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Social Identity Patterns in Culturally Diverse Organizations: The Role of Diversity Climate


  • This research was supported by funding from A+O Fonds Rijk and The Netherlands' Ministry of the Interior and Kingdom Relations. The authors thank Hella van de Velde for her contributions in recruiting respondents and her insights in increasing the practical application of this research.

Joep Hofhuis, Institute for Integration and Social Efficacy, University of Groningen, Grote Kruisstraat 2/1, 9712 TS Groningen, The Netherlands. E-mail:


Many of the problems associated with cultural diversity in organizations stem from individuals' tendencies to categorize their social environment into “us” and “them.” We present the results of a field study (N = 1111) showing that diversity climate—an organizational climate characterized by openness toward and appreciation of diversity—may be the key to reducing these problems. The results show that diversity climate is positively related to cultural identity for majority members, and to organizational identity for minority members. In organizations with a strong diversity climate, both majority and minority members identify with the organization and their cultural groups simultaneously, thus displaying a dual identity. Diversity climate is positively related to job-related outcomes for both groups, but particularly for minority members.