efficacy and low self-esteem? How would you deal with this situation? 3. What are some methods that companies can use to assess employee personality? 4. Have you ever held a job where your personality did not match the demands of the job? How did you react to this situation? How were your attitudes and behaviors affected? 5. Can you think of any limitations of developing an “ideal employee” profile and looking for employees who fit that profile while hiring? 3.4 Perception Learning Objectives 1. Understand the influence of self in the process of perception. 2. Describe how we perceive visual objects and how these tendencies may affect our behavior. 3. Describe the biases of self-perception. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. 99 100 Organizational Behavior 4. Describe the biases inherent in perception of other people. perception The process with which individuals detect and interpret environmental stimuli. Our behavior is not only a function of our personality, values, and preferences, but also of the situation. We interpret our environment, formulate responses, and act accordingly. Perception may be defined as the process with which individuals detect and interpret environmental stimuli. What makes human perception so interesting is that we do not solely respond to the stimuli in our environment. We go beyond the information that is present in our environment, pay selective attention to some aspects of the environment, and ignore other elements that may be immediately apparent to other people. Our perception of the environment is not entirely rational. For example, have you ever noticed that while glancing at a news website, information that is interesting or important to you seems to jump out of the page and catches your eye? If you are a sports fan, while scrolling down the pages you may immediately see a news item describing the latest success of your team. If you were recently turned down for a loan, an item of financial news may jump out at you. Therefore, what we see in the environment is a function of what we value, our needs, our fears, and our emotions.[85] In fact, what we see in the environment may be objectively, flat-out wrong because of our personality, values, or emotions. For example, one experiment showed that when people who were afraid of spiders were shown spiders, they inaccurately thought that the spider was moving toward them.[86] In this section, we will describe some common tendencies we engage in when perceiving objects or other people, and the consequences of such perceptions. Our coverage of biases and tendencies in perception is not exhaustive—there are many other biases and tendencies on our social perception. Visual Perception FIGURE 3.8 What do you see? Our visual perception definitely goes beyond the physical information available to us. First of all, we extrapolate from the information available to us. Take a look at the figure with three circles. The white triangle you see in the middle is not really there, but we extrapolate from the information available to us and see it there.[87] Our visual perception is often biased because we do not perceive objects in isolation. The contrast between our focus of attention and the remainder of the environment may make an object appear bigger or smaller. This principle is illustrated in the figure with circles. Which of the middle circles is bigger? To most people, the one on the left appears bigger, but this is because it is surrounded by smaller circles. The contrast between the focal object and the objects surrounding it may make an object bigger or smaller to our eye. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab 5. Explain what attributions mean, how we form attributions, and their consequences for organizational behavior. Chapter 3 Understanding People at Work: Individual Differences and Perception 101 FIGURE 3.9 Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Which of the circles in the middle is bigger? At first glance, the one on the left may appear bigger, but they are in fact the same size. We compare the middle circle on the left to its surrounding circles, whereas the middle circle on the right is compared to the bigger circles surrounding it. How do these tendencies influence behavior in organizations? You may have realized that the fact that our visual perception is faulty may make witness testimony faulty and biased. How do we know whether the employee you judge to be hardworking, fast, and neat is really like that? Is it really true, or are we comparing this person to other people in the immediate environment? Or let’s say that you do not like one of your peers and you think that this person is constantly surfing the Web during work hours. Are you sure? Have you really seen this person surf unrelated websites, or is it possible that the person was surfing the Web for work-related purposes? Our biased visual perception may lead to inaccurate inferences about the people around us. Self-Perception Human beings are prone to errors and biases when perceiving themselves. The types of bias people have depends on their personality. Many people suffer from self-enhancement bias, in which individuals hold the tendency to overestimate their performance and capabilities and see themselves in a more positive light than others see us. At the same time, other people have the opposing extreme, which may be labeled as self-effacement bias (or modesty bias). This is the tendency to underestimate performance and capabilities and see events in a way that puts oneself in a more negative light. Individuals with low self-esteem are more prone to making this error. These tendencies have real consequences for behavior in organizations. For example, people who suffer from extreme levels of self-enhancement tendencies may not understand why they are not getting promoted or rewarded, while those who have a tendency to self-efface may project low confidence and take more blame for their failures than necessary. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. self-enhancement bias The tendency to overestimate our performance and capabilities, and to see ourselves in a more positive light than others see us. self-effacement bias The tendency to underestimate our performance and capabilities, and to see events in a way that puts ourselves in a more negative light. 102 false consensus error How we as human beings overestimate how similar we are to other people. Organizational Behavior When human beings perceive themselves, they are also subject to the false consensus error. Simply put, such individuals overestimate how similar they are to other people.[88] Another example of this error is when individuals assume that whatever quirks they have are shared by a larger number of people than in reality. People who take home office supplies, tell white lies to their boss or colleagues, or take credit for other people’s work to get ahead may genuinely feel that these behaviors are more common than they are in reality. The problem for behavior in organizations is that, when people believe that a behavior is common and normal, they may repeat the behavior more freely. Under some circumstances, this may lead to a high level of unethical or even illegal behaviors. How we perceive other people in our environment is also shaped by our values, emotions, feelings, and personality. Moreover, how we perceive others will shape our behavior, which in turn will shape the behavior of the person we are interacting with. stereotypes Generalizations based on a perceived group characteristic. self-fulfilling prophecy This happens when an established stereotype causes one to behave in a certain way, which leads the other party to behave in a way that makes the stereotype come true. selective perception When we pay selective attention to parts of the environment while ignoring other parts. One of the factors biasing our perception is stereotypes. Stereotypes are generalizations based on group characteristics. For example, believing that women are more cooperative than men, or men are more assertive than women, is a stereotype. Stereotypes may be positive, negative, or neutral. Human beings have a natural tendency to categorize the information around them to make sense of their environment. What makes stereotypes potentially discriminatory and a perceptual bias is the tendency to generalize from a group to a particular individual. If the belief that men are more assertive than women leads to choosing a man over an equally (or potentially more) qualified female candidate for a position, the decision will be biased, illegal, and unfair. Stereotypes often create a situation called a self-fulfilling prophecy. This cycle occurs when people automatically behave as if an established stereotype is accurate, which leads to reactive behavior from the other party that confirms the stereotype.[89] If you have a stereotype such as “Asians are friendly,” you are more likely to be friendly toward an Asian. Because you are treating the other person better, the response you get may also be better, confirming your original belief that Asians are friendly. Of course, just the opposite is also true. Suppose you believe that “young employees are slackers.” You are less likely to give a young employee high levels of responsibility or interesting and challenging assignments. The result may be that the young employee reporting to you may become increasingly bored at work and start goofing off, confirming your suspicions that young people are slackers. Stereotypes persist because of a process called selective perception. Selective perception simply means that we pay selective attention to parts of the environment while ignoring other parts. When we observe our environment, we see what we want to see and ignore information that may seem out of place. Here is an interesting example of how selective perception leads our perception to be shaped by the context: As part of a social experiment, the Washington Post newspaper arranged for Joshua Bell, the internationally acclaimed violin virtuoso, to perform in a corner of the Metro station in Washington, D.C. The violin he was playing was worth $3.5 million, and tickets for Bell’s concerts usually cost around $100. During the rush hour in which he played for 45 minutes, only one person recognized him, only a few realized that they were hearing extraordinary music, and he made only $32 in tips. When you see someone playing at the metro station, would you expect them to be extraordinary?[90] Our background, expectations, and beliefs will shape which events we notice and which events we ignore. For example, the functional background of executives affects the changes they perceive in their environment.[91] Executives with a background in sales and marketing see the changes in the demand for their product, while executives with a background in information technology may more readily perceive the changes in the technology the company is using. Selective perception may perpetuate stereotypes, because we are less likely to notice events that go against our beliefs. A person who believes that men drive better than women may be more likely to notice women dri- © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Social Perception Chapter 3 Understanding People at Work: Individual Differences and Perception 103 ving poorly than men driving poorly. As a result, a stereotype is maintained because information to the contrary may not reach our brain. FIGURE 3.10 Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab First impressions are lasting. A job interview is one situation in which first impressions formed during the first few minutes may have consequences for your relationship with your future boss or colleagues. Source: Shutterstock.com Let’s say we noticed information that goes against our beliefs. What then? Unfortunately, this is no guarantee that we will modify our beliefs and prejudices. First, when we see examples that go against our stereotypes, we tend to come up with subcategories. For example, when people who believe that women are more cooperative, upon seeing a woman who is assertive, they may classify this person as a “career woman.” Therefore, the example to the contrary does not violate the stereotype, and instead is explained away as an exception to the rule.[92] Second, we may simply discount the information. In one study, people who were either in favor of or opposed to the death penalty were shown two studies, one showing purported benefits from the death penalty and the other discounting any benefits. People rejected the study that went against their belief as methodologically inferior and actually reinforced the belief in their original position even more.[93] In other words, trying to debunk people’s beliefs or previously established opinions with data may not necessarily help. One other perceptual tendency that may affect work behavior is that of first impressions. The first impressions we form about people tend to have a lasting impact. People have a tendency to use irrelevant information such as baby-faceness, similarity to familiar faces, fitness, or youthfulness to arrive at impressions relating to the person’s competence, warmth, or power.[94] First impressions, once formed, are surprisingly resilient to contrary information. The reason is that, once we form first impressions, they become independent of the evidence that created them. It is possible to reverse first impressions by providing information that results in a complete reinterpretation of initial information, but this is not always easy and feasible.[95] Being aware of this tendency and consciously opening your mind to new information may protect you against some of the downsides of this bias. Also, it would be to your advantage to pay careful attention to the first impressions you create, particularly during job interviews. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. first impressions Initial thoughts and perceptions we form about people, which tend to be stable and resilient to contrary information. 104 Organizational Behavior OB Toolbox: How Can I Make a Great First Impression in a Job Interview? Source: Shutterstock.com • Your first opportunity to make a great impression starts even before the interview, the moment you send your résumé. Make sure that your résumé looks professional and is free from typos and grammar problems. Have someone else read it before you upload or send your résumé. • Dress the part. Take a shower. Keep make-up, perfume, and jewelry light. Clean and trim nails. Wear clean and pressed clothes. These tips seem obvious, except that many interviewees skip on some of these steps, only to be remembered in stories of what not to do. What to wear is a harder question due to industry and geographic differences, but it should probably be more formal than what you would wear to work on a daily basis, and something you feel comfortable in. • Be prepared for the interview. Many interviews have some standard questions such as “Tell me about yourself” or “Why do you want to work here?” Be ready to answer these questions. Prepare answers highlighting your skills and accomplishments, and practice your message. Better yet, practice an interview with a friend. Practicing your answers will prevent you from regretting your answers or finding a better answer after the interview is over! • Research the company. If you know a lot about the company and the job in question, you will come across as someone who is really interested in the job. If you ask basic questions such as “What does this company do?” you will not be taken as a serious candidate. Visit the company’s website as well as others, and learn as much about the company and the job as you can. • Be on time to the interview. Being late will show that you either don’t care about the interview or you are not very reliable. While waiting for the interview, don’t forget that your interview has already started. As soon as you enter the company’s parking lot, every person you see on the way or talk to may be a potential influence over the decision maker. Act professionally and treat everyone nicely. • During the interview, be polite. Use correct grammar, avoid filler words such as “umm” or “like,” show eagerness and enthusiasm, and watch your body language. From your handshake to your posture, your body is communicating whether you are the right person for the job! Attributions Your colleague Peter failed to meet the deadline. What do you do? Do you help him finish up his work? Do you give him the benefit of the doubt and place the blame on the difficulty of the project? Or do you think that he is irresponsible? Our behavior is a function of our perceptions. More specifically, when we observe others behave in a certain way, we ask ourselves a fundamental question: Why? Why did he fail to meet the deadline? Why did Mary get the promotion? Why did Mark help you when you needed help? The answer we give is the key to understanding our subsequent behavior. If you believe that Mark helped you because he is a nice person, your action will be different from your response if you think that Mark helped you because your boss pressured him to. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab A job interview is your first step to getting the job of your dreams. It is also a social interaction in which your actions during the first 5 minutes will determine the impression you make. Here are some tips to help you create a positive first impression.[96] Chapter 3 Understanding People at Work: Individual Differences and Perception 105 An attribution is the causal explanation we give for an observed behavior. If you believe that a behavior is due to the internal characteristics of an actor, you are making an internal attribution. For example, let’s say your classmate Erin complained a lot when completing a finance assignment. If you think that she complained because she is a negative person, you are making an internal attribution. An external attribution is explaining someone’s behavior by referring to the situation. If you believe that Erin complained because the finance homework was difficult, you are making an external attribution. When do we make internal or external attributions? Research shows that three factors are the key to understanding what kind of attributions we make. Consensus: Do other people behave the same way? The causal explanation we give for an observed behavior. internal attribution Explaining someone’s behavior using the internal characteristics of the actor. external attribution Distinctiveness: Does this person behave the same way across different situations? Consistency: Does this person behave this way in different occasions in the same situation? Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab attribution Explaining someone’s behavior by referring to the situation. Let’s assume that in addition to Erin, other people in the same class also complained (high consensus). Erin does not usually complain in other classes (high distinctiveness). Erin usually does not complain in finance class (low consistency). In this situation, you are likely to make an external attribution, such as thinking that this finance homework is difficult. On the other hand, let’s assume that Erin is the only person complaining (low consensus). Erin complains in a variety of situations (low distinctiveness), and every time she is in finance, she complains (high consistency). In this situation, you are likely to make an internal attribution such as thinking that Erin is a negative person.[97] Interestingly though, our attributions do not always depend on the consensus, distinctiveness, and consistency we observe in a given situation. In other words, when making attributions, we do not always look at the situation objectively. For example, our overall relationship is a factor. When a manager likes a subordinate, the attributions made would be more favorable (successes are attributed to internal causes, while failures are attributed to external causes).[98] Moreover, when interpreting our own behavior, we suffer from self-serving bias. This is the tendency to attribute our failures to the situation while attributing our successes to internal causes.[99] TABLE 3.3 Consensus, Distinctiveness, and Consistency Determine Types of Attributions Made Consensus Distinctiveness Consistency Type of Attribution High consensus High distinctiveness Low consistency External Everyone else behaves the same way. This person does not usually behave in this way in different situations. This person does not usually behave this way in this situation. Low consensus Low distinctiveness High consistency No one else behaves the same way. This person usually behaves this way in different situations. Every time this person is in this situation, he or she acts the same way. Internal How we react to other people’s behavior would depend on the type of attributions we make. When faced with poor performance, such as missing a deadline, we are more likely to punish the person if an internal attribution is made (such as “the person being unreliable”). In the same situation, if we make an external attribution (such as “the timeline was unreasonable”), instead of punishing the person we might extend the deadline or assign more help to the person. If we feel that someone’s failure is due to external causes, we may feel empathy toward the person and even offer help.