Semester of Graduation

Summer 2021


Master of Arts (MA)



Document Type



Racial diversity within public and private organizations is a controversial topic: many companies are encouraged to make their team racially representative of the general public while also maintaining productivity. At the same time, research suggests that increasing racial diversity may have a negative influence on desirable work-related outcomes, especially if employees perceive themselves to be racially dissimilar from their coworkers. In attempting to increase racial diversity, organizations may leave some of their employees experiencing negative consequences related to being the only employee of a particular racial minority group (e.g., Black). These types of circumstances and their negative consequences adds to the uncertainty surrounding racial diversity, suggesting moderating mechanisms may be at play. The aim of the current research is to examine the effect of perceived racial dissimilarity and, ultimately, how competitive work environment and social support moderate the relationship between perceived racial dissimilarity within one’s workgroup and work engagement, task performance, and affective organizational commitment. The present study has the potential to contribute to organizational literature by identifying conditions potentially influencing the associations between perceived racial dissimilarity and desirable employee outcomes. Additionally, this research may help organizations appropriately manage racially diverse teams so that both marginalized and non marginalized employees have an equal chance for success.



Committee Chair

Smith, Rachel W.