Stereotype Threat at Work

Roberson, Loriann; Kulik, Carol T.
May 2007
Academy of Management Perspectives;May2007, Vol. 21 Issue 2, p24
Academic Journal
Managing diversity in organizations requires creating an environment where all employees can succeed. This paper explains how understanding "stereotype threat"--the fear of being judged according to a negative stereotype--can help managers create positive environments for diverse employees. While stereotype threat has received a great deal of academic research attention, the issue is usually framed in the organizational literature as a problem affecting performance on tests used for admission and selection decisions. Further, articles discussing stereotype threat usually report the results of experimental studies and are targeted to an academic audience. We summarize 12 years of research findings on stereotype threat, address its commonplace occurrence in the workplace, and consider how interventions effective in laboratory settings for reducing stereotype threat might be implemented by managers in organizational contexts. We end the paper with a discussion of how attention to stereotype threat can improve the management of diversity in organizations.


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