Improving the image of the competence of minorities: A theoretical exploration

Hans van Dijk*, Floor Rink

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

Abstract

Initiatives aimed at improving the positions of minorities in organizations have yielded mixed results at best. These mixed results are at least in part due to the image of minorities as less competent. In this article we posit that the use of endorsements can improve the image of the competence of minorities in organizations. We present a theoretical exploration that explains how and under what circumstances endorsements can improve the image of the competence of minorities. The core of our theoretical exploration is twofold. First, we posit that the effect of an endorsement is driven by the person making the endorsement: The more positive the status of the endorser, the more positive the effect will be on the image of the competence of the endorsee. Second, we assert that an endorsement has a stronger effect when the endorsement contrasts with a current image. We therefore expect that in particular minorities can benefit from a strategic use of endorsements because it can correct potential negative biases regarding the competence of minorities. Our theoretical exploration offers various opportunities for research, and presents a number of practical ways in which organizations can improve the image of the competence of minorities.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)217-234
Number of pages18
JournalGedrag & Organisatie
Volume31
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - Sep-2018

Keywords

  • minorities
  • endorsements
  • stereotyping
  • impression formation
  • competence perceptions
  • IMPRESSION-FORMATION
  • STEREOTYPES
  • DIVERSITY
  • GENDER
  • RECOMMENDATION
  • INFORMATION
  • BACKLASH
  • FEMALE
  • WOMEN
  • PREJUDICE

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