Four large organizations, two each from the private and public sectors of the NorthernIreland economy, were selected for this study which, first, explored the effects of religion-based workforce difference on intergroup relationships, second, investigated thecontribution of organizational sector to communicative differences, and third, gaugedthe effects of group-based negativity on the flow and distribution of functionalinformation within the organization. Little evidence of intergroup conflict was foundalthough employees expressed a desire for greater quantity and quality of outgroupcontact. Significant differences between the private and public bodies emerged in thisrespect. Contrasts were consistent with general organizational differences typifying thesectors. Findings are discussed in relation to diversity management and the characteristicsof organizational sectors.
Bibliographical noteReference text: Allport, G. W. (1954). The nature of prejudice. Reading, MA: Addison-Wesley.
Andrews, R., Boyne, G. A., Meier, K. J., O’Toole, L. J., & Walker, R. M. (2005). Representative bureaucracy, organizational strategy, and public service performance: An empirical analysis of English local government. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 15, 489-504.
Anastasio, P., Bachman, B., Gaertner, S., & Dovidio, J. (1997). Categorization, recategorization, and common group identity. In R. Sears, P. J. Oakes, N. Ellemers, & S. A. Haslam (Eds.), The social psychology of stereotyping and group life (pp. 236-256). Oxford, England: Blackwell Publishers.
Ashkanasy, N. M., Härtel, C. E., & Zerbe, W. J. (2000). Emotions in the workplace: Research, theory and practice. In N. M. Ashkanasy, C. E. Härtel, & W. J. Zerbe (Eds.), Emotions in the workplace: Research, theory and practice (pp. 3-18), Westport, CT: Quorum Books.
Ayoko, O., Härtel, C., Fisher, G., & Fujimoto, Y. (2004). Communication competence in cross-community business transactions. In D. Tourish & O. Hargie (Eds.), Key issues in organizational communication (pp. 157-171). London: Routledge.
Ball, C. (2006). HR leads Ford’s diversity drive. Personnel Today, Retrieved March 28, 2006, from http://www.personneltoday.com/Articles/2006/02/21/34005/HR+leads+Ford's+diversity+drive.htm
Barki, H., & Hartwick, J. (2004). Conceptualizing the construction of interpersonal conflict. International Journal of Conflict Management, 15, 216-244.
Berman, E. M., West, J. P., & Richter, M. N. (2002). Workplace relations: Friendship patterns and consequences (according to managers). Public Administration Review, 62, 217-230.
Boyne, G. A. (2002). Public and private management: What’s the difference? Journal of Management Studies, 39, 97-122.
Bozeman, B., & Rainey, H. G. (2000). Organizational rules and the ‘Bureaucratic Personality.’ American Journal of Political Science, 42, 163-89.
Brewer, J. (1992). Sectarianism and racism, and their parallels and differences. Ethnic and Racial Studies, 15, 352-364.
Brown, R. (2000). Group processes (2nd ed.). Oxford, England: Blackwell Publishers.
Brown, R., & Hewstone, M. (2005). An integrative theory of intergroup contact. Advances in Experimental Social Psychology, 37, 255-343.
Buchanan, D., & Huczynski, A. (2004). Organizational behaviour (5th ed.). Harlow, England: Prentice Hall.
Clampitt, P. (2000). The questionnaire approach. In O. Hargie & D. Tourish (Eds.), Handbook of communication audits for organizations (pp. 45-65). London: Routledge.
Clampitt, P. (2001). Communicating for managerial effectiveness (2nd ed.). London: Sage.
Clampitt, P., & Downs, C. (1993). Employee perceptions of the relationship between communication and productivity: A field study. Journal of Business Communication, 30, 5-28.
Craig, R. T. (1999). Communication theory as a field. Communication Theory, 9, 119-161.
Crisp, R. J., & Hewstone, M. (2000). Multiple categorization and social identity. In D. Capozza & R. Brown (Eds.), Social identity processes (pp. 141-158). London: Sage.
De Dreu, C. K., van Dierendonck, D., & Dijkstra, M. T. (2004). Conflict at work and individual well-being. International Journal of Conflict Management, 15, 6-26.
De Dreu, C. K., & Weingart, L. (2003). Task versus relationship conflict, team performance, and team member satisfaction: A meta-analysis. Journal of Applied Psychology, 88, 741-749.
