Date: 19 Dec 2013

Workforce Diversity and Religiosity

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Abstract

Workforce diversity has received increasing amounts of attention from academics and practitioners alike. In this article, we examine the empirical association between a firm’s workforce diversity (hereafter, diversity) and the degree of religiosity of the firm’s management by investigating their unidirectional and endogenous effects. Employing a large and extensive U.S. sample of firms from the years 1991–2010, we find a positive association between a measure of the firm’s commitment to diversity and the religiosity of the firm’s management after controlling for various firm characteristics. In addition, after controlling for endogeneity with the dynamic panel generalized method of moment, we still find a positive association between the firm’s diversity and management’s religiosity. We interpret these results as supportive of the religious motivation explanation that views the firm as a human community and considers religion as a factor that influences managers to more positively embrace diversity. Our results, however, provide no support for the resource-constraint hypothesis that views the firm as a nexus of contracts and sees managers as aiming to maximize shareholder returns under resource constraints that force them to invest only in projects that have a positive net present value (NPV) and reject diversity initiatives since these do not have a positive NPV.