[100] On the other hand, if someone succeeds and we make an internal attribution (he worked hard), we are more likely to reward the person, whereas an external attribution (the project was easy) is less likely to yield rewards for the person in question. Therefore, understanding attributions is important to predicting subsequent behavior. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. self-serving bias The tendency to attribute our failures to the situation while attributing our successes to internal causes. 106 Organizational Behavior Key Takeaway What do you think? 1. What are the implications of contrast error for interpersonal interactions? Does this error occur only when we observe physical objects? Or have you encountered this error when perceiving behavior of others? 2. What are the problems of false consensus error? How can managers deal with this tendency? 3. Is there such a thing as a “good” stereotype? Is a “good” stereotype useful or still problematic? 4. How do we manage the fact that human beings develop stereotypes? How would you prevent stereotypes from creating unfairness in decision making? 5. Is it possible to manage the attributions other people make about our behavior? Let’s assume that you have completed a project successfully. How would you maximize the chances that your manager will make an internal attribution? How would you increase the chances of an external attribution when you fail in a task? 3.5 The Role of Ethics and National Culture Learning Objectives 1. Consider the role of individual differences for ethical behavior. 2. Consider the role of national culture on individual differences. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Perception is how we make sense of our environment in response to environmental stimuli. While perceiving our surroundings, we go beyond the objective information available to us, and our perception is affected by our values, needs, and emotions. There are many biases that affect human perception of objects, self, and others. When perceiving the physical environment, we fill in gaps and extrapolate from the available information. We also contrast physical objects to their surroundings and may perceive something as bigger, smaller, slower, or faster than it really is. In self-perception, we may commit the self-enhancement or self-effacement bias, depending on our personality. We also overestimate how much we are like other people. When perceiving others, stereotypes infect our behavior. Stereotypes may lead to self-fulfilling prophecies. Stereotypes are perpetuated because of our tendency to pay selective attention to aspects of the environment and ignore information inconsistent with our beliefs. When perceiving others, the attributions we make will determine how we respond to the situation. Understanding the perception process gives us clues to understand human behavior. Chapter 3 Understanding People at Work: Individual Differences and Perception 107 Individual Differences and Ethics Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Our values and personality influence how ethically we behave. Situational factors, rewards, and punishments following unethical choices as well as a company’s culture are extremely important, but the role of personality and personal values should not be ignored. Research reveals that individuals high in conscientiousness and agreeableness demonstrate lower levels of academic dishonesty (i.e., cheating).[101] Employees with external locus of control were found to make more unethical choices.[102] Our perceptual processes are clear influences on whether or not we behave ethically and how we respond to other people’s unethical behaviors. It seems that self-enhancement bias operates for our ethical decisions as well: We tend to overestimate how ethical we are in general. Our self-ratings of ethics tend to be higher than how other people rate us. This belief can create a glaring problem: If we think that we are more ethical than we are, we will have little motivation to improve. Therefore, understanding how other people perceive our actions is important to getting a better understanding of ourselves. Source: Shutterstock.com How we respond to unethical behavior of others will, to a large extent, depend on the attributions we make. If we attribute responsibility to the person in question, we are more likely to punish that person. In a study on sexual harassment that occurred after a workplace romance turned sour, results showed that if we attribute responsibility to the victim, we are less likely to punish the harasser.[103] Therefore, how we make attributions in a given situation will determine how we respond to others’ actions, including their unethical behaviors. Individual Differences Around the Globe Values that people care about vary around the world. In fact, when we refer to a country’s culture, we are referring to values that distinguish one nation from others. In other words, there is systematic variance in individuals’ personality and work values around the world, and this variance explains people’s behavior, attitudes, preferences, and the transferability of management practices to other cultures. When we refer to a country’s values, this does not mean that everyone in a given country shares the same values. People differ within and across nations. There will always be people who care more about money and others who care more about relationships within each culture. Yet there are also national differences in the percentage of people holding each value. A researcher from the Netherlands, Geert Hofstede, conducted a landmark study covering more than 60 countries and found that countries differ in four dimensions: the extent to which they put individuals or groups first (individualism), whether the society subscribes to equality or hierarchy among people (power distance), the degree to which the society fears change (uncertainty avoidance), and the extent to which the culture emphasizes acquiring money and being successful (masculinity).[104] Knowing about the values held in a society will tell us what type of a workplace would satisfy and motivate employees. Are personality traits universal? Researchers found that personality traits identified in Western cultures translate well to other cultures. For example, the five-factor model of personality is universal in that it explains how people differ from each other in over 79 countries. At the same time, there is variation among cultures in the dominant personality traits. In some countries, extraverts seem to be the majority, and in some countries the dominant trait is low emotional stability. For example, people from Europe and the United States are characterized by higher levels of extraversion compared to those from Asia and Africa. There are many factors explaining why some personality traits are dominant in some cultures. For example, the presence of democratic values is related to extraversion. Because democracy usually protects freedom of speech, people may feel more comfortable socializing with strangers as well as with friends, partly explaining the larger number of extraverts in democratic nations. Research also shows that in regions of the world that historically suffered from infectious diseases, extraversion and openness to experience © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Source: Shutterstock.com 108 Organizational Behavior was less dominant. Infectious diseases led people to limit social contact with strangers, explaining higher levels of introversion. Plus, to cope with infectious diseases, people developed strict habits for hygiene and the amount of spice to use in food, and deviating from these standards was bad for survival. This explains the lower levels of openness to experience in regions that experienced infectious diseases.[105] There seems to be some variation in the perceptual biases we commit as well. For example, human beings have a tendency to self-enhance. We see ourselves in a more positive light than others do. Yet the traits in which we self-enhance are culturally dependent. In Western cultures, people may overestimate how independent and self-reliant they are. In Asian cultures, such traits are not necessarily desirable, so they may not embellish their degree of independence. Yet they may overestimate how cooperative and loyal to the group they are because these traits are more desirable in collectivistic cultures.[107] Given the variation in individual differences around the globe, being sensitive to these differences will increase our managerial effectiveness when managing a diverse group of people. Key Takeaway There is a connection between how ethically we behave and our individual values, personality, and perception. Possessing values emphasizing economic well-being predicts unethical behavior. Having an external locus of control is also related to unethical decision making. We are also likely to overestimate how ethical we are, which can be a barrier against behaving ethically. Culture seems to be an influence over our values, personality traits, perceptions, attitudes, and work behaviors. Therefore, understanding individual differences requires paying careful attention to the cultural context. What do you think? 1. If ethical decision making depends partially on personality, what can organizations do to increase the frequency of ethical behaviors? 2. Do you think personality tests used in Western cultures in employee selection can be used in other cultures? © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Is basic human perception universal? It seems that there is variation around the globe in how we perceive other people as well as ourselves. One difference is the importance of the context. Studies show that when perceiving people or objects, Westerners pay more attention to the individual, while Asians pay more attention to the context. For example, in one study, when judging the emotion felt by the person, the Americans mainly looked at the face of the person in question, while the Japanese also considered the emotions of the people surrounding the focal person. In other words, the Asian subjects of the experiment derived meaning from the context as well as by looking at the person.[106] Chapter 3 Understanding People at Work: Individual Differences and Perception 3.6 Using Big Data to Match Applicants to Jobs: The Case of Cornerstone OnDemand Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab FIGURE 3.11 Source: Shutterstock.com You are interviewing a candidate for a position at a call center. You need someone polite, courteous, patient, and dependable. The candidate you are talking to seems nice. But how do you know who is the right person for the job? Will the job candidate like the job or get bored? Will they steal from the company or be fired for misconduct? Don’t you wish you knew before hiring? Retail employers do a lot of hiring, given their growth and high turnover rate. According to one estimate, replacing an employee who leaves in retail costs companies around $4,000. High turnover also endangers customer service. Therefore, retail employers have an incentive to screen people carefully so that they hire people with the best chance of being successful and happy on the job. One company approaches this problem scientifically, saving companies time and money on hiring hourly wage employees. Evolv finds data-driven predictors of job performance and uses this information to help select the right fit for the job. In October 2014, Cornerstone OnDemand, a publicly traded talent management company, acquired Evolv for $42.5 million, potentially extending its reach. The idea behind the software is simple: If you have a lot of employees and keep track of your data over time, you have access to an enormous resource. By analyzing data from a large number of employees, you can specify the profile of the “ideal” employee. The software captures the profile of high performers, and applicants are screened to assess their fit with this particular profile. As the database gets larger, the software does a better job of identifying the right people for the job. Employers such as Xerox are using the software developed by Evolv, where job applicants complete a test that takes half an hour. The system compares the applicant to the ideal profile, and the hiring manager gets a color-coded message from the system, where green indicates a high potential employee. Xerox won’t even look at a résumé if the system generates a red sign. The profile of the ideal candidate is often counterintuitive. For example, data on call center employees indicate that the best candidate has a short commute to work and participates in a small number of social networking sites. Contrary to what some people may think, job-hopping and unemployment status are not good predictors of effectiveness in the next job. One thing the system pays a lot of attention to is personality. It seems that for call center workers, being inquisitive results in leaving the job sooner. The system also measures honesty. For example, one question asks candidates to report how much computer skills they have, and then a follow-up question asks what control-V does. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. 109 110 Organizational Behavior The users of the system praise the time savings and the results: Xerox saw increases in performance and reductions in the turnover of their employees after adopting the system. On the negative side, anti-discrimination lawyers think that this is new territory with potential legal downsides. Moreover, these systems are used only for hourly or retail workers where data exists for thousands of employees and the system can identify a reliable employee profile. Its applicability to higher-level, professional, and more unique jobs is not yet clear. How big data approaches change the face of selection continues to evolve, including becoming Cornerstone OnDemand.[108] View the video online at: //www.youtube.com/embed/DHc8NJCG3Rs?rel=0 Case Discussion Questions 1. Have you ever taken part in a selection system such as the one described in the case? How do you feel about these tests as a job candidate? 2. Should organizations care about how job applicants react to pre-employment selection tests? 3. Do you feel these tests do a good job of selecting the right person for the job? What are the barriers to their effectiveness? What problems can organizations experience when they use employee selection tests measuring personality and other attributes described in the case? 3.7 Conclusion In conclusion, in this chapter we have reviewed major individual differences that affect employee attitudes and behaviors. Our values and personality explain our preferences and the situations we feel comfortable with. Personality may influence our behavior, but the importance of the context in which behavior occurs should not be neglected. Many organizations use personality tests in employee selection, but the use of such tests is controversial because of problems such as faking and low predictive value of personality for job performance. Perception is how we interpret our environment. It is a major influence over our behavior, but many systematic biases color our perception and lead to misunderstandings. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Video: Multimedia Extension—Take a Tour of Cornerstone OnDemand Chapter 3 Understanding People at Work: Individual Differences and Perception 3.8 Exercises Ethical Dilemma You are interviewing a job applicant for a corporate sales position. The job involves frequent interactions with clients, an impeccable work ethic and punctuality. There is a job candidate you thought was a good fit for the position, but now you have doubts. In a moment of weakness, you googled the applicant’s name and you came across his Facebook profile, several public posts, and past tweets. The online presence of this person suggests that he frequently parties - there are many photos where he seems to be drinking with friends, and other posts where he talks about his dislike of routine and deadlines. Now you are torn. Should you hire this person or not? Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Discussion Questions 1. What are the advantages and disadvantages of checking the online footprint of prospective employees? 2. What would you really do in a situation like this? Individual Exercise Changing Others’ Perceptions of You How do other people perceive you? Identify one element of how others perceive you that you are interested in changing. It could be a positive perception (maybe they think you are more helpful than you really are) or a negative perception (maybe they think you don’t take your studies seriously). • What are the reasons why they formed this perception? Think about the underlying reasons. • What have you done to contribute to the development of this perception? • Do you think there are perceptual errors that contribute to this perception? Are they stereotyping? Are they engaging in selective perception? • Are you sure that your perception is the accurate one? What information do you have that makes your perceptions more valid than theirs? • Create an action plan about how you can change this perception. Group Exercise Selecting an Expatriate Using Personality Tests Your department has over 50 expatriates working around the globe. One of the problems you encounter is that the people you send to other cultures for long-term (2- to 5-year) assignments have a high failure rate. They either want to return home before their assignment is complete, or they are not very successful in building relationships with the local employees. You suspect that this is because you have been sending people overseas solely because of their technical skills, which does not seem to be effective in predicting whether these people will make a successful adjustment to the local culture. Now you have decided that when selecting people to go on these assignments, personality traits should be given some weight. 1. Identify the personality traits you think might be relevant to being successful in an expatriate assignment. 2. Develop a personality test aimed at measuring these dimensions. Make sure that each dimension you want to measure is captured by at least 10 questions. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. 111 112 Organizational Behavior 3. Exchange the test you have developed with a different team in class. Have them fill out the survey and make sure that you fill out theirs. What problems have you encountered? How would you feel if you were a candidate taking this test? 4. Do you think that prospective employees would fill out this questionnaire honestly? If not, how would you ensure that the results you get would be honest and truly reflect their personality? 5. How would you validate such a test? Describe the steps you would take. 1. Case written by Berrin Erdogan and Talya Bauer to accompany Bauer, T. N., & Erdogan, B. (2018). Organizational Behavior (3.0). Boston, MA: FlatWorld. Partially based on ideas and information contained in Anonymous (January 2, 2018). Hiring the best people. Retrieved June 1, 2018 from https://hbr.org/ ideacast/2018/01/hiring-the-best-people; Anonymous (March 27, 2018). Former Netflix talent chief shares her secrets for hiring successfully. 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J. (1995). The proactive personality scale and objective job performance among real estate agents. Journal of Applied Psychology, 80, 532–537. 64. Kammeyer-Mueller, J. D., & Wanberg, C. R. (2003). Unwrapping the organizational entry process: Disentangling multiple antecedents and their pathways to adjustment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88, 779–794; Li, N., Harris, B., Boswell, W. R., & Xie, Z. (2011). The role of organizational insiders’ developmental feedback and proactive personality on newcomers’ performance: An interactionist perspective. Journal of Applied Psychology, 96, 1317-1327; Thompson, J. A. (2005). Proactive personality and job performance: A social capital perspective. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90, 1011–1017. 65. Major, D. A., Turner, J. E., & Fletcher, T. D. (2006). Linking proactive personality and the Big Five to motivation to learn and development activity. Journal of Applied Psychology, 91, 927–935. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. 113 Organizational Behavior 66. Chan, D. (2006). Interactive effects of situational judgment effectiveness and proactive personality on work perceptions and work outcomes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 91, 475–481; Erdogan, B., & Bauer, T. N. (2005). Enhancing career benefits of employee proactive personality: The role of fit with jobs and organizations. Personnel Psychology, 58, 859–891. 