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28-10-2023 | Original Paper

Representation Matters: Review and Examination of Demographic Matching Effects on Organizational Outcomes

Authors: DaHee Shon, Elissa L. Perry, Joshua Elmore, David B. Mendelsohn

Published in: Journal of Business and Psychology

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Abstract

Research suggests that the extent to which there is a demographic match between employees and important stakeholder groups (e.g., customers, managers) can influence relevant organizational outcomes. However, demographic matching at the organizational level is understudied, and there remains uncertainty regarding how it should be conceptualized and operationalized. To address these gaps, the current research reviews and organizes the different ways of conceptualizing and operationalizing demographic matching, and how they are similar to and different from each other. In doing so, we demonstrate how different research questions necessitate different analytical approaches, namely: a representativeness index, polynomial regression with response surface methodology (RSM) using demographic group proportions, and polynomial regression with RSM using a diversity-as-variety measure. Based on the data from nearly one thousand higher education institutions in the U.S., we found significantly positive matching effects when students and faculty have similar racioethnic proportional compositions, but not necessarily when they have matching levels of racioethnic variety. Additionally, matching effects were found to be stronger among White faculty and students than among minority faculty and students. Finally, the theoretical and practical implications of the study results are discussed.

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Footnotes
1
Given that this listwise deletion approach can be prone to bias and less accuracy (e.g., Newman, 2014; Roth, 1994), we also ran the analyses using multivariate imputation techniques, which are known to be less biased and less error-prone (Newman, 2014). We generated three imputed datasets using mice package in R to compare model performance between them and found comparable results to the current findings across all hypotheses.
 
2
While some may argue that Asians should not be considered a minority in U.S. higher education, they only represent around 5% of the student population on average, which is lower than the share of Black and Hispanic students. Recent reports find that Asians are less likely than White faculty to hold full-time faculty positions (Espinosa, Turk, Taylor, & Chessman, 2019). Research also shows that Asian students struggle to persist through four years of undergraduate education due to stress related to minority status and associated expectations (e.g., having to prove their abilities) (Wei, Ku, & Liao, 2011). As a result, we included Asians in the creation of the minority proportions.
 
3
We chose the outcomes from 2015, because a four-year lag represents a typical number of years to observe the effects of predictor variables on student outcomes at four-year degree-granting institutions. However, in line with prior research that also used 5- and/or 6-year lags (Hosch, 2008; Williford, Chapman, & Kahrig, 2001), we ran additional analyses using the outcome data from 2016 and 2017. We found very similar patterns of results across the analyses testing our hypotheses.
 
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Metadata
Title
Representation Matters: Review and Examination of Demographic Matching Effects on Organizational Outcomes
Authors
DaHee Shon
Elissa L. Perry
Joshua Elmore
David B. Mendelsohn
Publication date
28-10-2023
Publisher
Springer US
Published in
Journal of Business and Psychology
Print ISSN: 0889-3268
Electronic ISSN: 1573-353X
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/s10869-023-09913-8