De Dreu, C., West, M., Fischer, A., & MacCurtain, S. (2001). Origins and consequences of emotions in organizational teams. In R. L. Payne & C. L. Cooper (Eds.), Emotions at work: Theory, research and applications for management (pp. 199-218). Chichester, England: John Wiley & Sons Ltd.
Deetz, S. (2001). Conceptual foundations. In F. M. Jablin & L. L. Putnam (Eds.), The new handbook of organizational communication: Advances in theory, research, and methods (pp. 3-46). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Dovidio, J. K., & Gaertner, S L. (1991). Changes in the nature and expression of racial prejudice. In H. Knopke & J. Norrell (Eds.), Opening doors: An appraisal of race relations in contemporary America (pp. 210-241). Tuscaloosa: University of Alabama Press.
Downs, C. W., & Adrian, C. W. (2004). Assessing organizational communication: Strategic communication audits. New York: The Guilford Press.
Ellemers, N., Haslam, S. A., Platow, M. J., & van Knippenberg, D. (2003). Social identity at work: Developments, debates, directions. In S. A. Haslam, D. van Knippenberg, M. Platow, & J. Ellemers (Eds.), Social identity at work: Developing theory of organizational practice (pp. 3-26). New York: Psychology Press.
Eyben, K., Morrow, D., & Wilson, D. (2002). The equality, diversity and interdependence framework: A framework for organizational learning and change. Coleraine, Northern Ireland: The University of Ulster.
Fox, A. (1973). Industrial relations: A social critique of pluralist ideology. In J. Child (Ed.), Man and organization (pp. 185-233). London: Allen & Unwin.
Gaertner, S. L., Dovidio, J. F., Anastasio, P. A., Bachman, B. A., & Rust, M. C. (1993). The common ingroup identity model: Recategorization and the reduction of intergroup bias. In W. Stroebe & M. Hewstone (Eds.), European review of social psychology (pp. 1-26). Chichester, England: Wiley.
Gallagher, T. (2004). Education and equality in Northern Ireland. In O. Hargie & D. Dickson (Eds.), Researching the troubles: Social science perspectives on the Northern Ireland conflict (pp. 59-83). Edinburgh, Scotland: Mainstream Press.
Goldhaber, G. M., & Rogers, D. P. (1979). The ICA communication audit: Process, status, and critique. Journal of Business Communication, 15, 41-64.
Grandey, A. A., & Brauburger, A. L. (2002). The emotion regulation behind the customer service smile. In R. G. Lord, R. J. Klimoski, & R. Kanfer (Eds.), Emotions in the workplace (pp. 260-294). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Guy, M. E. (1992). Productive work environments. In M. Holzer (Ed.), The public productivity handbook (pp. 321-33). New York: Marcel Dekker.
Hansen, G. (1986). Determinants of firm performance: An integration of economic and organizational factors. (Doctoral dissertation, University of Michigan) Dissertation Abstracts International, 48, 434.
Hargie, O., & Tourish, D. (Eds.) (2000). Handbook of communication audits for organizations. London: Routledge.
Harlos, K. P., & Pinder, C. C. (2000). Emotion and injustice in the workplace. In S. Fineman (Ed.), Emotion in organizations (pp. 255-276). London: Sage.
Härtel, C., Kibby, L., & Pizer, M. (2004). Intelligent emotions management. In D. Tourish & O. Hargie (Ed.), Key issues in organizational communication (pp. 130-143). London: Routledge.
Harwood, J., Giles, H., & Palomares, N. A. (2005). Intergroup theory and communication processes. In J. Harwood & H. Giles (Eds.), Intergroup communication: Multiple perspectives (pp. 1-17). New York: Peter Lang.
Hays-Thomas, R. (2004). Why now? The contemporary focus on management diversity. In M. S. Stockdale & F. J. Crosby (Eds.), The psychology and management of workplace diversity (pp. 3-30). Oxford, England: Blackwell Publishing.
Hebl, M. R., Foster, J. B., Mannix, L. M., & Dovidio, J. F. (2002). Formal and interpersonal discrimination: A field study of bias towards homosexual applicants. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 28, 815-825.
Hewstone, M. (2003). Intergroup contact: Panacea for prejudice? The Psychologist, 16, 352-355.
Hogg, M. A., & Terry, D. J. (2001). Social identity theory and organizational processes. In M. Hogg & D. J. Terry (Eds.), Social identity processes in organizational contexts (pp. 1-12). Philadelphia: Psychology Press.
Hoggett, P. (2006). Conflict, ambivalence, and the contested purpose of public organizations. Human Relations, 59, 175-194.
