Date of Award

1-1-2011

Document Type

Campus Access Dissertation

Department

Moore School of Business

First Advisor

Elizabeth Ravlin

Abstract

Although there are conflicting empirical findings regarding whether race has a significant impact on individual outcomes in the 21st century workplace, African Americans are still less visible in top leadership positions than would be expected on the basis of population base rates (The Alliance for Board Diversity, 2005; Corporate Board Initiative, 2006; Fortune, 2006; McCoy, 2007; Thomas & Gabarro, 1999). One potential explanation for these equivocal results is that much of this research assumes that race has an equal impact within a given racial group. Little attention has been given within the management literature to intra-racial differences, which may influence how and to what extent racial stereotypes are activated. This dissertation examines the role of feature-based bias in promotion evaluations. Specifically, Afrocentric phenotype bias is explored to gain a better understand of how within-category, feature-based differences influence promotability evaluations. This dissertation utilizes self-categorization theory (SCT: Turner, 1985, 1987) and Heilman's (1983, 1995, 2001) lack of fit model to examine the consequences of Afrocentric phenotype bias within the employment context. Finally, the availability of cognitive resources is investigated as a potential moderator of the influence of Afrocentric phenotype bias on promotion-related rating.

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