A Moderated Mediation Model Examining Work Group Racial Demographic Differences in the Relations between Race Discrimination Climate, Team Cohesion, and Work Group Effectiveness
Zaragoza, Joseph G.
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As the demographics of the workforce continue to rapidly shift, it is of growing interest to organizations to understand how diversity can potentially impact important workplace outcomes. This study examined perceptions of race discrimination climate which captures the extent to which individuals of diverse demographic backgrounds are treated fairly, respectfully, and with dignity. Using logic from organizational justice theory, social identity theory, and relational demography theory, hypotheses were constructed projecting that race discrimination climate would significantly predict team cohesion and work group effectiveness. Moreover, heterogeneity was projected to moderate the relationships between race discrimination climate and team cohesion and race discrimination climate and work group effectiveness. Bivariate correlations along with a moderated mediation analysis supported hypothesized direct relationships. Favorable race discrimination climates were related to more favorable measures of team cohesion as well as work group effectiveness. Work group demographic heterogeneity did not moderate the relationship between race discrimination climate and team cohesion. Work group demographic heterogeneity did moderate the relationship between race discrimination climate and work group effectiveness such that groups were more likely to report favorable perceptions of work group effectiveness as diversity increased. Less diverse groups with unfavorable perceptions of RDC were more likely to report unfavorable perceptions of work group effectiveness, but the interaction was rather small. Practical and theoretical implications of these findings are discussed.