Diversity as I say, not as I do
: the impact of perceived organizational authenticity on diversity management effectiveness

  • Andrew Marcinko

Student thesis: Doctoral ThesisDoctor of Philosophy


The research conducted in this thesis examined how a misalignment between anorganization’s espoused values and its realized practices regarding diversity can negativelyaffect employees’ affective commitment, organizational identification, and turnoverintentions. Further, it investigated whether these relationships were mediated by perceivedorganizational authenticity. Theoretically, this research was informed by both social identitytheory and the social exchange perspective. Studies 1 and 2 tested the effects of both anorganization’s diversity management approach (espoused values) and its demographicrepresentativeness (realized practices) on employee attitudes. Findings supported amoderated-mediation model, which was further tested in Study 3. The results showed thatwhen an organization was less demographically diverse, participants reported loweridentification and commitment when the organization also expressed instrumental diversitymanagement approach values (i.e., diversity was instrumental to the organization’s primarybusiness objectives). Further, these relationships were fully explained by the extent to whichthe participants perceived the organization as (in)authentic, supporting the hypothesizedmoderated mediation. In Studies 4 and 5, an intervention was developed based on previousresearch involving hypocrisy and two-sided messaging. When either a university (Study 4) or a company (Study 5) included an “honest hypocrite” message acknowledging that they were not yet as diverse as they would like, it negated the negative effects of an espoused values /realized practice mismatch. Finally, Study 6 surveyed professionals in the United States and United Kingdom and found support for a serial mediation where the positive relationship between an organization’s espoused — practiced discrepancy and employee turnover intentions was explained by perceived organizational authenticity and affective commitment /organizational identification in parallel. The discussion focuses on the contribution these six studies make to our understanding of the differential effectiveness of diversity management approaches.
Date of Award2020
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorRichard Crisp (Supervisor) & Yves Guillaume (Supervisor)


  • diversity management
  • oranizational authenticity
  • commitment diversity climate
  • organizational identification

Cite this