RACE AND ATTITUDES TOWARDS ORGANIZATIONAL DIVERSITY CLIMATE: THE MEDIATING ROLE OF EMOTIONS

Restricted (Penn State Only)
Author:
Anantharaman, Anuradha
Graduate Program:
Psychology
Degree:
Master of Science
Document Type:
Master Thesis
Date of Defense:
December 13, 2017
Committee Members:
  • Kisha Shannon Jones, Thesis Advisor
  • Alicia Ann Grandey, Committee Member
  • Jonathan Emdin Cook, Committee Member
Keywords:
  • Diversity
  • emotions
  • job pursuit behavioural intentions
  • recruitment
Abstract:
Organizational efforts to reach out to minority job applicants by portrayals of diversity climate on organizational websites have an ability to influence their decisions of job pursuit (Avery, 2003; Avery, McKay, & Volpone, 2013a). However, apart from few proposed theoretical explanations for these efforts, there is a lack of understanding of the underlying mechanisms that account for why diversity recruitment interventions impact attraction among different racial groups. This study examined how emotional reactions of state happiness and anxiety as well as approach and avoidance motives are the underlying mechanism for favourable reactions of minority job applicants to such organizational efforts. Furthermore, considering that job applicants of different racial groups value diversity to different extents, race was expected to moderate the first stage of the mediation model, thereby increasing the strength of the emotional reactions. Consistent with previous research, diversity climate and race interacted to predict job pursuit behavioural intentions. However, it was found that only Black applicants and not members of other racial groups (i.e. Latinx, Asian, or White Americans) responded significantly more unfavourably when they were exposed to a weak (vs. strong) diversity climate condition. Although state happiness and anxiety did not explain race differences in the indirect effect between diversity climate and job pursuit intentions, the results demonstrated that state happiness was the underlying reason all job applicants were more likely to pursue the job with the organization with stronger diversity climate.