67. Judge, T. A., & Bono, J. E. (2001). Relationship of core self-evaluations traits—self-esteem, generalized self- efficacy, locus of control, and emotional stability—with job satisfaction and job performance: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 86, 80–92; Keller, R. T. (2012). Predicting the performance and innovativeness of scientists and engineers. Journal of Applied Psychology, 97, 225-233. 68. Turban, D. B., & Keon, T. L. (1993). Organizational attractiveness: An interactionist perspective. Journal of Applied Psychology, 78, 184–193. 69. 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Academy of Management Journal, 57, 1013-1034. 73. Ahearne, M., Mathieu, J., & Rapp, A. (2005). To empower or not to empower your sales force? An empirical examination of the influence of leadership empowerment behavior on customer satisfaction and performance. Journal of Applied Psychology, 90, 945–955. 74. Sources: Adapted from information in Beagrie, S. (2006, September 26). How to…build up self confidence. Personnel Today, p. 31; Beste, F. J., III. (2007, November–December). Are you an entrepreneur? In Business, 29(6), 22; Goldsmith, B. (2006, October). Building self confidence. PA Times, Education Supplement, p. 30; Kennett, M. (2006, October). The scale of confidence. Management Today, p. 40–45; Parachin, V. M. (March 2003, October). Developing dynamic self-confidence. Supervision, 64(3), 13–15. 75. Galvin, B. M., Randel, A. E., Collins, B. J., & Johnson, R. E. (in press). Changing the focus of locus (of control): A targeted review of the locus of control literature and agenda for future research. DOI: 10.1002/job.2275. 76. Benassi, V. A., Sweeney, P. D., & Dufour, C. L. (1988). Is there a relation between locus of control orientation and depression? Journal of Abnormal Psychology, 97, 357–367; DeNeve, K. M., & Cooper, H. (1998). The happy personality: A meta-analysis of 137 personality traits and subjective well-being. Psychological Bulletin, 124, 197–229. 77. Gale, C. R., Batty, G. D., & Deary, I. J. (2008). Locus of control at age 10 years and health outcomes and behaviors at age 30 years: The 1970 British Cohort Study. Psychosomatic Medicine, 70, 397–403. 78. Certo, S. T., & Certo, S. C. (2005). Spotlight on entrepreneurship. Business Horizons, 48, 271–274. 79. Barrick, M. R., Patton, G. K., & Haugland, S. N. (2000). Accuracy of interviewer judgments of job applicant personality traits. Personnel Psychology, 53, 925–951. 80. Emmett, A. (2004). 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Personnel Psychology, 60, 995–1027; Tett, R. P., & Christiansen, N. D. (2007). Personality tests at the crossroads: A response to Morgeson, Campion, Dipboye, Hollenbeck, Murphy, and Schmitt (2007). Personnel Psychology, 60, 967–993. 83. Kluemper, D. H., & Rosen, P. A. (2009). Future employment selection methods: Evaluating social networking web sites. Journal of Managerial Psychology, 24, 567-580; Mount, M. K., Barrick, M. R., & Strauss, J. P. (1994). Validity of observer ratings of the big five personality factors. Journal of Applied Psychology, 79, 272–280. 84. Youngman, J. F. (May-June 2017). The use and abuse of pre-employment personality tests. Business Horizons, 60 (3), 261-269. 85. Higgins, E. T., & Bargh, J. A. (1987). Social cognition and social perception. Annual Review of Psychology, 38, 369–425; Keltner, D., Ellsworth, P. C., & Edwards, K. (1993). Beyond simple pessimism: Effects of sadness and anger on social perception. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 64, 740–752. 86. Riskind, J. H., Moore, R., & Bowley, L. (1995). The looming of spiders: The fearful perceptual distortion of movement and menace. Behaviour Research and Therapy, 33, 171. 87. Kellman, P. J., & Shipley, T. F. (1991). A theory of visual interpolation in object perception. Cognitive Psychology, 23, 141–221. 88. Fields, J. M., & Schuman, H. (1976). Public beliefs about the beliefs of the public. Public Opinion Quarterly, 40(4), 427–448; Ross, L., Greene, D., & House, P. (1977). The “false consensus effect”: An egocentric bias in social perception and attribution processes. Journal of Experimental Social Psychology, 13, 279–301. 89. Snyder, M., Tanke, E. D., & Berscheid, E. (1977). Social perception and interpersonal behavior: On the self-fulfilling nature of social stereotypes. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 35, 656–666. 90. Weingarten, G. (2007, April 8). Pearls before breakfast. Washington Post. Retrieved January 29, 2009, from http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/ content/article/2007/04/04/AR2007040401721.html. 91. Waller, M. J., Huber, G. P., & Glick, W. H. (1995). Functional background as a determinant of executives’ selective perception. Academy of Management Journal, 38, 943–974. 92. Higgins, E. T., & Bargh, J. A. (1987). Social cognition and social perception. Annual Review of Psychology, 38, 369–425. 93. Lord, C. G., Ross, L., & Lepper, M. R. (1979). Biased assimilation and attitude polarization: The effects of prior theories on subsequently considered evidence. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 37, 2098–2109. 94. Zebrowitz, L. A. (2017). First impressions from faces. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 26, 237-242. 95. Mann, T. J., & Ferguson, M. J. (2015). Can we undo our first impressions?: The role of reinterpretation in reversing implicit evaluations. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 108, 823-849. 96. Sources: Adapted from ideas in Bruce, C. (2007, October). Business Etiquette 101: Making a good first impression. Black Collegian, 38(1), 78–80; Mather, J., & Watson, M. (2008, May 23). Perfect candidate. The Times Educational Supplement, 4789, 24–26; Prossack, A. (2018, April 30). How to make a great first impression. Forbes; Reece, T. (2006, November–December). How to wow! Career World, 35, 16–18. 97. Kelley, H. H. (1967). Attribution theory in social psychology. Nebraska Symposium on Motivation, 15, 192–238; Kelley, H. H. (1973). The processes of causal attribution. American Psychologist, 28, 107–128. 98. Heneman, R. L., Greenberger, D. B., & Anonyou, C. (1989). Attributions and exchanges: The effects of interpersonal factors on the diagnosis of employee performance. Academy of Management Journal, 32, 466–476. 99. Malle, B. F. (2006). The actor-observer asymmetry in attribution: A (surprising) meta-analysis. Psychological Bulletin, 132, 895–919. 100. LePine, J. A., & Van Dyne, L. (2001). Peer responses to low performers: An attributional model of helping in the context of groups. Academy of Management Review, 26, 67–84. 101. Giluk, T. L., & Postlethwaite, B. E. (2015). Big Five personality and academic dishonesty: A meta-analytic review. Personality and Individual Differences, 72, 59-67. 102. Hegarty, W. H., & Sims, H. P. (1978). Some determinants of unethical decision behavior: An experiment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 63, 451–457; Hegarty, W. H., & Sims, H. P. (1979). Organizational philosophy, policies, and objectives related to unethical decision behavior: A laboratory experiment. Journal of Applied Psychology, 64, 331–338; Trevino, L. K., & Youngblood, S. A. (1990). Bad apples in bad barrels: A causal analysis of ethical decisionmaking behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology, 75, 378–385. 103. Pierce, C. A., Broberg, B. J., McClure, J. R., & Aguinis, H. (2004). Responding to sexual harassment complaints: Effects of a dissolved workplace romance on decision-making standards. Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, 95, 66–82. 104. Hofstede, G. (2001). Culture’s consequences: Comparing values, behaviors, institutions and organizations across nations. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab 114 Chapter 3 Understanding People at Work: Individual Differences and Perception Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab 105. McCrae, R. R., & Costa, P. T. (1997). Personality trait structure as a human universal. American Psychologist, 52, 509–516; McCrae, R. R., Terracciano, A., & 79 members of the personality profiles of cultures project (2005). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89, 407–425; Schaller, M., & Murray, D. R. (2008). Pathogens, personality, and culture: Disease prevalence predicts worldwide variability in sociosexuality, extraversion, and openness to experience. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 95, 212–221. 106. Masuda, T., Ellsworth, P. C., Mesquita, B., Leu, J., Tanida, S., & Van de Veerdonk, E. (2008). Placing the face in context: Cultural differences in the perception of facial emotion. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 94, 365–381. 107. Sedikides, C., Gaertner, L., & Toguchi, Y. (2003). Pancultural self-enhancement. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 84, 60–79; Sedikides, C., Gaertner, L., & Vevea, J. L. (2005). Pancultural self-enhancement reloaded: A meta-analytic reply to Heine (2005). Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 89, 539–551. 108. Case written by Berrin Erdogan and Talya Bauer to accompany Bauer, T. N., & Erdogan, B. (2018). Organizational Behavior (3.0). Boston, MA: FlatWorld. Partially based on ideas and information contained in Fastenberg, D. (April 10, 2013). “Big data” predicts who makes the best workers. Retrieved June 1, 2018, http://jobs.aol.com/articles/2013/04/10/big-data-evolv-hiring-employers/; Ito, A. (Oct 24, 2013). Hiring in the age of big data. BusinessWeek; Leber, J. (May 27, 2013). The machine-readable workforce. MIT Technology Review; Lohr, S. (April 20, 2013). Big data, trying to build better workers. The New York Times. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. 115 Organizational Behavior Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab 116 © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved.
CHAPTER 2 Diversity in the Workplace Learning Objectives After reading this chapter, you should be able to do the following: 1. Understand what constitutes diversity. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab 2. Explain the benefits of inclusiveness. 3. Describe challenges of managing a workforce with diverse demographics. 4. Describe the challenges of managing a multicultural workforce. 5. Understand diversity and ethics. 6. Understand cross-cultural issues regarding diversity. Globally, the workforce is becoming diverse. Countries differ when it comes to how diverse they are. For example, in 2017, women constituted 46% of the workforce in the United States, 7% in Yemen, and 55% in Mozambique.[1] At the same time, 12% of the U.S. workforce comprises African Americans, 17% is of Hispanic origin, and 6% is Asian.[2] Employees continue to work beyond retirement, introducing age diversity to the workforce. Regardless of your gender, race, and age, it seems that you will need to work with, communicate with, and understand people different from you at school as well as at work. Understanding cultures different from your own is also becoming increasingly important due to the globalization of business. In the United States, 17% of domestic employees were foreign-born, indicating that even those of us who are not directly involved in international business may benefit from developing an appreciation for the differences and similarities between cultures.[3] In this chapter, we will examine particular benefits and challenges of managing a diverse workforce and discuss ways in which you can increase your effectiveness when working with diversity. As we discuss differing environments faced by employees with different demographic traits, we primarily concentrate on the legal environment in the United States. Please note that the way in which demographic diversity is treated legally and socially varies around the globe. For example, countries such as Canada and the United Kingdom have their own versions of equal employment legislation. Moreover, how women, employees of different races, older employees, employees with disabilities, and employees of different religions are viewed and treated shows much variation based on the societal context. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. 42 Organizational Behavior 2.1 Equality as a Core Value: The Case of Salesforce.com Source: NYCStock / Shutterstock.com The San Francisco–based Customer Relationship Management (CRM) company Salesforce.com is unique in many ways. The founder and CEO, Marc Benioff, is known for his vision for philanthropy, which has been encoded into the 1-1-1 system embraced by the company. Specifically, Salesforce pledges to give back 1% of its equity, products, and employee hours back to communities in which they operate. Given the visionary leadership focusing on social issues, perhaps it is not surprising that diversity is one of the four core values of Salesforce. Except that instead of diversity, the company uses the term “equality.” The company breaks with the tradition of appointing a Chief Diversity Officer, opting for a “Chief Equality Officer.” This is a deliberate choice on the part of the company. The company’s Chief Equality Officer, Tony Prophet, explains why diversity by itself is not enough: “Diversity is absolutely essential, and we have work to do that, but once you have diversity you’re not done. Then you have inclusion where you’re really getting the very best out of every employee. When you have an inclusive environment, you feel seen, you feel included, and you feel valued. You feel like you can bring your whole self to work. That is a competitive advantage to have a larger pool of talent. When you get ideas from people with different perspectives, the result is the beauty and the melding of their ideas, which adds to the complexity of the mosaic.” The company views inclusion as an ongoing goal to be strived for, and it deploys numerous tools and resources to achieve this goal. For example, the company currently has nine Employee Resource Groups (called Ohanas, the word for family in Hawaiian language). These groups include Abilityforce (aiming to achieve an inclusive culture for people of all ability and disabilities), Outforce (promoting an open and inclusive culture for employees of all sexual orientations and gender identities), and Faithforce (bringing together employees of all faiths). The goal of these groups is to ensure that employees can bring their whole, authentic selves to work. One in three employees participates in these groups, with the goal that all senior executives are connected to one as an ally. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab FIGURE 2.1 Chapter 2 Diversity in the Workplace A key tool the company uses to ensure equality is to collect and use data to assess the status quo, identify areas for improvement, and take action. In 2015, the company made the news and spent $3 million to rectify their discovered gender pay gap. After their analysis revealed pay differences that could not be explained by geography, seniority, and responsibilities, they made adjustments to the pay of 17,000 employees (men and women), representing 6% of the company’s workforce. They did this again in 2017, once more spending $3 million. The company publishes diversity numbers annually and measures the level of inclusiveness through questions in their attitude surveys. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab The company supports numerous programs as part of its inclusive culture. A high-potential leadership program aims to provide leadership skills in order to help the advancement of women in the workplace. Coding workshops for girls seek to demystify programming for girls around the world. The annual equality award announced in their annual developer conference aims to raise the profile of diversity and inclusiveness trailblazers from all industries. The company views equality both as a key social issue to help create a better world, and a source of competitive advantage for their own success.[4] Video: Multimedia Extension—Equality Trailblazers View the video online at: //www.youtube.com/embed/59GqMVBIlOc?rel=0 Case Discussion Questions 1. Why do you think Salesforce is committed to equality as a core value? 2. What are your thoughts regarding the distinction between diversity and inclusion (or equality, as it is called in the case)? Do you believe diversity without inclusion can be effective? Or inclusion without diversity? 3. Salesforce clearly puts a lot of resources into ensuring inclusiveness. Which of the methods described in the case are applicable to a smaller business with more limited resources? Do you believe that effective management of diversity necessitates a resource-rich environment? 4. The company had to rectify gender pay gap twice. What would be your advice for companies aiming to achieve pay fairness? What are ways in which companies may structure their pay systems so that gender pay gap does not emerge in the first place? 5. What is the value of employee resource groups? Under which conditions do you believe such programs will be effective tools in helping to develop an inclusive culture? © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. 43 44 Organizational Behavior 2.2 Demographic Diversity Learning Objectives 1. Explain the benefits of diversity and inclusion. 2. Explain the challenges of diversity management. diversity The ways in which people are similar or different from each other. Diversity refers to the ways in which people are similar or different from each other. It may be defined by any characteristic that varies within a particular work unit such as gender, race, age, education, tenure, or functional background (such as being an engineer versus being an accountant). Even though diversity may occur with respect to any characteristic, our focus will be on diversity with respect to demographic, relatively stable, and visible characteristics: specifically gender, race, age, religion, physical abilities, and sexual orientation. Understanding how these characteristics shape organizational behavior is important. While many organizations publicly rave about the benefits of diversity, many find it challenging to develop an inclusive culture. This is evidenced by the number of complaints filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) regarding discrimination. In the United States, the Age Discrimination Act of 1975 and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 outlaw discrimination based on age, gender, race, national origin, or religion. The 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination of otherwise capable employees based on physical or mental disabilities. In 2017, over 84,000 individuals filed a complaint claiming that they were discriminated against based on protected characteristics.[5] Of course, this number represents only the most extreme instances in which victims must have received visibly discriminatory treatment to justify filing a complaint. It is reasonable to assume that many instances of discrimination go unreported because they are more subtle and employees may not even be aware of inconsistencies such as pay discrimination. Before the passing of antidiscrimination laws in the United States, many forms of discrimination were socially acceptable. This acceptance of certain discrimination practices is more likely to be seen in countries without similar employment laws. It seems that there is room for improvement when it comes to benefiting from diversity, understanding its pitfalls, and creating a work environment where people feel appreciated for their contributions regardless of who they are. Benefits of Diversity and Inclusion What is the business case for diversity? Simply examining diversity in a group or organization paints a negative and complicated picture. In fact, groups that are diverse experience lower levels of cohesiveness, higher levels of conflict, lower levels of team performance, and higher levels of turnover. In other words, human beings find it easier to communicate with each other when they interact with similar others.[6] inclusion The degree to which individuals can bring the aspects of themselves that make them unique while also being treated as insiders. At the same time, when examined along with inclusion, the potential benefits of diversity are unlocked. Inclusion involves allowing individuals to bring aspects of themselves that make them unique, while also being treated as insiders. In organizations that are inclusive, the organization makes efforts to ensure that all individuals are allowed to participate in the organizational life fully, their voices are heard, and concerted efforts are made to remove barriers to fair treatment of everyone.[7] Research has shown that a climate of inclusion is necessary to turn diversity into an advantage for organizations.