Stereotype Threat in Organizations

Laura J. Kray and Aiwa Shirako

in Stereotype Threat

Published in print December 2011 | ISBN: 9780199732449
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199918508 | DOI:
Stereotype Threat in Organizations

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This chapter explores stereotype threat in organizational contexts. Building on the understanding that stereotype threat involves concerns about confirming a negative stereotype about one’s group, we begin by elucidating the scope of potential stereotype threat effects in organizations. We first examine the ubiquity of evaluations in organizations, which are at the heart of stereotype threat. Next, we specify the potential psychological consequences of stereotype threat on targeted individuals within organizations, including weakening domain identification and engagement, reducing aspirations, increasing self-handicapping, and reducing openness to feedback. In the next section, we focus on specific performance consequences of stereotype threat in four domains: leadership, negotiations, entrepreneurship, and competitiveness. We follow by identifying the likely triggers of stereotype threat within organizations, including task difficulty, organizational structure, minority representation, and organizational culture. Finally, we identify three categories of strategies that organizations can implement to reduce stereotype threat: stereotype management, which includes acknowledging stereotypes, emphasizing positive stereotypes, and de-emphasizing negative stereotypes; hiring and training, which includes increasing minority representation and job training; and organizational culture, including both fostering identity safety and valuing effort.

Keywords: stereotype threat; business; management; leadership; negotiations; workplace

Chapter.  6479 words. 

Subjects: Social Psychology

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