In an increasingly connected and multicultural world, it is imperative that organizations address and manage diversity. In response to the need for effective management of diversity, diversity researchers have urged organizations to conduct assessments of their current diversity climates.
Despite the need for organizational diagnosis, there is little evidence of systematic or comprehensive efforts to conceptually and operationally define organizational climate for diversity. Part of this lack of theoretical and empirical progress may perhaps be attributed to the difficulty of making the construct operational and of deriving scales amenable to empirical testing and validation.
The current research goals were to develop a multidimensional measure of climate for diversity, and to investigate the psychometric properties of the instrument developed, using a construct validation approach. This study evaluated the utility of the construct of organizational climate for diversity within a network of theoretical relations, with practical implications. A domain sampling approach was used to delineate dimensions and items for the new measure. Empirical data collected from an independent school was used to carefully examine the scales of the new measure. Climate for diversity was operationally defined as comprising of students' perceptions of top management support, formal institutional policies, student admissions policies, teaching equity and fairness, observations of teachers' behaviors in classes, fellow students' behaviors in classes, organizational resources and support, and personal diversity experiences. A global measure of climate for diversity was also introduced, as a molar-level measurement of the climate construct.
Results indicate that both the dimensional and global approaches are reliable and valid indicators of the construct. Examination of the empirical indicators within a nomological network of expected relationships allow inferences to be made about the validity of the measure. The construct of attitudes about diversity was also introduced as a moderator, and results indicate that attitudes moderate the relationships between climate ratings and the most domain-relevant outcome, satisfaction with diversity. The measure presented represents a first step toward elucidating how researchers can conceptualize and measure the construct in a multidimensional manner. Theoretical and practical implications, limitations of the study, and directions for future research are discussed.
|School:||The Ohio State University|
|School Location:||United States -- Ohio|
|Source:||DAI-B 79/09(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Psychology, Quantitative psychology|
|Keywords:||Climate, Construct validation, Diversity, Education, Organizational climate|
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