Measuring employee perception on the effects of cultural diversity at work: development of the Benefits and Threats of Diversity Scale

Joep Hofhuis, Karen van der Zee, Sabine Otten

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

17 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

This paper describes the development and validation of the Benefits and Threats of Diversity Scale (BTDS), an instrument which measures how employees perceive the effects of cultural diversity in the workplace. By analyzing employees’ perceptions, organizations may be able to communicate more effectively about diversity, and reduce potential diversity resistance by targeting those employees who feel most threatened by the process of diversification. First, a conceptual framework is established regarding possible positive and negative perceptions regarding cultural diversity in the workplace, based on both existing literature and qualitative data gathered in interviews. The final structure of the BTDS includes five subdimensions of benefits, and four subdimensions of threats. The internal structure, reliability and construct validity of the BTDS are established using quantitative data gathered in existing organizations. Our results also show that the respective dimensions of benefits and threats are mostly independent. This implies that individuals who perceive many benefits of diversity do not perceive less threats, or vice versa. This, in turn, suggests that individuals are not either pro or con diversity, as is often assumed in existing literature, but instead may possess a more nuanced view.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)177-201
JournalQuality and quantity
Volume49
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2015

Keywords

  • METIS-300307
  • IR-88524

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