This paper integrates the inclusion and organizational ethics literatures to examine the relationship between employees’ perceptions of an organizational integration and learning approach to diversity and two employee outcomes: organizational citizenship behavior toward the organization and interpersonal workplace deviance. Findings across two field studies from the USA and Germany show that employees’ perceptions of an organizational integration and learning approach to diversity are positively related to perceived organizational ethical virtue. Perceived organizational ethical virtue further transmits the effect of employees’ perceptions of an organizational integration and learning approach to diversity on both organizational citizenship behavior toward the organization and interpersonal workplace deviance. In addition, we find support for a moderated indirect effect model whereby the indirect effect of the perceived integration and learning approach to diversity on the dependent variables through perceived organizational ethical virtue is stronger when employees have high personal value for diversity rather than low personal value for diversity. These results underscore the importance of having a fit between employees’ perceptions of an organization’s approach to diversity and employees’ personal value for diversity in order for inclusion to result in positive employee behaviors. Results emphasize the ethical responsibility of organizations in terms of how they approach diversity.
This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.
Buy single article
Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.
Price includes VAT for USA
Subscribe to journal
Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.
This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.
In the US study (i.e., Study 1), we used scales with verbal anchors for each response option throughout. Thus, in the German study (i.e., Study 2), we also aimed to verbally anchor each response option. However, for a six- or seven-point Likert-type scale, it is difficult to find distinct verbal anchors in the German language for “partly agree”/“partly disagree” and “slightly agree”/“slightly disagree” for which participants can easily see the difference. Therefore, we decided to consistently use a five-point Likert-type scale with verbal anchors in German that participants can easily understand and differentiate. Otherwise, we would only have been able to label the end points and—if applicable—the middle point of the scale, which would have been inconsistent to the US study.
This includes people with migration background. In 2015, about 11% of the German population were people with German nationality and migration background (Statistisches Bundesamt 2017).
Aguinis, H., Beaty, J. C., Boik, R. J., & Pierce, C. A. (2005). Effect size and power in assessing moderating effects of categorical variables using multiple regression: A 30-year review. Journal of Applied Psychology,90(1), 94–107.
Aiken, L. S., & West, S. G. (1991). Multiple regression: Testing and interpreting interactions. Newbury Park, CA: Sage.
Ambrose, M. L., Arnaud, A., & Schminke, M. (2008). Individual moral development and ethical climate: The influence of person-organization fit on job attitudes. Journal of Business Ethics,77(3), 323–333.
Baker, T. L., Hunt, T. G., & Andrews, M. C. (2006). Promoting ethical behavior and organizational citizenship behaviors: The influence of corporate ethical values. Journal of Business Research,59(7), 849–857.
Bennett, R. J., & Robinson, S. L. (2000). Development of a measure of workplace deviance. Journal of Applied Psychology,85(3), 349–360.
Bennett, R. J., & Robinson, S. L. (2003). The past, present and future of workplace deviance research. In J. Greenberg (Ed.), Organizational behavior: The state of the science (2nd ed., pp. 247–281). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Berry, C. M., Ones, D. S., & Sackett, P. R. (2007). Interpersonal deviance, organizational deviance, and their common correlates: A review and meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology,92(2), 410–424.
Best, J., & Luckenbill, D. F. (1982). Organizing deviance. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Borman, W. C., & Motowidlo, S. J. (1997). Task performance and contextual performance: The meaning for personnel selection research. Human Performance,10(2), 99–109.
Brewer, M. B. (1991). The social self: On being the same and different at the same time. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin,17(5), 475–482.
Brislin, R. W. (1970). Back-translation for cross-cultural research. Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology,1(3), 185–216.
Bundesagentur für Arbeit (2017). Sozialversicherungspflichtig und geringfügig Beschäftigte [Employees subject to social insurance contributions and marginally employed people]. Retrieved August 18, 2017, from https://statistik.arbeitsagentur.de/Navigation/Statistik/Statistik-nach-Themen/Beschaeftigung/Beschaeftigte/Beschaeftigte-Nav.html.
