Diversity and diversity management in the U.S. federal government
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Over the past several decades, the American workforces have been increasingly diversified by conferring greater access to jobs on women and minority. The government has provided equal employment opportunities for all members of society. As public organizations have more diverse employee populations, they have to face a new challenge to have the increasingly diversified workforce work well together. Recently, managing for increased diversity in workgroups is receiving greater attention in public management. Nevertheless, a relatively small literature in public administration appears to have been devoted to exploring the impacts of diversity on organizational effectiveness in public organizations. This study contributes to the literature on diversity in public administration by investigating the impacts of diversity and various contextual factors influencing the relationships between diversity and its consequences. I use the data from the 2004 demographic data of federal employees and a large federal survey conducted in 2004 to test three primary models in this study - determinants of diversity, diversity and organizational performance, and diversity and affective consequences. The results of the determinants model indicate that the type of policy responsibility of the agency and task professionalization are important predictors of workforce diversity. The regulatory agencies have significantly lower levels of race and age diversity. The distributive agencies also have a negative association with race diversity. Interestingly, gender diversity is positively associated with white-collar occupations, suggesting that gender is well-balanced across the white-collar occupations in the federal workforce. The findings of the consequence models demonstrate that racial diversity is related negatively to organizational performance. When moderated, however, by diversity management policies and practices, and team processes, diversity relates positively to organizational performance. In a similar vein, the results of the affective consequences model note that effective diversity management positively moderates job satisfaction in racially diverse organizations. Job satisfaction partially mediates the moderating effects of diversity management and demographic context on the turnover intentions of employees. The findings about the moderating effects of other contextual factors are mixed, suggesting that more variables should be controlled to achieve an accurate pattern of the effects of diversity and contextual factors on turnover.
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