[8] It is important to consider diversity and inclusion together: Simply having diversity does not mean that the organization is inclusive, and without inclusiveness, diversity is not sufficient to yield positive outcomes. As diversity consultant and advocate Verna Myers © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab 3. Describe the unique environment facing employees with specific traits such as gender, race, religion, physical disabilities, age, and sexual orientation. Chapter 2 Diversity in the Workplace notes, “Diversity is being invited to the party. Inclusion is being asked to dance.”[9] In the next section, we summarize potential benefits of diversity and inclusion. Higher Creativity in Decision Making FIGURE 2.2 Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Research shows that diverse teams tend to make higher quality decisions. Source: Shutterstock.com An important potential benefit of having a diverse workforce is the ability to make higher quality decisions. In a diverse work team, people will have different opinions and perspectives. In these teams, individuals are more likely to consider more alternatives and think outside the box when making decisions. When thinking about a problem, team members may identify novel solutions. Research shows that teams that are diverse with respect to values, thinking styles, knowledge, skills, and beliefs stimulate creativity in members.[10] Therefore, having a diverse workforce may have a direct impact on a company’s bottom line by increasing creativity in decision making. Better Understanding and Service of Customers A company with a diverse workforce may create products or services that appeal to a broader customer base. PepsiCo Inc. planned and executed a successful diversification effort in the recent past. The company was able to increase the percentage of women and ethnic minorities in many levels of the company, including management. The company points out that in some years, about 1% of the company’s 8% revenue growth came from products that were inspired by the diversity efforts, such as guacamole-flavored Doritos chips and wasabi-flavored snacks.[11] Companies with more women have been responsible for introducing innovative ideas to the market, such as the online subscription and personal shopping service Stitch Fix. On a more negative note, companies lacking diversity often introduce products that do not meet the needs of a particular segment of the population. For example, when Apple first introduced its Health app, the company came under fire for enabling users to track a wide variety of metrics including sodium intake and yet somehow failing to include © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. 45 46 Organizational Behavior metrics relating to reproductive health. Similarly, the early failure of voice recognition software to recognize female voices or image recognition software failing to recognize black faces has been attributed to the lack of diversity in technology industry.[12] A company with a diverse workforce may understand the needs of particular groups of customers better, and customers may feel more at ease when they are dealing with a company that understands their needs. When employees feel that they are fairly treated, they tend to be more satisfied. On the other hand, when employees perceive that they are being discriminated against, they tend to be less attached to the company, less satisfied with their jobs, and experience more stress at work.[13] Organizations where employees are satisfied often have lower turnover. Organizational practices aimed at creating a diverse and inclusive culture are also helpful for employees to develop trust in the organization and management, and have been shown to have advantages in facilitating employee engagement.[14] In contrast, in organizations where people experience or observe discrimination, employees suffer from higher levels of stress and experience a sense of injustice, resulting in more negative outcomes.[15] Higher Stock Prices Companies that do a better job of managing a diverse workforce are often rewarded in the stock market, indicating that investors use this information to judge how well a company is being managed. For example, companies that receive an award from the U.S. Department of Labor for their diversity management programs show increases in the stock price in the days following the announcement. Conversely, companies that announce settlements for discrimination lawsuits often show a decline in stock prices afterward.[16] Lower Litigation Expenses Companies doing a particularly bad job in diversity management face costly litigations. When an employee or a group of employees feel that the company is violating EEOC laws, they may file a complaint. The EEOC acts as a mediator between the company and the person, and the company may choose to settle the case outside the court. If no settlement is reached, the EEOC may sue the company on behalf of the complainant or may provide the injured party with a right-to-sue letter. Regardless of the outcome, these lawsuits are expensive and include attorney fees as well as the cost of the settlement or judgment, which may reach millions of dollars. The resulting poor publicity also has a cost to the company. For example, in 2018, the Seasons 52 restaurant, which is a brand owned by Darden Restaurants, was ordered to pay $2.85 million in an age discrimination lawsuit. The company had told applicants denied employment that they had too much experience, and that they were looking for “fresh” employees. In the same year, Ford was ordered to pay an ex-engineer of Arab descent $16.8 million due to harassment and creation of a hostile work environment.[17] As you can see, effective management of diversity can lead to big cost savings by decreasing the probability of facing costly and embarrassing lawsuits. Higher Company Performance As a result of all these potential benefits, companies that manage diversity more effectively tend to outperform others. Research shows that in companies pursuing a growth strategy, there was a positive relationship between racial diversity of the company and firm performance.[18] Companies ranked in the Diversity 50 list created by DiversityInc magazine performed better than their counterparts.[19] And, in a survey of 500 large companies, those with the largest percentage of female executives performed better than those with the smallest percentage of female executives. Of © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab More Satisfied Workforce Chapter 2 Diversity in the Workplace 47 course, correlation does not equal causation, and it is possible that the causal arrow goes the other way and strong organizations have the bandwidth to invest in diversity initiatives. The relationship, however, remains.[20] Challenges of Diversity If managing diversity effectively has the potential to increase company performance, increase creativity, and create a more satisfied workforce, why aren’t all companies doing a better job of encouraging diversity? Despite all the potential advantages, there are also a number of challenges associated with increased levels of diversity in the workforce. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Similarity-Attraction Phenomenon One of the commonly observed phenomena in human interactions is the tendency for individuals to be attracted to similar individuals. This attraction influences interpersonal relationships as well as relations among groups.[21] Research shows that individuals show a preference toward similar others. They allocate greater resources to them when given the chance, show more positive attitudes toward them, and are more strongly drawn to them. They express greater levels of comfort with similar others, and display greater levels of confidence in homogeneous groups regardless of how they actually perform.[22] The similarity-attraction phenomenon may explain some of the potentially unfair treatment based on demographic traits. If a hiring manager chooses someone who is similar over a more qualified candidate who is dissimilar in a characteristic such as sex, race, age, the decision will be unfair and be a barrier to achieving diversity in the workplace. In other words, similarity-attraction may give the majority group an advantage in hiring or other human resource decisions because hiring managers will perceive greater chemistry and feel more comfortable with someone similar to them, jeopardizing the candidacy of someone who is different from the group composition. Even when candidates from underrepresented groups are hired, they may receive different treatment within the organization. For example, research shows that one way in which employees may get ahead within organizations is through being mentored by a knowledgeable and powerful mentor. Yet when the company does not have a formal mentoring program in which people are assigned a specific mentor, people are more likely to develop a mentoring relationship with someone who is similar to them in demographic traits.[23] This means that those who are not selected as protégés will not be able to benefit from the support and advice that would further their careers. Similarityattraction may even affect the treatment people receive daily. If a male manager frequently invites a male employee to have lunch with him while a female employee is excluded from such interaction opportunities, the male employee over time may develop greater access to information, advice, or other intangible opportunities that are beneficial to one’s career. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. similarity-attraction phenomenon The tendency to be more attracted to individuals who are similar to us. 48 Organizational Behavior FIGURE 2.3 Source: s_bukley / Shutterstock.com surface-level diversity Traits that are highly visible to us and those around us, such as race, gender, and age. deep-level diversity Diversity in values, beliefs, and attitudes. Why are we more attracted to those who share our demographic attributes? Demographic traits are part of what makes up surface-level diversity. Surface-level diversity includes traits that are highly visible to us and those around us, such as race, gender, and age. Researchers believe that people pay attention to surface diversity because they are assumed to be related to deep-level diversity, which includes values, beliefs, and attitudes. We want to interact with those who share our values and attitudes, but when we meet people for the first time, we have no way of knowing whether they share similar values. As a result, we tend to use surface-level diversity to make judgments about deep-level diversity. Research shows that surface-level traits affect our interactions with other people early in our acquaintance with them, but as we get to know people, the influence of surface-level traits is replaced by deep-level traits such as similarity in values and attitudes.[24] Age, race, and gender dissimilarity are also stronger predictors of employee turnover during the first few weeks or months within a company. It seems that people who are different from others may feel isolated during their early tenure when they are dissimilar to the rest of the team, but these effects tend to disappear as people stay longer and get to know other employees. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab J.K. Rowling, the author of the Harry Potter series, does not actually have a middle initial. The publisher of the books urged her to use initials rather than her name (Joanne), reasoning that boys would not be interested in reading a book written by a woman, in order to take advantage of the similarity-attraction phenomenon. Chapter 2 Diversity in the Workplace 49 FIGURE 2.4 Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Individuals often initially judge others based on surface-level diversity. Over time, this effect tends to fade and is replaced by deep-level traits such as similarity in values and attitudes. As you may see, while similarity-attraction may put some employees at a disadvantage, it is a tendency that can be managed by organizations. By paying attention to employees early in their tenure, having formal mentoring programs in which people are assigned mentors, and training managers to be aware of the similarity-attraction tendency, organizations can go a long way in dealing with potential diversity challenges. Faultlines A faultline is an attribute along which a group is split into subgroups. For example, in a group with three women and three men, gender may act as a faultline because the women may see themselves as separate from the men. Now imagine that the women of the same team are all over age 50 and the men are all under age 25. In this case, age and gender combine to further divide the group into two subgroups. Teams that are divided by faultlines experience a number of difficulties. For example, members of the different subgroups may avoid communicating with each other, reducing the overall cohesiveness of the team. Research shows that teams with faultlines experience more conflict, are less cohesive, and have less satisfaction and performance.[25] Faultlines are more likely to emerge in diverse teams, but not all diverse teams have faultlines. Going back to our example, if the team has three men and three women as members, but if two of the women are older and one of the men is also older, then the composition of the team will have much different effects on the team’s processes. In this case, age could be a bridging characteristic that brings together people divided across gender. Research shows that even groups that have strong faultlines can perform well if they establish certain norms. When members of subgroups debate the decision topic among themselves before having a general group discussion, there seems to be less communication during the meeting on pros and cons of different alternatives. Having a norm stating that members should not discuss the issue under consideration before the actual meeting may be useful in increasing decision effectiveness.[26] Further, the existence of an inclusive diversity climate reduced the negative effects of faultlines on loyal behaviors.[27] © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. faultline An attribute along which a group is split into subgroups. 50 Organizational Behavior FIGURE 2.5 The group on the left will likely suffer a strong faultline due to the lack of common ground. The group to the right will likely only suffer a weak faultline because the men and women of the different groups will likely identify with each other. stereotypes Generalizations about a particular group of people. unconscious (or implicit) biases Stereotypes about specific groups that are held outside of conscious awareness. An important challenge of managing a diverse workforce is the possibility that stereotypes and unconscious biases about different groups could lead to unfair decision making. Stereotypes are generalizations about a particular group of people. The assumption that women are more relationship oriented, while men are more assertive, is an example of a stereotype. Unconscious (or implicit) biases are stereotypes that are held that are outside of conscious awareness. For example, a manager who is surprised that the technical employee all the clients are raving about is a woman may be demonstrating an unconscious bias. Harvard University researchers developed an instrument measuring potential implicit biases, which you can find here: https://implicit.harvard.edu/ implicit/takeatest.html. The problem with stereotypes and unconscious biases is that individuals may rely on stereotypes when making decisions, instead of collecting actual data and verifying their assumptions. As a result, stereotypes may lead to unfair and inaccurate decision making. For example, a hiring manager holding the stereotype that men are more assertive may prefer a male candidate for a management position over a well-qualified female candidate. The assumption would be that management positions require assertiveness and the male candidate would be more assertive than the female candidate. Being aware of these stereotypes is the first step to preventing them from affecting decision making. Research has shown that stereotypes and implicit biases affect hiring decisions. For example, in a laboratory experiment, when individuals were asked to hire someone for a job involving math abilities, they were twice as likely to hire a man. Even providing past performance information did not fully eliminate this male advantage. Such discrimination may be part of the puzzle for the underrepresentation of women in science and engineering.[28] Organizations may take concrete steps to prevent stereotypes from affecting their decisions. For example, orchestras in the United States saw a dramatic increase in female musicians after they started introducing “blind” auditions—auditions in which the candidate plays behind a screen.[29] In 2006, France passed a law requiring employers with more than 50 employees to remove personal data that potentially signals an applicant’s race, religion, or ethnicity from résumés in order to prevent stereotypes from influencing who is hired.[30] Such structural changes may help prevent stereotypes from affecting employment decisions. Specific Diversity Issues Different demographic groups face unique work environments and varying challenges in the workplace. In this section, we will review the particular challenges associated with managing gender, race, religion, physical ability, and sexual orientation diversity in the workplace. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Stereotypes and Unconscious Biases Chapter 2 Diversity in the Workplace Gender Diversity in the Workplace In the United States, three important pieces of legislation prohibit gender discrimination at work. The Equal Pay Act (1963) prohibits discrimination in pay based on gender. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (1964) prohibits discrimination in all employment-related decisions based on gender. In 2009, the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was signed into law. This act is named after a woman who, at the end of her 19 years as a supervisor at a Goodyear tire factory, discovered she had been paid less than her male counterparts. The act gives a potential litigant 180 days to file a claim every time a worker receives a paycheck. Despite the existence of strong legislation, women and men often face different treatment at work. The earnings gap, the glass ceiling, and sexual harassment are three key problems women may experience in the workplace. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Earnings Gap An often publicized issue women face at work is the earnings gap. The median earnings of women who worked full time in 2017 was 82% of men working full time.[31] There are many potential explanations for the earnings gap that are often reported in the popular media. Some explanations for this gap focus on “human capital.” According to this view, women and men bring different investments to work. For example, women work shorter hours, are underrepresented in high-paying occupations such as engineering and overrepresented in low-paying occupations such as kindergarten teacher, and have more gaps in their résumés due to parenthood, which explains part of the gender differences in pay.[32] It is important to note that these do not provide a full explanation for the gender differences in pay, and framing these factors as “individual choice” may be misguided. As a case in point, many organizations do not have family-supportive policies in place, resulting in women having to leave their jobs following motherhood. While these decisions may reflect choice, they may also reflect necessities and lack of alternatives. A commonly used explanation for the pay gap is that women are less likely to negotiate. There is some truth to this, as research has shown that when it is unclear whether wages are negotiable, male job seekers are more likely to negotiate. Interestingly, when it is explicitly mentioned that wages are negotiable, such differences disappear.[33] At the same time, laboratory studies show that women candidates who negotiated were more likely to be penalized for their attempts to negotiate, and male evaluators expressed an unwillingness to work with a woman who negotiated.[34] The differences in the tendency to negotiate and success in negotiating are important factors contributing to the earnings gap. According to one estimate, as much as 34% of the differences between women’s and men’s pay can be explained by their starting salaries.[35] When differences in negotiation skills or tendencies affect starting salaries, they tend to have a large impact over the course of years. Further, numerous studies suggest that stereotypes and biases disadvantaging women are alive and well. For example, one meta-analysis showed that the male-female gap in pay was larger in occupations that were male dominated, and in complex jobs. These differences were not explainable by differences in performance of men and women.