Charta der Vielfalt (2017). Charta der Vielfalt [Diversity Charter]. Retrieved August 17, 2017, from https://www.charta-der-vielfalt.de/.
Chatman, J. A. (1989). Improving interactional organizational research: A model of person-organization fit. Academy of Management Review,14(3), 333–349.
Cohen, J., Cohen, P., West, S. G., & Aiken, L. S. (2003). Applied multiple regression/correlation analysis for the behavioral sciences (3rd ed.). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Coldwell, D. A., Billsberry, J., van Meurs, N., & Marsh, P. J. (2008). The effects of person-organization ethical fit on employee attraction and retention: Towards a testable explanatory model. Journal of Business Ethics,78(4), 611–622.
Cox, T. (1993). Cultural diversity in organizations: Theory, research and practice. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler.
Cox, T., & Beale, R. L. (1997). Developing competency to manage diversity: Readings, cases, and activities. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler.
Dalal, R. S. (2005). A meta-analysis of the relationship between organizational citizenship behavior and counterproductive work behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology,90(6), 1241–1255.
Danowitz, M. A., & Hanappi-Egger, E. (2012). Diversity as strategy. In M. A. Danowitz, E. Hanappi-Egger, & H. Mensi-Klarbach (Eds.), Diversity in organizations: Concepts and practices (pp. 137–160). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.
Dass, P., & Parker, B. (1999). Strategies for managing human resource diversity: From resistance to learning. Academy of Management Executive,13(2), 68–80.
De Vries, R. E., & van Gelder, J.-L. (2015). Explaining workplace delinquency: The role of honesty-humility, ethical culture, and employee surveillance. Personality and Individual Differences,86, 112–116.
Donaldson, T., & Dunfee, T. W. (1994). Toward a unified conception of business ethics: Integrative social contracts theory. Academy of Management Review,19(2), 252–284.
Douglas, S. P., & Craig, C. S. (2007). Collaborative and iterative translation: An alternative approach to back translation. Journal of International Marketing,15(1), 30–43.
Dwertmann, J. G., Nishii, L. H., & van Knippenberg, D. (2016). Disentangling the fairness and discrimination and synergy perspectives on diversity climate: Moving the field forward. Journal of Management,42(5), 1136–1168.
Edwards, J. R., & Cable, D. M. (2009). The value of value congruence. Journal of Applied Psychology,94(3), 654–677.
Elango, B., Paul, K., Kundu, S. K., & Paudel, S. K. (2010). Organizational ethics, individual ethics, and ethical intentions in international decision-making. Journal of Business Ethics,97(4), 543–561.
Ely, R. J., & Thomas, D. A. (2001). Cultural diversity at work: The effects of diversity perspectives on work group processes and outcomes. Administrative Science Quarterly,46(2), 229–273.
Ernst & Young (2016). Diversity in Deutschland: Studie anlässlich des 10-jährigen Bestehens der Charta der Vielfalt [Diversity in Germany: Study on the occasion of the 10th anniversary of the Diversity Charter]. Stuttgart: Ernst & Young GmbH. Retrieved August 17, 2017, from http://www.ey.com/Publication/vwLUAssets/EY-diversity-studie-2016/$FILE/EY-diversity-studie-2016.pdf.
Evans, M. G. (1985). A Monte Carlo study of the effects of correlated method variance in moderated multiple regression analysis. Organizational Behavior & Human Performance,36(3), 305–323.
Finegan, J., & Theriault, C. (1997). The relationship between personal values and the perception of the corporation’s code of ethics. Journal of Applied Social Psychology,27(8), 708–724.
Ford, R. C., & Richardson, W. D. (1994). Ethical decision making: A review of the empirical literature. Journal of Business Ethics,13(3), 205–221.
Freeman, R. E. (1984). Strategic management: A stakeholder approach. Boston, MA: Pitman.
French, J. R. P., Jr., Rodgers, W. L., & Cobb, S. (1974). Adjustment as person-environment fit. In G. Coelho, D. Hamburg, & J. Adams (Eds.), Coping and adaptation (pp. 316–333). New York, NY: Basic Books.
