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Worthwhile or worthless? A meta-analysis of diversity training effectiveness

Matamala, Alejandra, Sawhney, Ena, Drew, Erica, Thomas, Jeffrey ORCID: 0000-0002-5939-5559 and Viswesvaran, Chockalingam (2012) Worthwhile or worthless? A meta-analysis of diversity training effectiveness. In: Toombs, Leslie, (ed.) Proceedings of the 72nd Annual Meeting of the Academy of Management. Academy of Management Proceedings (1). Academy of Management, Briar Cliff Manor, NY.

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Identification Number: 10.5465/AMBPP.2012.15018abstract


As organizations invest an increasing amount of resources into diversity initiatives, it is important to determine which of these are most successful. A better understanding of training outcomes allows companies to reexamine their own needs and goals and reassess if diversity training is appropriate. The purpose of this study was to provide a comprehensive quantitative evaluation of diversity-related training effectiveness and the factors that influence its success by implementing meta-analytic techniques. Data were obtained by searching the extant literature to retrieve studies of diversity training effectiveness that employed between-subjects design within organizational settings (k = 20, N = 1,818). Overall, diversity training programs are moderately effective, and trainee reactions and performance results post-training tend to be high. The success of training programs was moderated by several factors including organizational policies, trainee characteristics and program characteristics. Understanding the factors that influence training success can help promote best practices regarding program design and implementation. This is the first meta-analysis to assess the effectiveness of diversity training using a comprehensive definition of both training content and outcome criteria. Previous meta-analyses focused specifically on cultural diversity and performance outcomes. Comprehensive summaries do exist, but are qualitative leaving them vulnerable to multiple biases and lack of generalizability. We address the long recognized need for a quantitative summary of the extant literature on diversity training effectiveness that provides consistent and useful information to practitioners.

Item Type: Book Section
Official URL:
Additional Information: © 2012 Academy of Management
Divisions: Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce
Date Deposited: 17 Jan 2020 13:54
Last Modified: 05 Oct 2021 23:05

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