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The theme for 2021's Black History Month is "The Black Family: Representation, Identity, and Diversity." Here is a selection of research from AOM scholars on work-life balance and the impact on Black families.
Work-life Flexibility is a Challenge Up and Down the Pay Scale
When it comes to work-life flexibility, lower-level employees are still getting the short end of the stick.
• Infographic: Work-Life Balance
• Related research: Work–Life Flexibility for Whom? Occupational Status and Work–Life Inequality in Upper, Middle, and Lower Level Jobs, Academy of Management Annals
The Struggle to Balance Work, Family, and Self-Image
For working parents, managing the expectations of being a professional employee for whom work is a top priority, as well as being a nurturing “present” parent, can be a tall order in today’s workplace.
• Infographic: Balancing Work, Family, and Self-Image
• Related research: When Expectations Become Reality: Work-Family Image Management and Identity Adaptation, Academy of Management Annals
The Subtle Backlash against Work-Life Balance Policies
Employees who do not have kids feel discriminated against when colleagues use flextime for parenting responsibilities.
Workers Feeling Exploited May Be More Common Than You Think
More employees than you'd think perceive themselves as exploited by organizations, even if managers don’t believe they’re being exploitative. These perceptions have consequences.
How Family Responsibilities After Work May Help You Stay Focused At Work
When people are expecting to do something after work that’s goal-directed or obligatory, they tend to be more focused when they’re at work.
Black-White Ethnic Differences In Identification With The Work Ethic: Some Implications For Organizational Integration
This research depicts the mechanism of how black ethnic values, coupled with negative job experiences, prevent a large majority of the black population from strongly identifying with the work ethic.
Racially Diverse Management Boosts Productivity
Companies with high racial Diversity in both upper and lower management perform best financially.
• Related research: The Effects of Racial Diversity Congruence between Upper Management and Lower Management on Firm Productivity, Academy of Management Journal
• Related research: The Self-Concept, Personal Values, and Motivational Orientations of Black and White Managers, Academy of Management Journal
Rising Latino Entrepreneurs Are Slower to Become Employers
Latinos have been becoming entrepreneurs at much higher rate than other U.S. racial groups in recent years, but they have been relatively slower to actually staff their businesses
Black Employees Matter, but Can They Take a Knee at Work?
“Mega-threats,” such as police killings of unarmed African-American citizens, can send shockwaves through workplaces, even if employees have no direct connection to the victims.
• Related research: #BlackEmployeesMatter: Mega-Threats, Identity Fusion, and Enacting Positive Deviance in Organizations, Academy of Management Review
When Women or Minorities Check in as CEOs, White Men Check out
Appointing women or racial minorities as CEOs can have the unfortunate effect of white male executives helping their colleagues less.
• Video: When Women or Minorities Check in as CEOs, White Men Check Out
Race Plus Gender Doubles the Struggle for Black Women
While white women are underrepresented in corporate leadership, women of color face an even more arduous and complex road to the top.
Being a Token is More Difficult for Some Employees
“Our review showed that tokens have higher levels of depression and stress. They’re more likely to experience discrimination and sexual harassment,” a researcher says.
Why Diverse Workplaces Remain Elusive
Despite the billions of dollars U.S. companies spend on Diversity programs each year, current strategies will not necessarily achieve their goals.
• Video: Is the Public Sector a Fairer Employer?
Building Better Diversity Training Courses
Researchers recommend building diversity training around tolerance, with a goal of effective dialogue through open and honest conversations.
Aligning Employee Demographics with Reality
We often neglect to acknowledge that race can be complex, with many ethnicities blending through intermarriage and immigration.
• Infographic: Treating Employees Fairly
African Firms Still Feel the Slave Trade’s Effects
Effects linger in sub-Saharan Africa in the form of many companies tightly controlled by inpiduals or families, resulting from a lack of enforceable contracts, investor protections, and access to equity funding, as well as ethnic mistrust.
Sharing Economy Can Turn Back the Clock on Equal Access
U.S. legislators and policymakers need to keep pace with Internet technology to prevent sharing economy businesses from circumventing landmark equal rights laws.
Public and Private Sectors Seem Equally Biased in Hiring
While the public sector has a reputation for being less discriminatory, both sectors have equally significant bias against job applicants with foreign names, researchers reveal.
Blacks as Supervisors: A Study of Training, Job Performance, and Employers’ Expectations
Employers tend to evaluate performance not on factors related to program content or on task-related behaviors, but on other behaviors black supervisors demonstrated while at work.
• Video: Racially Diverse Management Boosts Productivity
Disadvantage for Attaining Management Positions
It matters greatly for individuals, organizations, and societies whether particular groups are disadvantaged for attaining management positions.
Black-white ethnic differences in identification with the work ethic: some implications for organizational integration
Literature discussing the social role training and occupational readiness of American blacks for their propensity to identify with the four themes of the work ethic is reviewed.
When Diversity Goes Awry
Having Diverse perspectives and interests represented by your company’s management team leads to better informed and more effective decisions, right? Not necessarily.
Related research: Decision Diversion in Diverse Teams: Findings from Inside a Corporate Boardroom, Academy of Management Discoveries
When Diversity Increases Absenteeism
Leaders who think recruiting and hiring a diverse group of employees solves their organizations’ diversity problems may want to think again.
• Related research: Being Different, Being Absent? A Dynamic Perspective on Demographic Dissimilarity and Absenteeism in Blue-Collar Teams, Academy of Management Journal
Five Practices and Three Myths That Fuel Inequality
Many social and economic factors have been blamed for rising inequality. But the crucial role of organizations usually gets overlooked.
Inequality Hurts Companies, Even as They Contribute to It
“Top managers need to understand how inequality affects the performance of their firms and their business environment,” a researcher says.
• Video: Do Coaches in the National Basketball Association Actually Display Racial Bias?
How Social Ladder Climbers Can Help Companies
“When there are cultural issues and misunderstandings, these people are highly likely to be the folks who can help everybody understand one another,” a researcher says.
12 Challenges Faced by Employees from Poorer Families
“People don’t think very carefully, or at all, about organizations being places that should provide socioeconomic mobility and opportunities for people who just happen to be born poorer,” a researcher notes.
Openly Discussing a Taboo Topic: Mistreated Workers
Employers seem to be more sensitive to employees’ claims of mistreatment at work. But employees’ perceptions of mistreatment vary, creating challenges for managers.
• Video: Black Employees Matter, but Can They Take a Knee at Work?
Workers Feeling Exploited May Be More Common Than You Think
“The consequences can be emotional, like anger and guilt. And they can have behavioral consequences that are detrimental to the organization,” according to a researcher.
Two Little-Known Ways Managers Can Influence Laws
Managers can adopt internal policies to guide vague laws or offer innovative products or services to change policies.
• Video: Why Diverse Workplaces Remain Elusive
The Global Challenge of Corporate Corruption
Lack of detailed knowledge about corporate corruption—and how to fight it effectively—is limiting economic growth around the world.
Why Moral Leadership Matters
“Very consistent evidence shows that moral leaders tend to outperform leaders who are amoral or immoral,” a researcher says.
Eight Questions to Help Solve Ethical Problems
A U.S. university has been using the questions since 2013 to improve students’ ethical reasoning and decision-making skills.
Facing an Ethical Dilemma? Try This Approach
A simple tweak in how you think about ethical dilemmas might help you find solutions that keep your integrity intact.
Corporate Social Responsibility Shields against Lawsuits
Companies that show they care about the social impacts of their operations get sued less often.