Holvino, E., Ferdman, B. M., & Merrill-Sands, D. (2004). Creating and sustaining diversity and inclusion in organizations: Strategies and approaches. In M. S. Stockdale & F. J. Crosby (Eds.), The psychology and management of workplace diversity (pp. 245-276). Oxford, England: Blackwell Publishing.
Jarman, N. (2004). From war to peace? Changing patterns of violence in Northern Ireland, 1990-2003, Terrorism and Political Violence, 16, 420-438.
Jehn, K. A. (1995). A multimethod examination of the benefits and determinants of intra-group conflict. Administrative Science Quarterly, 42, 538-584.
Kanter, R. (1988). Three tiers for innovation research. Communication Research, 15, 509-523.
Karl, K. A., & Sutton, C. L. (1998). Job values in today’s workforce: A comparison of public and private sector employees. Public Personnel Management, 27, 515-527.
Kenworthy, J. B., Turner, R. N., Hewstone, M., & Voci, A. (2005). Intergroup contact: When does it work and why? In J. F. Dovidio, P. Glick, & L. A. Rudman (Eds.), On the nature of prejudice: Fifty years after Allport (pp. 278-292). Oxford, England: Blackwell Publishing.
Keltner, D., & Kring, A. M. (1998). Emotion, social function, and psychopathology. Review of General Psychology, 2, 320-342.
Kidder, D. L., Lankau, M. J., Chrobot-Mason, D., Mollica, K. A., & Freidman, R. A. (2004). Blacklash towards diversity initiatives: Examining the impact of diversity program justification, personal and group outcomes. The International Journal of Conflict Management, 15, 77-102.
Kim, S. (2002). Participative management and job satisfaction: Lessons for management leadership. Public Administration Review, 62, 231-241.
Kirk, R. (1982). Experimental design: Procedures for the behavioral sciences (3rd ed.). Pacific Grove, CA: Brooks/Cole.
Knippenberg, D., & Ellemers, N. (2003). Social identity and group performance: Identification as the key to group-oriented effort. In S. A. Haslam, D. van Knippenberg, M. Platow, & J. Ellemers (Eds.), Social identity at work: Developing theory of organizational practice (pp. 29-42). New York: Psychology Press.
Kossek, E. E., Lobel, S. A., & Brown, J. (2006). Human resource strategies to manage workforce diversity: Examining the ‘business case.’ In A. M. Konrad, P. Prasad, & J. K. Pringle (Eds.), Handbook of workplace diversity (pp. 53-74). London: Sage.
Kremer, J., & Schermbrucker, I. (2006). Difference and the psychology of conflict. The Psychologist, 19, 160-163.
Kundu, S. C. (2003). Workforce diversity status: A study of employees’ reactions. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 103, 215-226.
Kurke, L. E., & Aldrich, H. E. (1983). Mintzberg was right! A replication and extension of the nature of managerial work. Management Science, 29, 975-984.
Kurland, N. B., & Egan, T. D. (1999). Public v. private perceptions of formalization, outcomes, and justice. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 3, 437-458.
Larkey, I. K. (1996). The development and validation of the workforce diversity questionnaire: An instrument to assess interactions in diverse workgroups. Management Communication Quarterly, 9, 296-237.
Lazarus, R., & Cohen-Charash, Y. (2001). Discrete emotions in organizational life. In R. L. Payne & G. L. Cooper (Eds.), Emotions at work: Theory, research and applications for management (pp. 45-81). Chichester, England: John Wiley & Sons.
Lord, R., Klimoski, R., & Kanfer, R. (Eds.). (2002). Emotions in the workplace: Understanding the structure and role of emotions in organizational behavior. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
May, S., & Mumby, D. K. (Eds.). (2005). Engaging organizational communication theory & practice: Multiple perspectives. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
McAdam, R., & Reid, R. (2000). A comparison of public and private sector perceptions and use of knowledge management. Journal of European Industrial Training, 24, 317-329.
McLeod, P. L., Lobel, S. A., & Cox, T. H. (1996). Ethnic diversity and creativity in small groups. Small Group Research, 27, 248-264.
Meares, M., Oetzel, J. G., Torres, A., Derkacs, D., & Ginossar, T. (2004). Employee mistreatment and muted voices in the culturally diverse workplace. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 32, 4-27.
Meyer, J., & Allen, N. (1997). Commitment in the workplace. London: Sage.