General Act on Equal Treatment of 14th August 2006 (Federal Law Gazette I, page 1897), last amended by Article 15, para 66 of the Act of 5 February 2009 (Federal Law Gazette 1, p. 160). Retrieved August 17, 2017, from http://www.antidiskriminierungsstelle.de/SharedDocs/Downloads/EN/publikationen/agg_in_englischer_Sprache.pdf?__blob=publicationFile.
Grojean, M. W., Resick, C. J., Dickson, M. W., & Smith, D. B. (2004). Leaders, values, and organizational climate: Examining leadership strategies for establishing an organizational climate regarding ethics. Journal of Business Ethics,55(3), 223–241.
Gruys, M. L., & Sackett, P. R. (2003). Investigating the dimensionality of counterproductive work behaviour. International Journal of Selection and Assessment,11(1), 30–42.
Heilman, M. E., & Chen, J. J. (2005). Same behavior, different consequences: Reactions to men’s and women’s altruistic citizenship behavior. Journal of Applied Psychology,90(3), 431–441.
Hunter, J. E., & Schmidt, F. L. (2004). Methods of meta-analysis: Correcting error and bias in research findings (2nd ed.). Beverly Hills, CA: Sage.
Kacmar, K. M., Bachrach, D. G., Harris, K. J., & Zivnuska, S. (2011). Fostering good citizenship through ethical leadership: Exploring the moderating role of gender and organizational politics. Journal of Applied Psychology,96(3), 633–642.
Kangas, M., Feldt, T., Huhtala, M., & Rantanen, J. (2014). The corporate ethical virtues scale: Factorial invariance across organizational samples. Journal of Business Ethics,124(1), 161–171.
Kaptein, M. (1998). Ethics management: Auditing and developing the ethical content of organizations. Dordrecht: Springer.
Kaptein, M. (2008). Developing and testing a measure for the ethical culture of organizations: The corporate ethical virtues model. Journal of Organizational Behavior,29(7), 923–947.
Kaptein, M. (2011). Understanding unethical behavior by unraveling ethical culture. Human Relations,64(6), 843–869.
Kline, R. B. (2010). Principles and practice in structural equation modeling (3rd ed.). New York, NY: The Guilford Press.
Kossek, E. E., & Lobel, S. A. (1996). Managing diversity: Human resource strategies for transforming the workplace. Cambridge, MA: Blackwell.
Kristof, A. L. (1996). Person-organization fit: An integrative review of its conceptualizations, measurement, and implications. Personnel Psychology,49(1), 1–49.
Kristof-Brown, A. L., Zimmerman, R. D., & Johnson, E. C. (2005). Consequences of individuals’ fit at work: A meta-analysis of person-job, person-organization, person-group, and person-supervisor fit. Personnel Psychology,58(2), 281–342.
Lederle, S. (2007). Die Einführung von Diversity Management in deutschen Organisationen: Eine neoinstitutionalistische Perspektive [The emergence of diversity management in German organizations: A neoinstitutionalist perspective]. Zeitschrift für Personalforschung,21(1), 22–41.
Lee, K., & Allen, N. J. (2002). Organizational citizenship behavior and workplace deviance: The role of affect and cognitions. Journal of Applied Psychology,87(1), 131–142.
LePine, J. A., Erez, A., & Johnson, D. E. (2002). The nature and dimensionality of organizational citizenship behavior: A critical review and meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology,87(1), 52–65.
Leung, A. S. M. (2008). Matching ethical work climate to in-role and extra-role behaviors in a collectivist work setting. Journal of Business Ethics,79(1), 43–55.
Liedtka, J. M. (1989). Value congruence: The interplay of individual and organizational value systems. Journal of Business Ethics,8(10), 805–815.
Loe, T. W., Ferrell, L., & Mansfield, P. (2000). A review of empirical studies assessing ethical decision making in business. Journal of Business Ethics,25(3), 185–204.
Lozano, J. F., & Escrich, T. (2017). Cultural diversity in business: A critical reflection on the ideology of tolerance. Journal of Business Ethics,142(4), 679–696.
