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Is Stereotype Threat a Useful Construct for Organizational Psychology Research and Practice?

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  07 January 2015

Elise K. Kalokerinos
Affiliation:
The University of Queensland
Courtney von Hippel*
Affiliation:
The University of Queensland
Hannes Zacher
Affiliation:
The University of Queensland
*
E-mail: c.vonhippel@uq.edu.au, Address: School of Psychology, The University of Queensland, Brisbane, Queensland 4072, Australia

Abstract

Stereotypes about different groups persist in organizations. Employees from such groups may experience stereotype threat, or the concern that they are being judged on the basis of demeaning stereotypes about groups to which they belong. The goal of this focal article is to discuss whether stereotype threat is a useful construct for organizational psychology research and practice. To this end, we focus on consequences other than acute performance deficits in laboratory settings. In particular, we examine studies that highlight the effects of stereotype threat on intrapersonal outcomes (e.g., job attitudes), interpersonal outcomes (e.g., negotiation), and on the relationship between employees and their organization. The research reviewed suggests that stereotype threat is a potentially important phenomenon in organizations, but it also highlights the paucity of research in an organizational context. We provide suggestions for future research directions as well as for the prevention and amelioration of stereotype threat in the workplace.

Type
Focal Article
Copyright
Copyright © Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology 2014

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