Role of Informal Integration in Career Advancement: Investigations in Plural and Multicultural Organizations and Implications for Diversity Valuation1

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Abstract

The major question which this research examined is whether informal integration is likely to result in career advancement and perceived resources within two different organizational contexts (plural and multicultural). Specifically, we examined interactions of race, gender, and organization type on the above two outcome variables. In plural organizations, employees are expected to assimilate into the dominant culture, while in multicultural organizations, cultural change for the individual and the organization is reciprocal. Hypotheses were tested with a combined sample of 101 men, 35 women, 29 persons of color, and 107 whites. Results indicated that, congruent with predictions, greater social integration occurred in an organizational context in which valuing differences was a priority. Further, the influence of informal integration on career advancement was still important even after controlling for such variables as age, organizational tenure, education, and hierarchical level within the organization. Implications of these findings for valuing diversity are discussed.

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