Presentation Title

Management Support, Employee Cynicism, and Diversity Training Effectiveness

Advisor Information

Carey Ryan

Location

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

Presentation Type

Poster

Start Date

6-3-2015 2:00 PM

End Date

6-3-2015 3:30 PM

Abstract

Emphasizing the importance of diversity training is generally believed to result in less discrimination and employees with more positive attitudes. However, few studies have experimentally investigated the effects of management support or examined the role of employee attitudes towards management, specifically, whether cynicism towards management affects diversity training effectiveness. In the present study, we experimentally manipulated high versus low management support for diversity training and proactive (i.e., to promote an appreciation of differences) versus reactive (i.e., in response to complaints of racism) rationale for training implementation. We also assessed cynicism towards management. White participants (N=186) recruited via MTurk completed a cynicism measure (e.g., I don’t usually take management seriously when they decide to do something new) and read a vignette in which management support and training rationale were manipulated. They then completed online diversity training emphasizing multiculturalism followed by measures of multiculturalism and colorblindness. Greater endorsement of multiculturalism than colorblindness indicated greater training effectiveness. The analyses revealed that a) participants endorsed multiculturalism more than colorblindness; b) training was somewhat less effective when supported by management; c) when the training was implemented proactively, greater management support resulted in lower training effectiveness, whereas when training was implemented reactively, greater management support resulted in greater training effectiveness; and d) training was less effective among participants who were more cynical of management, particularly when management had been described as supporting the training. In sum, management support may undermine diversity training effectiveness when training is implemented proactively and among individuals who are cynical of management.

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Mar 6th, 2:00 PM Mar 6th, 3:30 PM

Management Support, Employee Cynicism, and Diversity Training Effectiveness

Dr. C.C. and Mabel L. Criss Library

Emphasizing the importance of diversity training is generally believed to result in less discrimination and employees with more positive attitudes. However, few studies have experimentally investigated the effects of management support or examined the role of employee attitudes towards management, specifically, whether cynicism towards management affects diversity training effectiveness. In the present study, we experimentally manipulated high versus low management support for diversity training and proactive (i.e., to promote an appreciation of differences) versus reactive (i.e., in response to complaints of racism) rationale for training implementation. We also assessed cynicism towards management. White participants (N=186) recruited via MTurk completed a cynicism measure (e.g., I don’t usually take management seriously when they decide to do something new) and read a vignette in which management support and training rationale were manipulated. They then completed online diversity training emphasizing multiculturalism followed by measures of multiculturalism and colorblindness. Greater endorsement of multiculturalism than colorblindness indicated greater training effectiveness. The analyses revealed that a) participants endorsed multiculturalism more than colorblindness; b) training was somewhat less effective when supported by management; c) when the training was implemented proactively, greater management support resulted in lower training effectiveness, whereas when training was implemented reactively, greater management support resulted in greater training effectiveness; and d) training was less effective among participants who were more cynical of management, particularly when management had been described as supporting the training. In sum, management support may undermine diversity training effectiveness when training is implemented proactively and among individuals who are cynical of management.