Center for Women & Work

Workplace Chemistry: Promoting Diversity Through Organizational Change

Workplace_ChemistryBased on her interest in addressing discriminatory work climates, Meg Bond has written a book entitled Workplace Chemistry: Promoting Diversity Through Organizational Change (2007, University Press of New England). The book summarizes a case study of a manufacturing firm undergoing a process of organizational change aimed at increasing diversity and fostering a work climate that supported the increasingly diverse workers. It traces the complex dynamics involved as organizations make a commitment to help all employees work to their fullest potential and to provide insights useful to others who share such goals.

Part of the research agenda in this core area is to encourage greater study of biased work climates among other researchers. Toward this end, with funding from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), Meg Bond, Laura Punnett, and several students developed a catalog of workplace measures that assess aspects of the work environment relevant to ethnicity, race, and gender diversity such as harassment, discrimination, work-family balance, and general organizational climate for diverse groups of workers. The compendium is introduced with an essay on the rationale for including these domains in occupational health research. This is followed by a series of detailed entries that describe currently available organizational measures, their psychometric properties, and an analysis of their usefulness for occupational health research. The published compendium is available free of charge from the NIOSH website and NIOSH is putting the compendium on line to make the measures even more accessible to interested researchers.

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