[36] In an experimental study where MBA students played the role of investors, recommended percentage to invest in the Initial Public Offering (IPO) of an entrepreneurial business was four times as much when the company was led by a male CEO.[37] Companies and governments are beginning to take action to close the gap. Organizations such as Adobe, Expedia, and Starbucks made public pledges to closing the pay gap through periodic audits followed by concrete action. Cities and states including Oregon, California, and New York City now ban asking job applicants about their pay history, as this practice perpetuates past gaps.[38] © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. 51 52 Organizational Behavior Glass Ceiling FIGURE 2.6 Source: drserg / Shutterstock.com glass ceiling The situation that some qualified employees are prevented from advancing to higher level positions due to factors such as discrimination. Glass ceiling is often encountered by women and minorities. glass cliff Tendency of women and minority members to be promoted to leadership positions in poor performing, struggling firms. Another issue that provides a challenge for women in the workforce is the so-called glass ceiling. While women may be represented in lower level positions, they are less likely to be seen in higher management and executive suites of companies.[39] In fact, while women constitute close to one-half of the workforce, men are four times more likely to reach the highest levels of organizations.[40] In 2018, the number of female CEOs of Fortune 500 firms was less than the number of male CEOs named James. A related phenomenon is termed glass cliff. This is the tendency of women and minority members to be promoted to leadership positions in poor-performing, struggling firms. Even though these leaders look like they broke through the glass ceiling, they are at a higher risk of failure. Struggling firms may be more likely to offer these precarious positions to women and minorities to signal that they intend to make a change, and the candidates may be more likely to accept these positions thinking that this is their only chance at leadership. Research also shows that when the firm performance further declines under their leadership, the firm is more likely to replace them with a white and male leader.[41] The absence of women in leadership is unfortunate, particularly in light of studies that show the leadership performance of female leaders is comparable to, and in some dimensions such as transformational or change-oriented leadership, superior to, the performance of male leaders.[42] © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab As of June 2018, only 24 of the Fortune 500 are helmed by a female CEO. Pictured here is Safra Katz, CEO of Oracle and one of the 24 women who occupy such a role. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Chapter 2 Diversity in the Workplace Reprinted with permission. Originally published on ScienceForWork. One explanation for the glass ceiling is the gender-based stereotypes favoring men in managerial positions. Traditionally, men have been viewed as more assertive and confident than women, while women have been viewed as more passive and submissive. Studies show that these particular stereotypes are still prevalent among male college students, which may mean that these stereotypes may be perpetuated among the next generation of managers.[43] Assumptions such as these are problematic for women’s advancement because stereotypes associated with men are characteristics often associated with being a manager. Stereotypes are also found to influence how managers view male versus female employees’ work accomplishments. For example, when men and women work together in a team on a stereotypically “masculine” task such as working on an investment portfolio and it is not clear to management which member has done what, managers are more likely to attribute the team’s success to the male employees and give less credit to the female employees.[44] © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. 53 54 Organizational Behavior FIGURE 2.7 Source: Shutterstock.com There are many organizations making the effort to make work environments more welcoming to men and women. For example, IBM is reaching out to female middle school students to get them interested in science, hoping to increase female presence in the field of engineering.[45] Companies such as IBM, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., General Mills Inc., Intel, Marriott International, and Qualcomm top the 100 Best Companies list created by Working Mother magazine by providing flexible work arrangements to balance work and family demands. In addition, these companies provide employees of both sexes with learning, development, and networking opportunities.[46] Sexual Harassment sexual harassment Unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal and physical conduct that is sexual in nature. Sexual harassment refers to unwanted sexual advances, requests for sexual favors, and other verbal and physical conduct that is sexual in nature. The perpetrator may be a supervisor, a colleague, or a client. The victim may be a man or a woman, and the perpetrator and victim may be of the same sex. Regardless of the specifics, sexual harassment is conduct that is illegal according to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.[47] In 2017, men filed 16.5% of the sexual harassment claims with EEOC, suggesting that even though sexual harassment affects both sexes, women are disproportionately affected.[48] Sexual harassment has long-lasting and negative effects on employees. For example, research has shown that it has been related to depression even a decade later, to poor job attitudes such as organizational commitment and job satisfaction, higher levels of absenteeism, and tendency to quit an occupation altogether. Sexual harassment has implications for problems such as earnings gap that we discussed earlier. For women, sexual harassment is more likely to occur when they work in male-dominated industries, but these occupations are also ones where pay rates are higher, which means that leaving these occupations may result in pay penalties over the course of one’s career.[49] In 2017, the #MeToo movement brought the prevalence of sexual harassment to international awareness, resulting in the downfall of high-profile, longtime perpetrators of such harassment. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Norway is a pioneer in tackling the glass ceiling problem through legislation. In 2002, they passed a law requiring board of directors be made up of at least 40% women in all state-owned and publicly listed companies starting in 2008. Other European countries such as France and Spain followed suit. Chapter 2 Diversity in the Workplace Organizations need to take meaningful steps to prevent harassment, including providing training, establishing mechanisms where victims can report what happened without having to go through their manager, taking quick action to protect the victim while ensuring due process, and creating organizational cultures that do not tolerate abuse and harassment of anyone. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Race Diversity in the Workplace Race is another demographic characteristic that is under legal protection in the United States. Title VII of the Civil Rights Act (1964) prohibits race discrimination in all employment-related decisions. Yet race discrimination still exists in organizations. In a Korn-Ferry/Columbia University study of 280 minority managers earning more than $100,000, 60% of the respondents reported that they had seen discrimination in their work assignments and 45% had been the target of racial or cultural jokes. The fact that such discrimination exists even at higher levels in organizations is noteworthy.[50] In a different study of over 5,500 workers, only 32% reported that their company did a good job hiring and promoting minorities.[51] One estimate suggests that when compared to Caucasian employees, African Americans are four times more likely and Hispanics are three times more likely to experience discrimination.[52] Ethnic minorities experience both an earnings gap and a glass ceiling. In 2018, for every $1 a Caucasian male employee made, African American males made around 76 cents while Hispanic employees made 74 cents.[53] The situation is somewhat different for Asian employees, who make $1.17 (and do not experience an earnings gap) and yet are underrepresented in top management (and as such, experience the glass ceiling phenomenon).[54] In early 2018, only three Fortune 500 companies had African American CEOs.[55] It is interesting that while ethnic minorities face these challenges, the demographic trends are such that by 2045, Caucasians are estimated to constitute less than one-half of the population in the United States.[56] Unfortunately, discrimination against ethnic minorities still occurs. One study conducted by Harvard University researchers found that when Chicago-area companies were sent fictitious résumés containing identical background information, résumés with “Caucasian” sounding names (such as Emily and Greg) were more likely to get callbacks compared to résumés with African American sounding names (such as Jamal and Lakisha).[57] Race and sex also interact with each other to affect others’ reactions to the individual and often constitute a “double jeopardy.” For example, women of color are asked to do more “office housework” such as being expected to order lunch for everyone. Even in instances where such tasks do not take much time, they take time away from tasks that involve more learning and growth opportunities and reinforce existing power dynamics keeping them in lower level positions. Refusing to take on these assignments may also hurt the employee by labeling them as noncooperative.[58] Studies indicate that ethnic minorities are less likely to experience a satisfying work environment. One study found that African Americans were more likely to be absent from work compared to Caucasians, but this trend existed only in organizations viewed as not valuing diversity.[59] Similarly, among African Americans, the perception that the organization did not value diversity was related to higher levels of turnover.[60] Another study found that perceived race discrimination resulted in lower commitment to the organization, but this relationship was weaker when employees felt that the organization was taking steps to be supportive of diversity.[61] Unconscious biases and racial profiling are harmful to employees, businesses, and societies. In 2018, Starbucks was in national news as a result of such biases. A store manager in Philadelphia asked two black men to leave the store as they had not ordered anything (they were waiting for a friend). When they refused to leave, the manager called the police, which resulted in the arrest of the individuals. Following the public outcry, Starbucks apologized and closed more than 8,000 stores to provide its employees with unconscious bias training. One training by itself is unlikely to prevent such incidents from happening, but this incident powerfully displays the harm and unfairness that can be caused by biases.[62] © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. 55 56 Organizational Behavior Age Diversity in the Workplace Older employees tend to be reliable and committed employees who often perform at comparable or higher levels than younger workers. Source: Shutterstock.com The workforce is rapidly aging. By 2024, those who are age 55 and older are estimated to constitute 25% of the workforce in the United States. The same trend seems to be occurring elsewhere in the world. Further, by the same date, the fastest growing labor participation rate is expected to be those 65 and older.[63] These changes signal that the age diversity of the workforce is expected to increase. What happens to work performance as employees get older? Research shows that age is correlated with a number of positive workplace behaviors, including higher levels of citizenship behaviors such as volunteering, higher compliance with safety rules, lower work injuries, lower counterproductive behaviors, and lower rates of tardiness or absenteeism.[64] Despite their positive workplace behaviors, employees who are older often have to deal with age-related stereotypes at work. For example, a review of a large number of studies showed that those between 17 and 29 years of age tend to rate older employees more negatively, while younger employees were viewed as more qualified and having higher potential.[65] However, these stereotypes have been largely refuted by research.[66] Another review showed that stereotypes about older employees—they perform on a lower level, they are less able to handle stress, or their performance declines with age—are simply inaccurate.[67] The problem with these stereotypes is that they may discourage older workers from remaining in the workforce or may act as a barrier to their being hired in the first place. The results of the accumulated body of research suggests that there are either no differences in performance based on age, or in some cases the relationship is positive, which means that age-related stereotypes have little to no support.[68] In the United States, age discrimination is prohibited by the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, which makes it illegal for organizations to discriminate against employees over 40 years of age. Still, age discrimination is prevalent. For example, in 2018, two United Airlines employees were awarded $800,000 in a wrongful termination lawsuit involving age discrimination. The employees were fired for not wearing an apron and watching their iPad for 15 minutes, but the jury believed that these reasons were pretext and age of the employees motivated the termination.[69] © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab FIGURE 2.8 Chapter 2 Diversity in the Workplace FIGURE 2.9 Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Family businesses account for 50% of the gross domestic product, 60% of the U.S. employment and, 35% of Fortune 500 firms are family controlled. Around the world, in many family-owned businesses, different generations work together. Source: Shutterstock.com Age diversity within a team can actually lead to higher team performance. In a simulation, teams with higher age diversity were able to think of different possibilities and diverse actions, leading to higher performance for the teams.[70] At the same time, managing a team with age diversity may be challenging because different age groups seem to have different opinions about what is fair treatment, leading to different perceptions of organizational justice.[71] Organizations that are age inclusive and manage to develop cultures that respect and support age diversity and the needs of employees of different age groups reap benefits in the form of greater levels of job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and motivation to continue working past the retirement age.[72] One of the ways in which organizations may create an age-inclusive workplace is to utilize flexible work arrangements tailored to individual needs. Research has shown that the use of individualized work arrangements was most useful in reducing employee exhaustion in groups where age diversity was high. Further, organizations may create a more positive environment for older workers by providing on-the-job resources such as opportunities to utilize a variety of skills, a procedurally fair organizational climate, and supportive relations with managers, as older workers have been shown to be more sensitive to the absence of these resources.[73] Religious Diversity in the Workplace In the United States, employers are prohibited from using religion in employment decisions based on Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Moreover, employees are required to make reasonable accommodations to ensure that employees can practice their beliefs unless doing so provides an unreasonable hardship on the employer.[74] After September 11, 2001, cases involving religion and particularly those involving Muslim employees have been on the rise.[75] Religious discrimination often occurs because the religion necessitates modifying the employee’s schedule. For example, devout Muslim employees may want to pray five times a day with each prayer lasting 5 to 10 minutes. Some Jewish employees may want to take off Yom Kippur and Rosh Hashanah, although © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. 57 58 Organizational Behavior these days are not always recognized as holidays in the United States. These situations pit employers’ concerns for productivity against employees’ desires to fulfill religious obligations. Employees with Disabilities in the Workplace Employees with a wide range of physical and mental disabilities are part of the workforce. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) prohibits discrimination in employment against individuals with physical as well as mental disabilities if these individuals are otherwise qualified to do their jobs with or without reasonable accommodation. For example, an organization may receive a job application from a hearing impaired candidate whose job responsibilities will include talking over the phone. With the help of a telephone amplifier, which costs less than $50, the employee will be able to perform the job; therefore, the company cannot use the hearing impairment as a reason not to hire the person, again, as long as the employee is otherwise qualified. Even when a disability has no bearing on job performance, it may constitute a barrier that harms the employee. For example, applicants with disabilities experience more barriers in hiring. In one experiment, researchers sent identical résumés to accounting jobs. Of the cover letters, 1/3 mentioned that the applicant had a spinal cord injury, 1/3 noted that the applicant had Asperger’s syndrome, and 1/3 noted no disability. The résumés that mentioned the spinal cord injury and Asperger’s syndrome on average received 26% fewer expressions of employer interest.[77] After being hired, employees with disabilities are more likely to be stereotyped, locked into dead-end jobs, and employed in jobs that require substantially lower skills and qualifications than they possess. They also are more likely to quit their jobs.[78] What can organizations do to create a better work environment for employees with disabilities? One legal requirement is that, when an employee brings up a disability, the organization should consider reasonable accommodations. This may include modifying the employee’s schedule and reassigning some nonessential job functions. Organizations that offer flexible work hours may also make it easier for employees with disabilities to be more effective. Finally, supportive relationships with others seem to be the key for making these employees feel at home. Having an understanding boss and an effective relationship with supervisors are particularly important for employees with disabilities. Because the visible differences between individuals may act as an initial barrier against developing rapport, employees with disabilities and their managers may benefit from being proactive in relationship development.[79] Sexual Orientation Diversity in the Workplace Lesbian, bisexual, gay, and transgender (LBGT) employees in the workplace face a number of challenges and barriers to employment. There is currently no federal law in the United States prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientation, but as of 2018, 22 states as well as the District of Columbia had laws prohibiting discrimination in employment based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In addition, 92% of the Fortune 500 companies have implemented non-discrimination policies that include sexual orientation and gender identity.[80] These policies seem to have © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Accommodating someone’s religious preferences may also require companies to relax their dress code to take into account religious practices such as wearing a turban for Sikhs or covering one’s hair with a scarf for Muslim women. In these cases, what matters most is that the company makes a good faith attempt to accommodate the employee. Further, organizations should avoid requiring employees to participate in religious practices such as prayer meetings or religious discussions. Forcing employees to participate in a religious activity is illegal. In 2018, United Health Programs, an insurance and employee benefits services company, was sued for requiring employees to follow a “Harnessing Happiness” system involving prayers, religious workshops, and ritual spiritual cleansing. Harnessing Happiness is considered a religion, and therefore in the resulting lawsuit, the company was ordered to stop these practices and pay $5.1 million to former and current employees who brought the lawsuit.