Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 143, Issue 3, pp 621–633 | Cite as

Addressing Internal Stakeholders’ Concerns: The Interactive Effect of Perceived Pay Equity and Diversity Climate on Turnover Intentions

  • E. Holly ButtnerEmail author
  • Kevin B. Lowe


Stakeholder theory has received greater scholarly and practitioner attention as organizations consider the interests of various groups affected by corporate operations, including employees. This study investigates two dimensions of psychological climate, specifically perceived pay equity and diversity climate, for one such stakeholder group: racioethnic minority professionals. We examined the main effect of U.S. professionals’ of color pay equity perceptions, and the influence of perceived internal and external pay equity on turnover intentions. We also investigated the interactive effect of perceptions of pay equity and diversity climate on turnover intentions. Results indicated that pay equity perceptions were negatively associated with turnover intentions. Our findings showed that perceptions of internal pay equity influenced turnover intentions but perceptions of external equity did not. Further, perceptions of pay equity and the diversity climate interactively influenced turnover intentions. Participants who reported an unfavorable diversity climate and a low perceived pay equity were most likely to report turnover intentions. Simple slope analysis for moderate pay equity also was significant. When perceived pay equity was high, favorability of the diversity climate did not affect turnover intentions. The findings have useful practical implications. When pay was perceived as equitable, participants appeared to pay less attention to the diversity climate. Employee pay equity perceptions may be malleable; sharing information with employees about pay levels during performance reviews may enhance perceptions of pay equity. The findings suggest that, consistent with stakeholder theory, organizations should attend to perceptions of both pay equity and diversity climate when striving to minimize the turnover intentions of professionals of color.


Corporate social responsibility Perceived pay equity Diversity climate Turnover intentions Professionals of color 



Corporate social responsibility


Diversity climate


Turnover intentions


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.The University of North Carolina at GreensboroGreensboroUSA
  2. 2.Graduate School of ManagementUniversity of AucklandAucklandNew Zealand

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