Culture and Diversity at Work

Course description Culture and Diversity at Work
Year: 2017-2018
Catalog number: 6463PS031
  • Dr. N.J. van Doesum
Language: English
Blackboard: Yes
EC: 5.0
Level: 300
Period: Semester 2, Block III
Hours of study: 20:00 hrs
  • Yes Elective choice
  • No Contractonderwijs
  • Yes Exchange
  • Yes Study Abroad
  • No Evening course
  • No A la Carte
  • No Honours Class

Entry requirements

Only open to second year students that completed at least a Social and Organisational Psychology course or a similar course. For admission requirements, please contact the study advisor.


This course provides insight in the social psychological processes related to culture and diversity that are at play in the field of work and organisations. Globalisation and diversification have a continuously growing impact on work outcomes, mobility, and wellbeing. Increasing numbers of ethnic minorities are entering the labour force, and women are moving into traditionally male-dominated fields and higher managerial positions. This diversity is only expected to grow as such processes continue.

In the lectures and readings of the course we examine both classic and current theories and research on the impact of diversity on group processes, motivation and performance. We specifically pay attention to the challenges of a diverse labour force in recruitment and selection, evaluation, leadership, and decision-making. We also discuss how stereotypes and prejudice can influence personnel decisions and career development; how group composition affects teamwork, and how motivation is impacted by group processes.

Course objectives

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to:
- Recognize and describe the key concepts and theories that are presented in the course;
- Explain how these relate to each other; and
- Apply these concepts and theories to practical issues that are relevant to culture and diversity at work.


For the timetables of your lectures, workgroups, and exams, select your study programme.
Psychology timetables




Students need to register for lectures, workgroups and exams.
Instructions for registration in courses for the 2nd and 3rd year


Elective students have to enroll for each course separately. For admission requirements contact your study advisor.

Exchange/Study abroad

For admission requirements, please contact your exchange coordinator.


Students are not automatically enrolled for an examination. They can register via uSis from 100 to 10 calendar days before the date; students who are not registered will not be permitted to take the examination.
Registering for exams

Mode of instruction

8 2-hour lectures

Assessment method

Students will be examined on their knowledge and understanding of the material and their ability to apply the knowledge they have acquired in a final exam comprising multiple choice (70% of the grade) and open questions (30% of the grade). The students will be examined on the information presented in the lectures.

Regulation on grade calculation.

The Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences has instituted that instructors use a software programme for the systematic detection of plagiarism in students’ written work. In case of fraud disciplinary actions will be taken. Please see the information concerning fraud.

Reading list

Reading consists of articles and chapters made available via Blackboard. Typical examples are provided below — changes and additional readings will be announced on Blackboard:

Berry, J. W. (1997). Individual and group relations in plural societies. In C. S. Granrose & S. Oskamp (Eds.), Cross-cultural work groups: Claremont symposium on applied social psychology (pp. 17-33). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Brewer, M. B. (1995). Managing diversity: The role of social identities. In S.E. Jackson & M. N. Ruderman (Eds.), Diversity in work teams: Research paradigms for a changing workplace (pp. 47-68). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association.
Dovidio, J. F., Gaertner, S. L., & Bachman, B. A. (2001). Racial bias in organizations: The role of group processes in its causes and cures. In M. E. Turner (Ed.), Groups at work: Theory and research (pp. 415-439). Mahwah, NJ: Erlbaum.
Eagly, A. H., & Karau, S. J. (2002). Role congruity theory of prejudice toward female leaders. Psychological Review, 109, 573-598.
Eccles, J. (2009). Who am I and what am I going to do with my life? Personal and collective identities as motivators of action. Educational Psychologist, 44, 78-89.
Ellemers, N. (2014). Women at work: How organizational features impact career development. Policy Insights from Behavioral and Brain Sciences, 1, 46-54.
Ely, R. J., & Thomas, D. A. (2007). Cultural diversity at work: The effects of diversity perspectives on work group processes and outcomes. In A. S. Wharton (Ed.), The sociology of organizations: An anthology of contemporary theory and research (pp. 290-315). Oxford, UK: Oxford University Press.
Galinsky, A. D., Todd, A. R., Homan, A. C., Phillips, K. W., Apfelbaum, E. P., Sasaki, S. J., Richeson, J. A., Olayon, J. B., & Maddux, W. W. (2015). Maximizing the gains and minimizing the pains of diversity: A policy perspective. Perspectives on Psychological Science, 10, 742-748.
Glick, P., & Fiske, S. T. (2007). Sex discrimination: The psychological approach. In F. J. Crosby, M. S. Stockdale & S. A. Ropp (Eds.), Sex discrimination in the workplace: Multidisciplinary perspectives (pp. 155-187). Malden, MA: Blackwell.
Homan, A. C., Van Knippenberg, D., Van Kleef, G. A., & De Dreu, C. K. (2007). Bridging faultlines by valuing diversity: diversity beliefs, information elaboration, and performance in diverse work groups. Journal of Applied Psychology, 92(5), 1189–1199. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.92.5.1189
Kanter, R. M. (1976). The impact of hierarchical structures on the work behavior of women and men. Social Problems, 23, 415-427.
Kulik, C. T., & Roberson, L. (2008). Diversity initiative effectiveness: What organizations can (and cannot) expect from diversity recruitment, diversity training, and formal mentoring programs. In A. P. Brief (Ed.), Diversity at work (pp. 265-317): Cambridge University Press.
Moss-Racusin, C. A., Van der Toorn, J., Dovidio, J. F., Brescoll, V. F., Graham, M. J., & Handelsman, J. (2014). Scientific diversity interventions. Science, 343, 615-616.
O'Brien, L. T., Major, B. N., & Gilbert, P. N. (2012). Gender differences in entitlement: The role of system-justifying beliefs. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 34, 136-145.
Ryan, M. K., & Haslam, S. A. (2007). The glass cliff: Exploring the dynamics surrounding the appointment of women to precarious leadership positions. Academy of Management Review, 32, 549-572.
Schmitt, M. T., Ellemers, N., & Branscombe, N. R. (2003). Perceiving and responding to gender discrimination in organizations. In S. A. Haslam & D. Van Knippenberg & M. J. Platow & N. Ellemers (Eds.), Social identity at work: Developing theory for organizational practice (pp. 277-292). New York: Psychology Press.
Stephan, W. G., & Stephan, C. W. (2001). Diversity initiatives in the workplace. In W. G. Stephan & C. W. Stephan (Eds.), Improving intergroup relations (pp. 75-101). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.
Van den Brink, M. (2011). Scouting for talent: Appointment practices of women professors in academic medicine. Social Science & Medicine, 72, 2033-2040.
Van Knippenberg, D., De Dreu, C. K., & Homan, A. C. (2004). Work group diversity and group performance: an integrative model and research agenda. Journal of AppliedPpsychology, 89, 1008–1022. doi:10.1037/0021-9010.89.6.1008
White, J. B. (2008). Fail or flourish? Cognitive appraisal moderates the effect of solo status on performance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34, 1171-1184.
Wright, S.C. (2001). Restricted intergroup boundaries: Tokenism, ambiguity, and the tolerance of injustice. In J. T. Jost & B. Major (Eds.), The psychology of legitimacy: Emerging perspectives on ideology, justice, and intergroup relations (pp. 223-250). New York, NY: Cambridge University Press.

Contact information

Dr. Niels van Doesum