Mills, C. E. (2002, July). In-house perceptions of an organization’s grapevine activity. Paper presented at the meeting of the Australian and New Zealand Communication Association, Bond University, Robina, Queensland, Australia.
Mumby, D. (1993). Critical organizational communication studies: The next 10 years. Communication Monographs, 60, 18-25.
Murtagh, B. (2004). Territoriality, research and policy making in Northern Ireland. In O. Hargie & D. Dickson (Eds.), Researching the troubles: Social science perspectives on the Northern Ireland conflict (pp. 209-225). Edinburgh, Scotland: Mainstream.
Niens, U., Cairns, E., & Hewstone, M. (2004). Contact and conflict in Northern Ireland. In O. Hargie & D. Dickson (Eds.), Researching the troubles: Social science perspectives on the Northern Ireland conflict (pp. 123-139). Edinburgh, Scotland: Mainstream Publishing.
Northern Ireland Act (1998) Retrieved March 22, 2007, from http://www.opsi.gov.uk/acts/acts1998/19980047.htm.
Nunnally, J. C. (1978). Psychometric theory (2nd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill.
Osborne, B., & Shuttleworth, I. (Eds.). (2004). Fair employment in Northern Ireland: A generation on. Belfast, Ireland: The Blackstaff Press.
Osborne, R. D. (2003). Progressing the equality agenda in Northern Ireland. Journal of Social Policy, 32, 339-360.
Pandey, S. K., & Garnett, J. L. (2006). Exploring public sector communication performance: Testing a model and drawing implications. Public Administration Review, 66, 37-52.
Paolini, S., Hewstone, M., Cairns, E., & Voci, A. (2004). Effects of direct and indirect cross-group friendships on judgements of Catholics and Protestants in Northern Ireland: The mediating role of an anxiety-reducing mechanism. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 30, 770-786.
Paulsen, N., Graham, P., Jones, E., Callan, V. J., & Gallois, C. (2005). Organizations as intergroup contexts: Communication, discourse, and identification. In J. Harwood & H. Giles (Eds.), Intergroup communication: Multiple perspectives (pp. 165-188). New York: Peter Lang.
Pelled, L. H., Eisenhardt, K. M., & Xin, K. R. (1999). Exploring the black box: An analysis of work group diversity, and performance. Administrative Science Quarterly, 44, 1-28.
Pettigrew, T. F. (1998). Intergroup contact theory. Annual Review of Psychology, 49, 65-85.
Pettigrew, T. F., & Tropp, L. R. (2000). Does intergroup contact reduce prejudice? Recent meta-analytic findings. In S. Oskamp (Ed.), Reducing prejudice and discrimination (pp. 93-114). Mahwah, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.
Pitts, D. W. (2005). Diversity, representation, and performance: Evidence about race and ethnicity in public organizations. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 15, 615-631.
Point, S., & Singh, V. (2003). Defining and dimensionalising diversity: Evidence from corporate websites across Europe. European Management Journal, 21, 750-761.
Poole, M., & Doherty, P. (1996). Ethnic residential segregation in Northern Ireland. Coleraine, Northern Ireland: Centre for the Study of Conflict, University of Ulster.
Pugh, D. S., Hickson, D. J., & Hinings, C. R. (1969). An empirical taxonomy of work organizations. Administrative Science Quarterly, 14, 115-126.
Rainey, H. G. (2003). Understanding and managing public organizations (3rd ed.). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Rainey, H. G., & Bozeman, B. (2000). Comparing public and private organizations: Empirical research and the power of a priori. Journal of Public Administration Research and Theory, 10, 447-469.
Rainey, H. G., Facer, R., & Bozeman, B. (1995, August-September). Repeated findings of sharp differences between public and private managers’ perceptions of personnel rules. Paper presented at the annual meeting of the American Political Science Association, Chicago.
Rainey, H. G., Pandey, S., & Bozeman, B. (1995). Public and private managers’ perceptions of red tape. Public Administration Review, 55, 567-574.
Rodwell, J. J., Kienzie, R., & Shadur, M. A. (1998). The relationship among work-related perceptions, employee attituders, and employee performance: The integral role of communication. Human Resource Management, 37, 277-293.
Roloff, M. E., & Soule, K. P. (2002). Interpersonal conflict: A review. In M. L. Knapp & J. A. Daly (Eds.), Handbook of interpersonal communication (3rd ed., pp. 475-528). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Rosenthal, H. E. S., & Crisp, R. J. (2006). Reducing stereotype threat by blurring intergroup boundaries. Personality and Social Psychology, 32, 501-511.