Martin, K. D., & Cullen, J. B. (2006). Continuities and extensions of ethical climate theory: A meta-analytic review. Journal of Business Ethics,69(2), 175–194.
McClelland, G. H., & Judd, C. M. (1993). Statistical difficulties of detecting interactions and moderator effects. Psychological Bulletin,114(2), 376–390.
McDonald, J. (2007). American ethnic history: Themes and perspectives. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
McGrath, J. E. (1981). Dilemmatics: The study of research choices and dilemmas. The American Behavioral Scientist,25(2), 179–210.
McKay, P. F., & Avery, D. R. (2005). Warning! Diversity recruitment could backfire. Journal of Management Inquiry,14(4), 330–336.
Mor Barak, M. E., Cherin, D. A., & Berkman, S. (1998). Organizational and personal dimensions in diversity climate: Ethnic and gender differences in employee perceptions. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science,34(1), 82–104.
Nakui, T., Paulus, P. B., & van der Zee, K. I. (2011). The role of attitudes in reactions toward diversity in workgroups. Journal of Applied Social Psychology,41(10), 2327–2351.
Nunnally, J. C. (1978). Psychometric theory (2nd ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill.
O’Fallon, M. J., & Butterfield, K. D. (2005). A review of the empirical ethical decision-making literature: 1996–2003. Journal of Business Ethics,59(4), 375–413.
Organ, D. W. (1988). Organizational citizenship behavior: The good soldier syndrome. Lexington, MA: Lexington Books.
Organ, D. W., Podsakoff, P. M., & MacKenzie, S. B. (2006). Organizational citizenship behavior: Its nature, antecedents, and consequences. London: Sage.
Ortlieb, R., & Sieben, B. (2013). Diversity strategies and business logic: Why do companies employ ethnic minorities? Group and Organization Management,38(4), 480–511.
Piccolo, R. F., & Colquitt, J. A. (2006). Transformational leadership and job behaviors: The mediating role of core job characteristics. Academy of Management Journal,49(2), 327–340.
Pless, N. M., & Maak, T. (2004). Building an inclusive diversity culture: Principles, processes and practice. Journal of Business Ethics,54(2), 129–147.
Podsakoff, N. P., Whiting, S. W., Podsakoff, P. M., & Blume, B. D. (2009). Individual- and organizational-level consequences of organizational citizenship behaviors: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology,94(1), 122–141.
Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Lee, J., & Podsakoff, N. P. (2003). Common method biases in behavioral research: A critical review of the literature and recommended remedies. Journal of Applied Psychology,88(5), 879–903.
Podsakoff, P. M., MacKenzie, S. B., Paine, J. B., & Bachrach, D. G. (2000). Organizational citizenship behaviors: A critical review of the theoretical and empirical literature and suggestions for future research. Journal of Management,26(3), 513–563.
Podsiadlowski, A., Gröschke, D., Kogler, M., Springer, C., & van der Zee, K. I. (2013). Managing a culturally diverse workforce: Diversity perspectives in organizations. International Journal of Intercultural Relations,37(2), 159–175.
Preacher, K. J., Rucker, D. D., & Hayes, A. F. (2007). Addressing moderated mediation hypotheses: Theory, methods, and prescriptions. Multivariate Behavioral Research,42(1), 185–227.
Robinson, S. L., & Bennett, R. J. (1995). A typology of deviant workplace behaviors: A multidimensional scaling study. Academy of Management Journal,38(2), 555–572.
Ruiz-Palomino, P., & Martínez-Cañas, R. (2014). Ethical culture, ethical intent, and organizational citizenship behavior: The moderating and mediating role of person–organization fit. Journal of Business Ethics,120(1), 95–104.
Sackett, P. R., Berry, C. M., Wiemann, S. A., & Laczo, R. M. (2006). Citizenship and counterproductive behavior: Clarifying relations between the two domains. Human Performance,19(4), 441–464.