[76] Chapter 2 Diversity in the Workplace benefits to organizations, as research has shown that firms that have LGBT-supportive policies had higher firm value, productivity, and profitability, and benefit more from Research and Development (R&D) activities.[81] Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Research shows that one of the most important issues relating to sexual orientation is the disclosure of sexual identity in the workplace. According to one estimate, up to one-third of lesbian, gay, and bisexual employees do not disclose their sexual orientation at work. Employees may fear the reactions of their managers and coworkers, leading to keeping their sexual identity a secret. In reality, though, it seems that disclosing sexual orientation is not the key to explaining work attitudes of these employees—it is whether or not they are afraid to disclose their sexual identity. In other words, those employees who fear that full disclosure would lead to negative reactions experience lower job satisfaction, reduced organizational commitment, and higher intentions to leave their jobs.[82] Creating an environment where all employees feel welcome and respected regardless of their sexual orientation is the key to maintaining a positive work environment. Two organizational resources that seem to make the most difference for LGBT employee attitudes, stress, perceived discrimination, and disclosures are LGBT-supportive organizational climates and supportive interpersonal relationships.[83] Companies such as Coca-Cola, Accenture, IBM, and Procter & Gamble create inclusive cultures by providing transgender-inclusive health-care coverage, removing barriers to fairness, and by providing a public commitment.[84] OB Toolbox: I Think I Am Being Asked Illegal Interview Questions. What Can I Do? Source: Shutterstock.com In the United States, demographic characteristics such as race, gender, national origin, age, and disability status are protected by law. Yet according to a survey of 4,000 job seekers, about onethird of job applicants have been asked illegal interview questions. How can you answer such questions?[85] Here are some options. • Refuse to answer. You may point out that the question is illegal and refuse to answer. Of course, this may cost you the job offer, because you are likely to seem confrontational and aggressive. • Answer shortly. Instead of giving a full answer to a question such as “are you married,” you could answer the question briefly and steer the conversation to the job. In many cases, the interviewer may be trying to initiate small talk and may be unaware that the question is potentially illegal. • Answer the intent or concern behind the question. Sometimes, the illegal question hides a legitimate concern. When you are being asked where you are from, the potential employer might be concerned that you do not have a work permit. Addressing the issue in your answer may be better than answering the question you are being asked. • Evaluate the situation and what is in your best interest. Your next move should depend on a number of factors. For example, do you believe discrimination or just a mistake in what’s legal was behind the offending question? Based on the answers you come up, decide if this is the kind of company that you could work for or not. • Walk away from the interview. If you feel that the intent of the question is discriminatory, and if you feel that you would rather not work at a company that would ask such questions, you can always walk away from the interview. If you feel that you are being discriminated against, you may also want to talk to a lawyer later on. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. 59 60 Organizational Behavior Suggestions for Managing Demographic Diversity What can organizations do to manage diversity more effectively? In this section, we review research findings and the best practices from different companies to create a list of suggestions for organizations. Build an Inclusive Culture FIGURE 2.10 Source: Sundry Photography; Shutterstock.com In the most successful companies, diversity management is not the sole responsibility of the human resource department or a chief diversity officer. Starting from top management and including the lowest levels in the hierarchy, each person understands the importance of respecting others. If this respect is not part of an organization’s culture, no amount of diversity training or other programs are likely to be effective. In fact, in the most successful companies, diversity is viewed as everyone’s responsibility. Companies with a strong culture—where people have a sense of shared values, loyalty to the organization is rewarded, and team performance is celebrated—enable employees with vastly different demographics and backgrounds to feel a sense of belonging.[86] Make Managers Accountable for Diversity People are more likely to pay attention to aspects of performance that are measured. In successful companies, diversity metrics are carefully tracked. For example, in PepsiCo, during the tenure of former CEO Steve Reinemund, half of all new hires had to be either women or minorities. Bonuses of managers partly depended on whether they had met their diversity-related goals.[87] When managers are evaluated and rewarded based on how effective they are in diversity management, they are more likely to show commitment to diversity that in turn affects the diversity climate in the rest of the organization. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab According to DiversityInc, Johnson & Johnson is the best company for diversity in 2018. Chapter 2 Diversity in the Workplace Diversity Training Programs Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Many companies provide employees and managers with training programs relating to diversity. However, not all diversity programs are equally successful. You may expect that more successful programs are those that occur in companies where a culture of diversity exists. A study of over 700 companies found that programs with a higher perceived success rate were those that occurred in companies where top management believed in the importance of diversity, where there were explicit rewards for increasing diversity of the company, and where managers were required to attend the diversity training programs.[88] Training features also matter for whether training results in a change in attitudes toward diversity. For example, active programs involving exercises are better than passive, lecture-type programs. Further, in-person training programs are better than computerized training.[89] Source: Summarizing research findings from Bezrukova, K., Spell, C. S., Perry, J. L., & Jehn, K. A. (2016). A meta-analytical integration of over 40 years of research on diversity training evaluation. Psychological Bulletin, 142, 1227-1274. Reprinted by permission. Originally published on ScienceForWork. Review Recruitment Practices Companies may want to increase diversity by targeting a pool that is more diverse. There are many minority professional groups such as the National Black MBA Association or the Chinese Software Professionals Association. By building relations with these occupational groups, organizations may attract a more diverse group of candidates to choose from. The auditing company Ernst & Young Global Ltd. increases diversity of job candidates by mentoring undergraduate students.[90] Companies may also want to review their job advertisements to ensure that they are inclusive. For example, there is some evidence that words such as “competitive” and “dominate” may attract more men, whereas words such as “supportive” may be more appealing to women. These biases are likely to operate at an unconscious level, but in the end may yield an unbalanced candidate pool.[91] © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. 61 62 Organizational Behavior Affirmative Action Programs affirmative action Policies designed to recruit, promote, train, and retain employees belonging to a protected class. Policies designed to recruit, promote, train, and retain employees belonging to a protected class are referred to as affirmative action. Based on Executive Order 11246 (1965), federal contractors are required to use affirmative action programs. In addition, the federal government, many state and local governments, and the U.S. military are required to have affirmative action plans. An organization may also be using affirmative action as a result of a court order or due to a past history of discrimination. Affirmative action programs are among the most controversial methods in diversity management because some people believe that they lead to an unfair advantage for minority members. Four groups of programs can be viewed as part of affirmative action programs:[92] 1. Simple elimination of discrimination. These programs are the least controversial and are received favorably by employees. 2. Targeted recruitment. These affirmative action plans involve ensuring that the candidate pool is diverse. These programs are also viewed as fair by most employees. 3. Tie-breaker. In these programs, if all other characteristics are equal, then preference may be given to a minority candidate. In fact, these programs are not widely used and their use needs to be justified by organizations. In other words, organizations need to have very specific reasons for why they are using this type of affirmative action, such as past illegal discrimination. Otherwise, their use may be illegal and lead to reverse discrimination. These programs are viewed as less fair by employees. 4. Preferential treatment. These programs involve hiring a less-qualified minority candidate. Strong preferential treatment programs are illegal in most cases. It is plausible that people who are against affirmative action programs may have unverified assumptions about the type of affirmative action program the company is using. Informing employees about the specifics of how affirmative action is being used may be a good way of dealing with any negative attitudes. In fact, a review of the past literature revealed that when specifics of affirmative action are not clearly defined, observers seem to draw their own conclusions about the particulars of the programs.[93] In addition to employee reactions to affirmative action, there is some research indicating that affirmative action programs may lead to stigmatization of the perceived beneficiaries. For example, in companies using affirmative action, coworkers of new hires may make the assumption that the new hire was chosen due to gender or race as opposed to having the necessary qualifications. These effects may even occur in the new hires themselves, who may have doubts about the fact that they were chosen because they were the best candidate for the position. Research also shows that giving coworkers information about the qualifications and performance of the new hire eliminates these potentially negative effects of affirmative action programs.[94] © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab In many cases, the negative perceptions about affirmative action can be explained by misunderstandings relating to what such antidiscrimination policies entail. Moreover, affirmative action means different things to different people, and therefore it is inaccurate to discuss affirmative action as a uniform package. Chapter 2 Diversity in the Workplace OB Toolbox: Dealing with Being Different Source: Shutterstock.com Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab At any time in your career, you may find yourself in a situation in which you are different from those around you. Maybe you are the only man in an organization where most of your colleagues and managers are women. Maybe you are older than all your colleagues. How do you deal with the challenges of being different? • Invest in building effective relationships. Early in a relationship, people are more attracted to those who are outwardly similar to them. This means that your colleagues or manager may never get to find out how smart, fun, or hardworking you are if you have limited interactions with them. Create opportunities to talk to them. Be sure to point out areas of commonality. • Choose your mentor carefully. Mentors may help you make sense of the organization’s culture, give you career-related advice, and help you feel like you belong. That said, how powerful and knowledgeable your mentor is also matters. You may feel more comfortable with someone at your same level and who is similar to you, but you may have more to learn from someone who is more experienced, knowledgeable, and powerful than you are. • Take advantage of company resources. Many companies offer networking opportunities and interest groups for women, ethnic minorities, and employees with disabilities among others. Check out what resources are available through your company. • Know your rights. You should know that harassment based on protected characteristics such as gender, race, age, or disabilities, as well as discrimination based on these traits are illegal in the United States. If you face harassment or discrimination, you may want to notify your manager or your company’s HR department. Key Takeaway Organizations managing diversity effectively benefit from diversity because they achieve higher creativity, better customer service, higher job satisfaction, higher stock prices, and lower litigation expenses. At the same time, managing a diverse workforce is challenging for several key reasons. Employees are more likely to associate with those who are similar to them early in a relationship, the distribution of demographic traits could create faultlines within a group, and stereotypes may act as barriers to advancement and fair treatment of employees. Demographic traits such as gender, race, age, religion, disabilities, and sexual orientation each face unique challenges. Organizations can manage demographic diversity more effectively by building a culture of respect, making managers accountable for diversity, creating diversity-training programs, reviewing recruitment practices, and under some conditions, utilizing affirmative action programs. What do you think? 1. What does it mean for a company to manage diversity effectively? How would you know if a company is doing a good job of managing diversity? 2. What are the benefits of effective diversity management? © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. 63 64 Organizational Behavior 3. How can organizations deal with the “similarity-attraction” phenomenon? Left unchecked, what are the problems this tendency can cause? 4. What is the earnings gap? Who does it affect? What are the reasons behind the earnings gap? 5. Do you think that laws and regulations are successful in eliminating discrimination in the workplace? Why or why not? 2.3 Cultural Diversity 1. Explain what culture is. 2. Define the four dimensions of culture that are part of Hofstede’s framework. 3. Describe some ways in which national culture affects organizational behavior. culture The values, beliefs, and customs that exist in a society. expatriate Someone who is temporarily assigned to a position in a foreign country. Culture refers to values, beliefs, and customs that exist in a society. In the United States, the workforce is becoming increasingly multicultural and the world of work is becoming increasingly international. The world is going through a transformation in which China, India, and Brazil are establishing themselves as major players in world economics. Companies are realizing that doing international business provides access to raw materials, resources, and a wider customer base. For many companies, international business is where most of the profits lie; for example, Intel Corporation, the majority of whose revenues come from outside the United States. For many businesses, international business is the main source of their earnings. For example, Avatar (2009) is the top grossing movie of all time. Of its $2.8 billion gross earnings, $2.03 billion is from outside the United States, where the movie was made. As a result of these trends, understanding the role of national culture for organizational behavior may provide you with a competitive advantage in your career. In fact, sometime in your career, you may find yourself working as an expatriate. An expatriate is someone who is temporarily assigned to a position in a foreign country. Such an experience may be invaluable for your career and challenge you to increase your understanding and appreciation of differences across cultures. International Staffing and Placement In our increasingly global economy, managers need to decide between using expatriates and hiring locals when staffing international locations. At an estimated cost of $200,000 per failed expatriate, international assignment decisions should be made with careful forethought and consideration. The challenge is to overcome the natural tendency to hire a well-known, corporate insider over an unknown local at the international site. Expatriates are useful when companyspecific knowledge is important, while local hires are beneficial when large cultural issues may come into play in the day-to-day business operations. The movie (and short-lived TV show) Outsourced chronicles the pros and cons of each type of employee when an American manager travels to India to train his replacement, only to experience various forms of cultural shock that require him to heavily rely on the expertise of a call center worker he is hired to manage. How do cultures differ from each other? If you have ever visited a country different from your own, you probably have stories to tell about what aspects of the culture were different and which were similar. Maybe you have noticed that in many parts of the United States people routinely greet strangers with a smile when they step into an elevator or see them on the street, but the same behavior of saying hello and smiling at strangers would be considered odd in many parts of Europe. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Learning Objectives Chapter 2 Diversity in the Workplace 65 Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab In India and other parts of Asia, traffic flows with rules of its own, with people disobeying red lights, stopping and loading passengers in highways, or honking continuously for no apparent reason. In fact, when it comes to culture, we are like fish in the sea: We may not realize how culture is shaping our behavior until we leave our own and go someplace else. Cultural differences may shape how people dress, how they act, how they form relationships, how they address each other, what they eat, and many other aspects of daily life. Of course, talking about national cultures does not mean that national cultures are uniform. In many countries, it is possible to talk about the existence of cultures based on region or geography. For example, in the United States, the southern, eastern, western, and midwestern regions of the country are associated with slightly different values. Thinking about hundreds of different ways in which cultures may differ is not very practical when you are trying to understand how culture affects work behaviors. For this reason, the work of Geert Hofstede, a Dutch social scientist, is an important contribution to the literature. Hofstede studied IBM employees in 66 countries and showed that four dimensions of national culture explain an important source of variation among cultures. Research also shows that cultural variation with respect to these four dimensions influence employee job behaviors, attitudes, well-being, motivation, leadership, negotiations, and many other aspects of organizational behavior.[95] TABLE 2.1 Hofstede’s Culture Framework Individualism Collectivism Cultures in which people define themselves as individuals and form looser ties with their groups Cultures where people have stronger bonds to their groups and group membership forms a person’s self- identity USA Guatemala Australia Ecuador UK Indonesia Canada Pakistan Hungary China Low Power Distance High Power Distance A society that views an unequal distribution of power as relatively unacceptable A society that views an unequal distribution of power as relatively acceptable Austria Malaysia Denmark Slovakia Israel Philippines Ireland Russia New Zealand Mexico Low Uncertainty Avoidance High Uncertainty Avoidance Cultures in which people are comfortable in unpredictable situations and have high tolerance for ambiguity Cultures in which people prefer predictable situations and have low tolerance for ambiguity Denmark Belgium Jamaica El Salvador Singapore Greece China Guatemala Sweden Portugal © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. 