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Measuring employee perception on the effects of cultural diversity at work: development of the Benefits and Threats of Diversity Scale


  • Joep Hofhuis


  • Karen Zee


  • Sabine Otten



This paper describes the development and validation of the Benefits and Threats of Diversity Scale (BTDS), an instrument which measures how employees perceive the effects of cultural diversity in the workplace. By analyzing employees’ perceptions, organizations may be able to communicate more effectively about diversity, and reduce potential diversity resistance by targeting those employees who feel most threatened by the process of diversification. First, a conceptual framework is established regarding possible positive and negative perceptions regarding cultural diversity in the workplace, based on both existing literature and qualitative data gathered in interviews. The final structure of the BTDS includes five subdimensions of benefits, and four subdimensions of threats. The internal structure, reliability and construct validity of the BTDS are established using quantitative data gathered in existing organizations. Our results also show that the respective dimensions of benefits and threats are mostly independent. This implies that individuals who perceive many benefits of diversity do not perceive less threats, or vice versa. This, in turn, suggests that individuals are not either pro or con diversity, as is often assumed in existing literature, but instead may possess a more nuanced view. Copyright Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2015

Suggested Citation

  • Joep Hofhuis & Karen Zee & Sabine Otten, 2015. "Measuring employee perception on the effects of cultural diversity at work: development of the Benefits and Threats of Diversity Scale," Quality & Quantity: International Journal of Methodology, Springer, vol. 49(1), pages 177-201, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:spr:qualqt:v:49:y:2015:i:1:p:177-201
    DOI: 10.1007/s11135-013-9981-7

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Ron Bird & Anthony D. Hall & Francesco Momentè & Francesco Reggiani, 2007. "What Corporate Social Responsibility Activities are Valued by the Market?," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 76(2), pages 189-206, December.
    2. Stephen Bear & Noushi Rahman & Corinne Post, 2010. "The Impact of Board Diversity and Gender Composition on Corporate Social Responsibility and Firm Reputation," Journal of Business Ethics, Springer, vol. 97(2), pages 207-221, December.
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