Samovar, L. A., Porter, R. E., & McDaniel, E. R. (2011). Intercultural communication: A reader. Boston, MA: Wadsworth Cengage Learning.
Schmitt, N. (1994). Method bias: The importance of theory and measurement. Journal of Organizational Behavior,15(5), 393–398.
Schwartz, S. H. (1994). Are there universal aspects in the content and structure of values? Journal of Social Issues,50(4), 19–45.
Schwartz, M. S. (2005). Universal moral values for corporate codes of ethics. Journal of Business Ethics,59(1), 27–44.
Shadish, W. R., Cook, T. D., & Campbell, D. T. (2002). Experimental and quasi-experimental designs for generalized causal inference. Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin.
Shin, Y. (2012). CEO ethical leadership, ethical climate, climate strength, and collective organizational citizenship behavior. Journal of Business Ethics,108(3), 299–312.
Shore, L. M., Randel, A. E., Chung, B. G., Dean, M. A., Ehrhart, K. H., & Singh, G. (2011). Inclusion and diversity in work groups: A review and model for future research. Journal of Management,37(4), 1262–1289.
Sims, R. L. (1992). The challenge of ethical behavior in organizations. Journal of Business Ethics,11(7), 505–513.
Sims, R. L., & Keon, T. L. (1997). Ethical work climate as a factor in the development of person-organization fit. Journal of Business Ethics,16(11), 1095–1105.
Sims, R. L., & Kroeck, G. (1994). The influence of ethical fit on employee satisfaction, commitment and turnover. Journal of Business Ethics,13(12), 939–947.
Solomon, R. C. (1992). Ethics and excellence. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Solomon, R. C. (1999). A better way to think about business: How personal integrity leads to corporate success. New York, NY: Oxford University Press.
Solomon, R. C. (2004). Aristotle, ethics and business organizations. Organization Studies,25(6), 1021–1043.
Spector, P. E., & Fox, S. (2002). An emotion-centered model of voluntary work behavior: Some parallels between counterproductive work behavior and organizational citizenship behavior. Human Resource Management Review,12(2), 1–24.
Stanton, J. M. (1998). An empirical assessment of data collection using the Internet. Personnel Psychology,51(3), 709–725.
Statistisches Bundesamt (2017). Bevölkerung 2015 nach Migrationshintergrund und Geschlecht [Population 2015 by migration background and sex]. Retrieved April 8, 2017, from https://www.destatis.de/DE/ZahlenFakten/GesellschaftStaat/Bevoelkerung/MigrationIntegration/Migrationshintergrund/Tabellen/TabellenMigrationshintergrundGeschlecht.html.
Stevens, F. G., Plaut, V. C., & Sanchez-Burks, J. (2008). Unlocking the benefits of diversity all-inclusive multiculturalism and positive organizational change. The Journal of Applied Behavioral Science,44(1), 116–133.
Süß, S., & Kleiner, M. (2008). Dissemination of diversity management in Germany: A new institutionalist approach. European Management Journal,26(1), 35–47.
Thomas, D. A., & Ely, R. J. (1996). Making differences matter: A new paradigm for managing diversity. Harvard Business Review,74(5), 79–90.
Thorne, L. (2010). The association between ethical conflict and adverse outcomes. Journal of Business Ethics,92(2), 269–276.
Treviño, L. K., Butterfield, K. D., & McCabe, D. L. (1998). The ethical context in organizations: Influences on employee attitudes and behaviors. Business Ethics Quarterly,8(3), 447–476.
Treviño, L. K., & Weaver, G. R. (2003). Managing ethics in business organizations: A social science perspective. Stanford, CA: Stanford Business Books.
Treviño, L. K., Weaver, G. R., & Reynolds, S. J. (2006). Behavioral ethics in organizations: A review. Journal of Management,32(6), 951–990.
Tsang, E. W. K., & Kwan, K. M. (1999). Replication and theory development in organizational science: A critical realist perspective. Academy of Management Review,24(4), 759–780.
Turnipseed, D. L. (2002). Are good soldiers good? Exploring the link between organization citizenship behavior and personal ethics. Journal of Business Research,55(1), 1–15.