66 Organizational Behavior Masculinity Femininity Cultures in which people value achievement and competitiveness, as well as acquisition of money and other material objects Cultures in which people value maintaining good relationships, caring for the weak, and quality of life Slovakia Norway Japan Netherlands Hungary Sweden Austria Costa Rica Venezuela Chile Hofstede’s culture framework is a useful tool to understand the systematic differences across cultures on four key dimensions. Individualism-Collectivism FIGURE 2.11 Due to increased globalization of businesses, understanding the role of culture for organizational behavior may provide you with a competitive advantage in your career. Source: Shutterstock.com individualistic cultures Cultures in which people define themselves as individuals and form looser ties with their groups. collectivistic cultures Cultures where people have stronger bonds to their groups, and group membership forms a person’s self identity. Individualistic cultures are cultures in which people define themselves as an individual and form looser ties with their groups. These cultures value autonomy and independence of the person, selfreliance, and creativity. Countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, and Australia are examples of individualistic cultures. In contrast, collectivistic cultures are cultures where people have stronger bonds to their groups and group membership forms a person’s self-identity. Asian countries such as China and Japan, as well as countries in Latin America are higher in collectivism. In collectivistic cultures, people define themselves as part of a group. In fact, this may be one way to detect people’s individualism-collectivism level. When individualists are asked a question such as “Who are you? Tell me about yourself,” they are more likely to talk about their likes and dislikes, personal goals, or accomplishments. When collectivists are asked the same question, they are more likely to define themselves in relation to others, such as “I am Chinese” or “I am the daughter of a doctor and a homemaker. I have two brothers.” In other words, in collectivistic cultures, self-identity is shaped to a stronger extent by group memberships.[96] In collectivistic societies, family bonds are more influential in people’s daily lives. While individualists often refer to their nuclear family when thinking about their families, collectivists are more likely to define family in a broader sense, including cousins, uncles, aunts, and second cousins. Family members are more involved in each others’ lives. In many collectivistic societies, the language reflects the level of interaction among extended family members such that there may be different words used to refer to maternal versus paternal grandparents, aunts, or uncles. In addition to interacting with each other more often, family members have a strong sense of obligation toward each other. Children often expect to live with their parents until they get married. In collectivistic countries such as Thailand, Japan, and India, choosing a school, career, or finding a spouse are all family affairs. In these cultures, family members feel accountable for each others’ behavior such that one person’s misbehavior may be a cause of shame for the rest of the family.[97] Understanding the importance of family in collectivistic cultures is critical to understanding their work behaviors. For example, one multinational oil company in Mexico was suffering from low productivity. When the situation was investigated, it became clear that the new manager of the subsidiary had gotten rid of a monthly fiesta for company employees and their families under the assumption that it was a waste of time and money. Employees had interpreted this to mean that the company no longer cared about their families.[98] In India, companies such as Intel organize “take your parents to work day” and involve parents in recruitment efforts, understanding the role of parents in the career and job choices of prospective employees.[99] Collectivists are more attached to their groups and have more permanent attachments to these groups. Conversely, individualists attempt to change groups more often and have weaker bonds to them. It is important to recognize that to collectivists the entire human universe is not consid- © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Source: Adapted from information in Geert Hofstede cultural dimensions, accessed June 1, 2018, http://www.geert-hofstede.com/ hofstede_dimensions.php. Chapter 2 Diversity in the Workplace 67 Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab ered to be their in-group. In other words, collectivists draw sharper distinctions among the groups they belong to and those they do not belong to. They may be nice and friendly to their in-group members while acting much more competitively and aggressively toward out-group members. This tendency has important work implications. While individualists may evaluate the performance of their colleagues more accurately, collectivists are more likely to be generous when evaluating their in-group members. Freeborders, a software company based in San Francisco, California, found that even though it was against company policy, Chinese employees were routinely sharing salary information with their coworkers. This situation led them to change their pay system by standardizing pay at job levels and then giving raises after more frequent appraisals.[100] Collectivistic societies emphasize conformity to the group. The Japanese saying “the nail that sticks up gets hammered down” illustrates that being different from the group is undesirable. In these cultures, disobeying or disagreeing with one’s group is difficult and people may find it hard to say no to their colleagues or friends. Instead of saying no, which would be interpreted as rebellion or at least be considered rude, they may use indirect ways of disagreeing, such as saying “I have to think about this” or “this would be difficult.” Such indirect communication prevents the other party from losing face but may cause misunderstandings in international communications with cultures that have a more direct style. Collectivist cultures may have a greater preference for team-based rewards as opposed to individual-based rewards.[101] Further, different management techniques are suitable in individualistic versus collectivistic cultures. For example, giving employees control over their jobs was more effective in reducing stress in individualistic cultures, whereas utilizing participative management was more effective in collectivistic cultures.[102] Power Distance Power distance refers to the degree to which the society views an unequal distribution of power as acceptable. Simply put, some cultures are more egalitarian than others. In low power distance cultures, egalitarianism is the norm. In high power distance cultures, people occupying more powerful positions such as managers, teachers, or those who are older are viewed as more powerful and deserving of a higher level of respect. High power distance cultures are hierarchical cultures where everyone has their place. Powerful people are supposed to act powerful, while those in inferior positions are expected to show respect. For example, Thailand is a high power distance culture and, starting from childhood, people learn to recognize who is superior, equal, or inferior to them. When passing people who are more powerful, individuals are expected to bow, and the more powerful the other person, the deeper the bow would be.[103] Managers in high power distance cultures are treated with a higher degree of respect, which may surprise those in lower power distance cultures. A Citibank manager in Saudi Arabia was surprised when employees stood up every time he passed by.[104] Similarly, in Turkey, students in elementary and high schools greet their teacher by standing up every time the teacher walks into the classroom. In these cultures, referring to a manager or a teacher with their first name would be extremely rude. High power distance within a culture may easily cause misunderstandings with those from low power distance societies. For example, the limp handshake someone from India may give or a job candidate from Chad who is looking at the floor throughout the interview are in fact showing their respect, but these behaviors may be interpreted as indicating a lack of confidence or even disrespect in low power distance cultures. One of the most important ways in which power distance is manifested in the workplace is that in high power distance cultures, employees are unlikely to question the power and authority of their manager, and conformity to the manager will be expected. Managers in these cultures may be more used to an authoritarian style with lower levels of participative leadership demonstrated. People will be more submissive to their superiors and may take orders without questioning the manager.[105] In these cultures, management practices that encourage employee involvement are less effective.[106] Instead, these cultures seem to prefer paternalistic leaders—leaders who are authoritarian but make decisions while showing a high level of concern toward employees as if they were family members.[107] Further, in groups where power distance is high, displaying a hum- © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. power distance The degree to which the society views an unequal distribution of power as acceptable. 68 Organizational Behavior ble leadership style involving admitting one’s mistakes and limitations has not been found not an effective leadership style for achieving psychological safety in the team.[108] Source: Image courtesy of D. Ketchen and J. Short, Mastering strategic management, (Washington DC: Flat World Knowledge 2011); © Thinkstock © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab FIGURE 2.12 Cultural Risk: When in Rome Chapter 2 Diversity in the Workplace 69 Uncertainty Avoidance Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Uncertainty avoidance refers to the degree to which people feel threatened by ambiguous, risky, or unstructured situations. Cultures high in uncertainty avoidance prefer predictable situations and have low tolerance for ambiguity. Employees in these cultures expect a clear set of instructions and clarity in expectations. Therefore, there will be a greater level of creating procedures to deal with problems and writing out expected behaviors in manuals. Cultures high in uncertainty avoidance prefer to avoid risky situations and attempt to reduce uncertainty. For example, one study showed that when hiring new employees, companies in high uncertainty avoidance cultures are likely to use a larger number of tests, conduct a larger number of interviews, and use a fixed list of interview questions.[109] Employment contracts tend to be more popular in cultures higher in uncertainty avoidance compared to cultures low in uncertainty avoidance.[110] The level of change-oriented leadership seems to be lower in cultures higher in uncertainty avoidance.[111] Companies operating in high uncertainty avoidance cultures also tend to avoid risky endeavors such as entering foreign target markets unless the target market is very large.[112] uncertainty avoidance The degree to which people feel threatened by ambiguous, risky, or unstructured situations. Germany is an example of a high uncertainty avoidance culture where people prefer structure in their lives and rely on rules and procedures to manage situations. Similarly, Greece is a culture relatively high in uncertainty avoidance, and Greek employees working in hierarchical and rule-oriented companies report lower levels of stress.[113] In contrast, cultures such as Iran and Russia are lower in uncertainty avoidance, and companies in these regions do not have rule-oriented cultures. When they create rules, they also selectively enforce rules and make a number of exceptions to them. In fact, rules may be viewed as constraining. Uncertainty avoidance may influence the type of organizations employees are attracted to. Japan’s uncertainty avoidance is associated with valuing job security, while in uncertainty-avoidant Latin American cultures, many job candidates prefer the stability of bigger and well-known companies with established career paths. Aggressive-Nurturing (Masculinity–Femininity) The terms masculinity and femininity may be misleading as gender is not a determinant of one’s culture. Therefore, we are following the trend toward more accurately referring to this dimension as aggressive-nurturing. However, where the research exists using the other terms, we have included both. Masculine (aggressive) cultures are cultures that value achievement, competitiveness, and acquisition of money and other material objects. Japan and Hungary are examples of masculine cultures. Masculine cultures are also characterized by a separation of gender roles. In these cultures, men are more likely to be assertive and competitive compared to women. In contrast, feminine (nurturing) cultures are cultures that value maintaining good relationships, caring for the weak, and emphasizing quality of life. In these cultures, values are not separated by gender, and both women and men share the values of maintaining good relationships. Sweden and the Netherlands are examples of nurturing cultures. The level of masculinity inherent in the culture has implications for the behavior of individuals as well as organizations. For example, in aggressive cultures, the ratio of CEO pay to other management-level employees tends to be higher, indicating that these cultures are more likely to reward CEOs with higher levels of pay as opposed to other types of rewards.[114] The nurturing nature of a culture affects many work practices, such as the level of work/life balance. In cultures high in nurturing such as Norway and Sweden, work arrangements such as telecommuting seem to be more popular compared to cultures higher in aggression such as Italy and the United Kingdom. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. masculine (aggressive) cultures Cultures that value achievement, competitiveness, and acquisition of money and other material objects. feminine (nurturing) cultures Cultures that value maintaining good relationships, caring for the weak, and emphasizing quality of life. 70 Organizational Behavior OB Toolbox: Prepare Yourself for a Global Career Source: Shutterstock.com • Learn a language. If you already know that you want to live in China after you finish school, now may be the time to start learning the language. It is true that business is often conducted in English, but it is becoming increasingly ethnocentric to speak only one language while many in the rest of the world can speak two or more. For example, 20% of those living in the United States can speak their native language plus another language fluently, and 56% of Europeans speak two or more languages.[115] Plus, even if business is conducted in English and it is your first language, your adaptation to a different society, making friends, and leading a satisfying life will be much easier if you can speak more than one language. • Immerse yourself in different cultures. Visit different cultures. This does not mean visiting five countries in five days. Plan on spending more time in one locale, and get to know, observe, and understand the culture. Better yet, take advantage of study abroad programs, doing an internship, or volunteering abroad. These programs give you a reason to get integrated into the culture and interact with locals in a professional capacity. • Develop an openness to different experiences. Be open to different cuisines, different languages, and different norms of working and living. If you feel very strongly that your way of living and working is the right way, you will have a hard time adjusting to a different culture. • Develop a strong social support network. Once you arrive in the culture you will live in, be proactive in making friends. Being connected to people in a different culture will have an influence on your ability to adjust to living there. If you are planning on taking family members with you, their level of readiness will also influence your ability to function in a different culture. • Develop a sense of humor. Adjusting to a different culture is often easier if you can laugh at yourself and the mistakes you make. If you take every mistake too personally, your stay will be less enjoyable and more frustrating. • Plan your return. If you have plans to come back and work in your home country, you will need to plan your return in advance. When people leave home for a long time, they often adapt to the foreign culture they live in and may miss many elements of it when they go back home. Your old friends may have moved on, local employers may not immediately appreciate your overseas experience, and you may even find that cultural aspects of your home country may have changed in your absence. Be ready for a reverse culture shock! Suggestions for Managing Cultural Diversity With the increasing importance of international business as well as the culturally diverse domestic workforce, what can organizations do to manage cultural diversity? © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab With the globalizing economy, boundaries with respect to careers are also blurring. How can you prepare yourself for a career that crosses national boundaries? Chapter 2 Diversity in the Workplace 71 Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Help Employees Build Cultural Intelligence Cultural intelligence is a person’s capability to understand how a person’s cultural background influences one’s behavior. Developing cultural intelligence is important, because the days when organizations could prepare their employees for international work simply by sending them to long seminars on a particular culture are gone. Presently, international business is not necessarily conducted between pairs of countries. A successful domestic manager is not necessarily assigned to work on a long-term assignment in China. Of course such assignments still happen, but it is more likely that the employees will continually work with others from diverse cultural backgrounds. This means employees will not necessarily have to become experts in one culture. Instead, they should have the ability to work with people from many diverse backgrounds all at the same time. For these types of assignments, employees will need to develop an awareness of overall cultural differences and learn how to recognize cultural principles that are operating in different situations. In other words, employees will need to be selected based on cultural sensitivity and understanding and trained to enhance such qualities.[116] For example, GlobeSmart by Aperian Global is an online tool that helps employees learn how to deal with people from around the world. The process starts by completing a survey about your cultural values, and then these values are compared to those of different cultures. The tool provides specific advice about interpersonal interactions with these cultures.[117] cultural intelligence A person’s capability to understand how a person’s cultural background influences one’s behavior. Avoid Ethnocentrism Ethnocentrism is the belief that one’s own culture is superior to other cultures one comes across. Ethnocentrism leads organizations to adopt universal principles when doing business around the globe and may backfire. In this chapter, we highlighted research findings showing how culture affects employee expectations of work life such as work-life balance, job security, or the level of empowerment. Ignoring cultural differences, norms, and local habits may be costly for businesses and may lead to unmotivated and dissatisfied employees. Successful global companies modify their management styles, marketing, and communication campaigns to fit with the culture in which they are operating. For example Disney-owned Pixar was praised for its culturally sensitive treatment of cultural traditions in the movie Coco. The company used numerous cultural consultants and sought feedback throughout all stages of the creative process.[118] Listen to Locals When doing cross-cultural business, locals are a key source of information. To get timely and accurate feedback, companies will need to open lines of communication and actively seek feedback. For example, Convergys, a Cincinnati-based call-center company, built a cafeteria for the employees in India. During the planning phase, the Indian vice president pointed out that because Indian food is served hot and employees would expect to receive hot meals for lunch, building a cafeteria that served only sandwiches would create dissatisfied employees. By opening the lines of communication in the planning phase of the project, Convergys was alerted to this important cultural difference in time to change the plans.