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Abstract

Based on intergroup theory, this study examined relationships among group characteristics (racioethnicity, gender, and level), contextual organizational unit characteristics (gender and racioethnic heterogeneity, resource support for women and racioethnic minorities) and perceptions of diversity climate by faculty at a large university. Compared to white men, white women and racioethnic minorities placed greater value on employer efforts to promote diversity, and held more favorable attitudes about the qualifications of women and racioethnic minorities. The study found that group rather than contextual organizational unit characteristics were more strongly related to diversity climate. However, the organizational unit characteristic, gender heterogeneity, was significantly related to valuing diversity. The greater the ratio of women in a unit, regardless of the respondents' gender, racioethnicity or level, the more favorable diversity activities were viewed. In addition, units whose allocation of resources to racioethnic minorities were perceived as insufficient by respondents were more likely to have members who valued diversity and held favorable perceptions toward the qualifications of racioethnic minorities. Implications for organizations and future research are offered.