Ruben, B. D. (2005). Linking communication scholarship and professional practice in colleges and universities. Journal of Applied Communication Research, 33, 294-304.
Saunders, E., & Sugden, J. (1997). Sport and community relations in Northern Ireland. Managing Leisure, 2, 39-54.
Schneider, D. J. (2004). The psychology of stereotyping. New York: The Guilford Press.
Sheehan, M., & Tomlinson, M. (1998). Government policies and employers’ attitudes towards long-term unemployed people in Northern Ireland. Journal of Social Policy, 27, 447-470.
Shepherd, G. J., St. John, J., & Striphas, T. (2005). Communication as…: Perspectives on theory. Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Shirlow, P. (2003). ‘Who fears to speak’: Fear, mobility, and ethno-sectarianism in the two ‘Ardoynes.’ The Global Review of Ethnopolitics, 3, 76-91.
Sias, P. M., Krone, K. J., & Jablin, F. M. (2002). An ecological perspective on workplace relations. In M. L. Knapp & J. A. Daly (Eds.), Handbook of interpersonal communication (3rd ed., pp. 615-642). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Smith, A. (1999). Education and the peace process in Northern Ireland. Retrieved August 29, 2000, from CAIN on-line database at http://www.cain.ulst.ac.uk
Smyth, M., & Hamilton, J. (2004). The human costs of the troubles. In O. Hargie & D. Dickson (Eds.), Researching the troubles: Social science perspectives on the Northern Ireland conflict (pp. 15-36). Edinburgh, Scotland: Mainstream Press.
Snyder, R., & Morris, J. (1984). Organisational communication and performance, Journal of Applied Psychology, 69, 461-465.
Stockdale, M. S., & Cao, F. (2004). Looking back and heading forward. In M. S. Stockdale & F. J. Crosby (Eds.), The psychology and management of workplace diversity (pp. 299-316). Oxford, England: Blackwell Publishing.
Sutcliffe, K. M. (2001). Organizational environments and organizational information processing. In F. M. Jablin & L. L. Putman (Eds.), The new handbook of organizational communication: Advances in theory, research and methods. (pp. 197-230). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Tajfel, H. (Ed.). (1978). Differentiation between social groups: Studies in the social psychology of intergroup relations. London: Academic Press.
Tourish, D. (1997). Transforming internal corporate communications: The power of symbolic gesture and barriers to change. Corporate Communications, 2, 109-116.
Tourish, D., & Hargie, O. D. W. (1998). Communication between managers and staff in the NHS: Trends and prospects. British Journal of Management, 9, 53-71.
Tourish, D., & Hargie, O. (2000). Communication and organizational success. In O. Hargie & D. Tourish (Eds.), Handbook of communication audits for organizations (pp. 3-21). London: Routledge.
Tourish, D., & Hargie, O. (2004). The crisis of management and the role of organizational communication. In D. Tourish & O. Hargie (Eds.), Key issues in organizational communication (pp. 1-16). London: Routledge.
Turner, J. C. (1999). Some current issues in research on social identity and self-categorization theories. In N. Ellemers, R. Spears, & B. Doosje (Eds.), Social identity (pp. 6-34). Oxford, England: Blackwell Publishers.
Watzlawick, P., Beavin, J., & Jackson, D. (1967). Pragmatics of human communication. New York: W. W. Norton.
Weiss, H. M. (2002). Conceptual and empirical foundations for the study of affect at work. In R. Lord, R. Klimoski, & R. Kanfer (Eds.), Emotions in the workplace: Understanding the structure and role of emotions in organizational behavior (pp. 20-63). San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.
Willmott, B. (2001). NHS racism alive and well – so when will it be cured? Personnel Today, Retrieved March 28, 2006, from http://www.personneltoday.com/Articles
Winstead, B. A., Derlega, V. J., & Montgomery, C. (1995). The quality of friendships at work and satisfaction. Journal of Social Psychology, 12, 199-215.
Zeffane, R. (1994). Patterns of organizational commitment and perceived management style: A comparison of public and private sector employees. Human Relations, 47, 977-1010.
Zwijze-Koning, K. H., & de Jong, M. D. T. (2005). Auditing information structures in organizations: A review of data collection techniques for network analysis. Organizational Research Methods, 8, 429-453.
- Workplace Diversity
- Intergroup Relations
- Internal Communication