[119] Recognize That Culture Changes Cultures are not static—they evolve over the years. A piece of advice that was true five years ago may no longer hold true. For example, showing sensitivity to the Indian caste system may be outdated advice for those internationals doing business in India today. Saudi Arabia lifted the ban on women’s driving in 2017, and allowed the screening of the movie Black Panther in 2018, which was the first movie screening in more than 30 years. These changes are just one example of how businesses need to continuously update their knowledge about different cultures.[120] © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. ethnocentrism The belief that one’s own culture is superior to other cultures one comes across. 72 Organizational Behavior Do Not Always Assume That Culture Is the Problem When doing business internationally, failure may occur due to culture as well as other problems. Attributing all misunderstandings or failures to culture may enlarge the cultural gap and shift the blame to others. In fact, managing people who have diverse personalities or functional backgrounds may create misunderstandings that are not necessarily due to cultural differences. When marketing people from the United States interact with engineers in India, misunderstandings may be caused by the differences in perceptions between marketing and engineering employees. While familiarizing employees about culture, emphasizing the importance of interpersonal skills regardless of cultural background will be important. With the increasing prevalence of international business as well as diversification of the domestic workforce in many countries, understanding how culture affects organizational behavior is becoming important. Individualism-collectivism, power distance, uncertainty avoidance, and masculinity–femininity are four key dimensions in which cultures vary. The position of a culture on these dimensions affects the suitable type of management style, reward systems, employee selection, and ways of motivating employees. What do you think? 1. What is culture? Do countries have uniform national cultures? 2. How would you describe your own home country’s values on the four dimensions of culture? 3. Reflect on a time when you experienced a different culture or interacted with someone from a different culture. How did the cultural differences influence your interaction? 4. How does culture influence the proper leadership style and reward system that would be suitable for organizations? 5. Imagine that you will be sent to live in a foreign country different from your own in a month. What are the types of preparations you would benefit from doing? 2.4 The Role of Ethics and National Culture Learning Objectives 1. Consider the role of diversity in ethical behavior. 2. Consider the role of national culture in diversity. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Key Takeaway Chapter 2 Diversity in the Workplace 73 Diversity and Ethics Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab When managing a diverse group of employees, ensuring the ethicality of organizational behavior will require special effort. This is because employees with different backgrounds or demographic traits may vary in their standards of ethics. For example, research shows that there are some gender differences when it comes to evaluating the degree of ethicality of hypothetical scenarios, with women utilizing higher standards. Men and women seem to have similar standards when judging the ethicality of monetary issues but differ on issues such as the ethicality of breaking organizational rules. Interestingly, gender differences seem to disappear as people grow older. Age is another demographic trait that influences the standards of ethics people use, with older employees being bothered more by unethical behaviors compared to younger employees. Similarly, one study showed that older respondents found some questionable negotiation behaviors such as misrepresenting information and bluffing to be more unethical compared to younger respondents.[121] In addition to demographic diversity, cultural diversity introduces challenges to managing ethical behavior, given that cultures differ in the actions they view as ethical. Cultural differences are particularly important when doing cross-cultural business. For example, one study compared Russian and American subjects on their reactions to ethics scenarios. Americans viewed scenarios such as an auditing company sharing information regarding one client with another client as more unethical compared to how Russian subjects viewed the same scenarios.[122] A study comparing U.S., Korean, and Indian managers found differences in attitudes toward business ethics, particularly with Koreans thinking that being ethical was against the goal of being profitable. Indian and Korean subjects viewed questionable practices such as software piracy, nepotism, or the sharing of insider information as relatively more ethical compared to subjects in the United States. At the same time, Korean and Indian subjects viewed injury to the environment as more unethical compared to the U.S. subjects.[123] In other words, the ethical standards held in different societies may emphasize different behaviors as ethical or unethical. When dealing with unethical behavior overseas, companies will need to consider the ethical context. Having internal reporting mechanisms may help, but research shows that in very high power distant societies, these mechanisms often go unused.[124] Even when a multinational company has ethical standards that are different from local standards, using the headquarters’ standards in all cross-cultural interactions will not be possible or suitable. The right action often depends on the specifics of the situation and a consideration of the local culture. For example, in the 1990s, Levi-Strauss & Company found that some of its contractors in Bangladesh were using child labor consisting of children under 14 years old in its factories. One option they had was to demand that their contractors fire those children immediately. Yet, when they looked at the situation more closely, they found that it was common for young children to be employed in factories, and in many cases these children were the sole breadwinners in the family. Firing these children would have caused significant hardship for the families and could have pushed the children into more dangerous working conditions. Therefore, Levi-Strauss reached an agreement to send the children back to school while continuing to receive their wages partly from the contractor companies and partly from Levi-Strauss. The school expenses were met by Levi-Strauss and the children were promised work when they were older. In short, the diverse ethical standards of the world’s cultures make it unlikely that one approach can lead to fair outcomes in all circumstances. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Source: Shutterstock.com 74 Organizational Behavior Diversity Around the Globe Demographic diversity is a fact of life in the United States. The situation is somewhat different in other parts of the world. Attitudes toward gender, race, disabilities, or sexual orientation differ around the world, and each country approaches the topic of diversity differently. Attitudes toward concepts such as affirmative action are also culturally determined. For example, France experiences different employment situations for employees with different backgrounds. According to one study conducted by a University of Paris professor in which fake résumés were sent to a large number of companies, even when all qualifications were the same, candidates with French-sounding names were three times more likely to get a callback compared to those with North African sounding names. However, affirmative action is viewed as unfair in French society, leaving the situation in the hands of corporations. Some companies such as PSA Peugeot Citroën started utilizing human resource management systems in which candidate names are automatically stripped from résumés before HR professionals personally investigate them.[127] In summary, due to differences in the legal environment as well as cultural context, “managing diversity effectively” may carry a different meaning across the globe. Key Takeaway Ethical behavior is affected by the demographic and cultural composition of the workforce. Studies indicate that men and women, as well as younger and older employees, differ in the types of behaviors they view as ethical. Different cultures also hold different ethical standards, which become important when managing a diverse workforce or doing business within different cultures. Around the globe, diversity has a different meaning and different overtones. In addition to different legal frameworks protecting employee classes, the types of stereotypes that exist in different cultures and whether and how the society tackles prejudice against different demographic categories vary from region to region. What do you think? 1. Do you believe that multinational companies should have an ethics code that they enforce around the world? Why or why not? 2. How can organizations manage a workforce with diverse personal ethical values? © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab Source: Shutterstock.com As a case in point, Japan is a relatively homogeneous society that sees the need to diversify itself. With the increasing age of the population, the country expects to lose 650,000 workers per year. At the same time, the country famously underutilizes female employees. Overt sexism is rampant, and stereotypes about female employees as unable to lead are part of the culture. While there is antidiscrimination legislation and the desire of the Japanese government to deal with this issue, women are seriously underrepresented in management. The country has the second fewest percentage of women in managerial positions (11.5%), following S. Korea (10.7%).[125] Because of the labor shortage, the country is attracting immigrants from South America, thereby increasing the level of diversity of the country and increasing awareness of diversity-related issues.[126] Chapter 2 Diversity in the Workplace 2.5 Managing Diversity for Success: The Case of IBM Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab FIGURE 2.13 Virginia “Ginni” Rometty became Chair of the Board and CEO of IBM in 2012. She began her career with IBM in 1981 in Detroit, Michigan. Since then she held a series of leadership positions including Senior Vice President and Group Executive, IBM Sales, Marketing and Strategy where she was responsible for business results in the 170 global markets in which IBM operates and pioneered IBM’s rapid expansion in the emerging economies of the world. Source: Krista Kennell / Shutterstock.com In a company that operates in over 170 countries, with a workforce of over 433,000 employees, and with a name that stands for International Business Machines, understanding and managing many types of diversity effectively is not optional—it is a key business priority. A company that employs individuals and sells products worldwide needs to understand the diverse groups of people that make up the world. Starting from its early history in the United States, IBM Corporation has been a pioneer in valuing and appreciating its diverse workforce. In 1935, almost 30 years before the Equal Pay Act guaranteed pay equality between the sexes, IBM President Thomas Watson promised women equal pay for equal work. In 1943, the company had its first female vice president. Again, 30 years before the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) granted women unpaid leave for the birth of a child, IBM offered the same benefit to female employees, extending it to one year in the 1960s and to three years in 1988. In fact, the company ranks in the top 100 on Working Mother magazine’s “100 Best Companies” list, has been on the list every year since its inception in 1986, and was ranked in the top 10 best companies to work for executive women in 2013. It was awarded the honor of number 1 for multicultural working women by the same magazine in 2009. IBM has always been a leader in diversity management. Yet the way diversity was managed was primarily to ignore differences and provide equal employment opportunities. This changed when Louis Gerstner became CEO in 1993. Gerstner was surprised at the low level of diversity in the senior ranks of the company. For all the effort being made to promote diversity, the company still had what he perceived a masculine culture. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. 75 Organizational Behavior In 1995, he created eight diversity task forces around demographic groups such as women and men, as well as Asians, African Americans, LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender) individuals, Hispanics, Native Americans, and employees with disabilities. These task forces consisted of senior-level, well-respected executives and higher level managers, and members were charged with gaining an understanding of how to make each constituency feel more welcome and at home at IBM. Each task force conducted a series of meetings and surveyed thousands of employees to arrive at the key factors concerning each particular group. For example, the presence of a male-dominated culture, lack of networking opportunities, and work-life management challenges topped the list of concerns for women. Asian employees were most concerned about stereotyping, lack of networking, and limited employment development plans. African American employee concerns included retention, lack of networking, and limited training opportunities. Armed with a list of priorities, the company launched a number of key programs and initiatives to address these issues. As an example, employees looking for a mentor could use the company’s website to locate one willing to provide guidance and advice. What is probably most unique about this approach is that the company acted on each concern whether it was based on reality or perception. They realized that some women were concerned that they would have to give up leading a balanced life if they wanted to be promoted to higher management, whereas 70 percent of the women in higher levels actually had children, indicating that perceptual barriers can also act as a barrier to employee aspirations. IBM management chose to deal with this particular issue by communicating better with employees as well as through enhancing their networking program. The company excels in its recruiting efforts to increase the diversity of its pool of candidates. One of the biggest hurdles facing diversity at IBM is the limited minority representation in fields such as computer sciences and engineering. For example, only 4 percent of students graduating with a degree in computer sciences are Hispanic. To tackle this issue, IBM partners with colleges to increase recruitment of Hispanics to these programs. In a program named EXITE (Exploring Interest in Technology and Engineering), they bring girls in middle school together for a weeklong program where they learn math and science in a fun atmosphere from IBM’s female engineers. To date, thousands of girls have gone through this program and IBM’s newest CEO, Ginni Rometty, is a living example that women can be both powerful and successful in the world of high tech. What was the result of all these programs? IBM tracks results through global surveys around the world and identifies which programs have been successful and which issues are no longer are viewed as problems. These programs were instrumental in more than tripling the number of women executives worldwide as well as doubling the number of minority executives. The number of LBGT executives increased sevenfold, and executives with disabilities tripled. With growing emerging markets and women and minorities representing a $1.3 trillion market, IBM’s culture of respecting and appreciating diversity is likely to be a source of competitive advantage.[128] Video: Multimedia Extension—STEM Diversity at IBM View the video online at: //www.youtube.com/embed/XCV1Lo5XxY8?rel=0 © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab 76 Chapter 2 Diversity in the Workplace Case Discussion Questions 1. IBM has been championed for its early implementation of equality among its workforce. At the time, many of these policies seemed radical. To IBM’s credit, the movement toward equality worked out exceptionally well for them. Have you experienced policy changes that might seem radical? Have these policies worked out? What policies do you feel are still lacking in the workforce? 2. What types of competitive advantages could IBM have gained from having such a diverse workforce? 3. How can a company ensure that no employee is neglected, regardless of demographic group? Created exclusively for modi alabdulwahab 4. Some individuals feel that so much focus is put on making the workplace better for underrepresented groups that the majority of the workforce becomes neglected. Do you feel this was the case at IBM? Why or why not? 2.6 Conclusion In conclusion, in this chapter we reviewed the implications of demographic and cultural diversity for organizational behavior. Management of diversity effectively promises a number of benefits for companies and may be a competitive advantage. Yet challenges such as natural human tendencies to associate with those similar to us and using stereotypes in decision making often act as barriers to achieving this goal. By creating a work environment where people of all origins and traits feel welcome, organizations will make it possible for all employees to feel engaged with their work and remain productive members of the organization. 2.7 Exercises Ethical Dilemma You are working for the police department of your city. When hiring employees, the department uses a physical ability test in which candidates are asked to do 30 push-ups and 25 sit-ups, as well as climb over a 4-foot wall. When candidates take this test, it seems that about 80% of the men who take the test actually pass it, while only 10% of the women pass the test. Do you believe that this is a fair test? Why or why not? If you are asked to review the employee selection procedures, would you make any changes to this system? Why or why not? Individual Exercise A colleague of yours is being sent to India as a manager for a call center. She just told you that she feels very strongly about the following issues: • Democratic leaders are the best leaders because they create a more satisfied workforce. • Employees respond best to individual-based pay incentives and bonuses as tools for motivation. • Employees should receive peer feedback about their performance level so that they can get a better sense of how well they are performing. © 2018 Boston Academic Publishing, Inc., d.b.a. FlatWorld. All rights reserved. 77 78 Organizational Behavior After doing some research on the business environment and national culture in India, how would you advise your colleague to behave? Should she try to transfer these three managerial practices to the Indian context? Why or why not? Group Exercise Diversity Dilemmas 1. Aimee is the mother of a newborn. She is very dedicated to her work but she used to stay for longer hours at work before she had her baby. Now she tries to schedule her work so that she leaves around 5:00 p.m. Her immediate manager feels that Aimee is no longer dedicated or committed to her work and is considering passing her over for a promotion. Is this decision fair? 2. Jack is a married man, while John is single. Your company has an assignment in a branch in Mexico that would last a couple of years. Management feels that John would be better for this assignment because he is single and is free to move. Is this decision fair? 3. A manager receives a request from an employee to take off a Wednesday for religious reasons. The manager did not know that this employee was particularly religious and does not believe that the leave is for religious reasons. The manager believes that the employee is going to use this day as a personal day off. Should the manager investigate the situation? 4. A sales employee has painful migraines intermittently during the work day. She would like to take short naps during the day as a preventative measure, and she also needs a place where she can nap when a migraine occurs. Her immediate manager feels that this is unfair to the rest of the employees. 5. A department is looking for an entry-level cashier. One of the job applicants is a cashier with 30 years of experience as a cashier. The department manager feels that this candidate is overqualified for the job and is likely to be bored and leave the job in a short time. Instead, they want to pursue a candidate with six months of work experience who seems like a better fit for the position. Is this fair? Why or why not? Endnotes 1. The World Bank (2017). Labor force, female (% of total labor force). Retrieved on June 1, 2018 from https://data.worldbank.org/indicator/ SL.TLF.TOTL.FE.ZS 2. Bureau of Labor Statistics. (2016). Civilian labor force, by age, sex, race, and ethnicity. Retrieved on June 1, 2018 from https://www.bls.gov/emp/ ep_table_301.htm 3. 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