Tyler, T. R., & Blader, S. L. (2005). Can businesses effectively regulate employee conduct? The antecedents of rule following in work settings. Academy of Management Journal,48(6), 1143–1158.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2015a). Labor force statistics from the current population survey. Household data annual averages. Table 10: Employed persons by occupation,race, Hispanic or Latino ethnicity, and sex. Retrieved June 17, 2016, from https://www.bls.gov/cps/aa2014/cpsaat10.htm.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2015b). Labor force statistics from the current population survey. Household data annual averages. Table 11: Employed persons by detailed occupation, sex, race, and Hispanic or Latino ethnicity. Retrieved August 29, 2017, from https://www.bls.gov/cps/aa2014/cpsaat11.htm.
U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (2015c). Labor force statistics from the current population survey. Household data annual averages. Table 11b: Employed persons by detailed occupation and age 2014. Retrieved August 29, 2017, from https://www.bls.gov/cps/aa2014/cpsaat11b.htm.
U.S. Census Bureau (2015). Annual estimates of the resident population by sex, race, and Hispanic origin for the United States: April 1, 2010 to July 1, 2014. Retrieved December 12, 2015, from https://factfinder.census.gov/faces/tableservices/jsf/pages/productview.xhtml?src=bkmk.
van Dijk, H., van Engen, M., & Paauwe, J. (2012). Reframing the business case for diversity: A values and virtues perspective. Journal of Business Ethics,111(1), 73–84.
van Oudenhoven-van der Zee, K. I., Paulus, P. B., Vos, M., & Parthasarathy, N. (2009). The impact of group composition and attitudes towards diversity on anticipated outcomes of diversity in groups. Group Processes and Intergroup Relations,12(2), 257–280.
Vedder, G. (2006). Die historische Entwicklung von Diversity Management in den USA und in Deutschland [The historical development of diversity management in the USA and in Germany]. In G. Krell & H. Wächter (Eds.), Diversity Management: Impulse aus der Personalforschung [Diversity management: Impulses from human resource research] (pp. 1–24). München: Rainer Hampp.
Victor, B., & Cullen, J. B. (1988). The organizational bases of ethical work climates. Administrative Science Quarterly,33(1), 101–125.
Wagner, S. L., & Rush, M. C. (2000). Altruistic organizational citizenship behaviour: Context, disposition, and age. The Journal of Social Psychology,140(3), 379–391.
Warren, D. E. (2003). Constructive and destructive deviance in organizations. Academy of Management Review,28(4), 622–632.
Wu, C.-F. (2002). The relationship of ethical decision-making to business ethics and performance in Taiwan. Journal of Business Ethics,35(3), 163–176.
Zangwill, I. (2007). The Project Gutenberg e-book of The Melting Pot. Retrieved October 11, 2017, from http://www.gutenberg.org/files/23893/23893.txt.
The authors thank the master students participating in the HR/OB project seminar at the Technische Universität Kaisers-lautern, Germany, in 2014/2015 for their help with the data collection in Germany. The authors are grateful to the editor and the anonymous reviewers for their constructive comments that helped improve earlier drafts of this paper.
Conflict of interest
Tanja Rabl, María del Carmen Triana, Seo-Young Byun, and Laura Bosch declare that they have no conflict of interest.
Human and Animal Rights
This article does not contain any studies with animals performed by any of the authors. All procedures performed in studies involving human participants were in accordance with the ethical standards of the institutional and/or national research committee and with the 1964 Helsinki Declaration and its later amendments or comparable ethical standards.
Informed consent was obtained from all individual participants included in the study.
About this article
Cite this article
Rabl, T., del Carmen Triana, M., Byun, S. et al. Diversity Management Efforts as an Ethical Responsibility: How Employees’ Perceptions of an Organizational Integration and Learning Approach to Diversity Affect Employee Behavior. J Bus Ethics 161, 531–550 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s10551-018-3849-7
- Deviant behavior
- Ethical virtue
- Integration and learning approach to diversity
- Organizational citizenship behavior
- Personal value for diversity