Academy of Management Annual Meeting Proceedings includes abstracts of all papers and symposia presented at the annual conference, plus 6-page abridged versions of the “Best Papers” accepted for inclusion in the program (approximately 10%). Papers published in the Proceedings are abridged because presenting papers at their full length could preclude subsequent journal publication. Please contact the author(s) directly for the full papers.

The Misperception of Organizational Racial Progress Toward Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

    Despite America’s checkered racial history, people generally believe the nation has made steady, incremental progress toward achieving racial equality. In this paper, we investigate whether this American racial progress narrative will extend to how the workforce views the effectiveness of organizational efforts surrounding diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI). Across four studies (N = 2,057), we test whether American workers overestimate organizational racial progress across the domains of benefits, compensation, and executive representation and believe that progress will naturally unfold over time (Studies 1-4). We also examine whether these misperceptions surrounding organizational progress drive misunderstandings regarding the relative ineffectiveness of common organizational diversity policies (Studies 2-4). Overall, we find evidence that American workers largely overestimate organizational racial progress, believe that organizational progress will naturally improve over time, and that these misperceptions of organizational racial progress may drive beliefs in the effectiveness of symbolic DEI policies.

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