The Organizational Demography of Racial Employment Segregation
This article examines how workers respond to changes in the racial composition of their workplaces. An analysis of the job histories of new hires into multiple workgroups within a single firm reveals path dependence in the effects of group composition on turnover. Exit rates are inversely related to the level of same-race representation at the time of organizational entry, and increase when workers experience declines in representation. However, turnover rates do not decline in response to increases in representation. The challenge of workplace racial integration therefore lies not simply in eliminating discrimination in hiring, but also in managing the post-hire dynamics of changes in group composition. Implications of the asymmetric effects of compositional change for the literature on organizational demography are also discussed.
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