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Effect of diversity on turnover: A large case study

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  • Jonathan S. Leonard
  • David I. Levine

Abstract

Using longitudinal data collected in 1996-98 from over 800 similar workplaces owned and operated by a single corporation, the authors examine how workplace diversity and employee isolation along the dimensions of gender, race, and age affected employee turnover. Their design controls for much of the variation in job characteristics and labor markets that have confounded other studies of diversity. They use the non-linearity of diversity to distinguish its effect from the main effects of demographic groups and from isolation (being in a numerical minority). The study examines how diversity and isolation by race (white, black, Hispanic, Asian), sex, and age affected different groups. The authors find no consistent evidence that diversity itself increased turnover. In contrast, isolation from coworkers and from customers was often associated with higher turnover. (Free full-text download available at http://digitalcommons.ilr.cornell.edu/ilrreview/.)

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Bibliographic Info

Article provided by ILR Review, Cornell University, ILR School in its journal ILR Review.

Volume (Year): 59 (2006)
Issue (Month): 4 (July)
Pages: 547-572

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Handle: RePEc:ilr:articl:v:59:y:2006:i:4:p:547-572

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Cited by:
  1. Fidan Ana Kurtulus, 2011. "What Types of Diversity Benefit Workers? Empirical Evidence on the Effects of Co-Worker Dissimilarity on the Performance of Employees," UMASS Amherst Economics Working Papers 2011-11, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Department of Economics.
  2. Haile, Getinet Astatike, 2012. "Unhappy working with men? Workplace gender diversity and job-related well-being in Britain," Labour Economics, Elsevier, vol. 19(3), pages 329-350.
  3. Leonard, Jonathan S. & Levine, David I., 2003. "Diversity, discrimination, and performance," Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series qt19d1c3n3, Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley.
  4. Mas, Alexandre & Moretti, Enrico, 2006. "Peers at Work," CEPR Discussion Papers 5870, C.E.P.R. Discussion Papers.
  5. Haile, Getinet Astatike, 2012. "Union Decline in Britain: Is Chauvinism Also to Blame?," IZA Discussion Papers 6536, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  6. Blau, David M. & Shvydko, Tetyana, 2007. "Labor Market Rigidities and the Employment Behavior of Older Workers," IZA Discussion Papers 2996, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  7. Haile, Getinet Astatike, 2013. "Are You Unhappy Having Minority Co-Workers?," IZA Discussion Papers 7423, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).

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