Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (PhD)
First Advisor/Committee Member
Dana L. Kendall
Second Advisor/Committee Member
Paul Youngbin Kim
Third Advisor/Committee Member
Inclusion, Discrimination, Social support, Holding behaviors
Previous research suggests that discrimination is still a prevalent problem within organizations even with the current laws and policies in place in the United States to ensure equality of opportunity for minority groups. Therefore, people of color continue to report experiencing inequality and exclusion in the workplace. The broad purpose of the current investigation is to provide guidance to organizations regarding proactive strategies for mollifying the deleterious consequences that people of color often experience as a result of enduring numerous incidences of subtle discrimination in the workplace. Specifically, I proposed that when people of color report having trusting, supportive relationships with individuals outside their department or relatively-immediate work group, they will be fortified to some extent against feelings of ostracism and inclinations to leave the organization that result from regularly experiencing racial discrimination. Participants were recruited through Prolific and Amazon’s Mechanical Turk and had to identify as a person of color, work at least part time, and live in the United States. The sample included 288 participants with a mean age of 32 years old, nearly equal representation of males and females (50% and 48%, respectively), and the majority of participants were born in the United States (78%). Participants represented a variety of ethnicities with no single ethnicity representing more than twenty-six percent of the total sample. It was hypothesized that holding behaviors will mitigate the negative relationship between discrimination and inclusion as well as the positive association between discrimination and turnover intentions. Results indicated that holding behaviors did not moderate the relationship between discrimination and inclusion (Bmicroaggressions*holding behaviors = .11, p = .46; Bambient discrimination*holding behaviors = .01, p = .72) nor the relationship between discrimination and turnover intentions (Bmicroaggressions*holding behaviors = .27, p = .26; Bambient discrimination*holding behaviors = .01, p = .80). The results of this study provide organizations with practical, effective strategies for fostering inclusive work environments, in which people of color feel like they can express their unique and authentic selves.
Kohlman Olsen, Heather A., "Exploring the Buffering Effects of Holding Behaviors on the Negative Consequences of Workplace Discrimination for People of Color" (2019). Industrial-Organizational Psychology Dissertations. 20.