The Ins and Outs of Diversity Management: The Effect of Authenticity on Outsider Perceptions and Insider Behaviors


Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Alexis Nicole Smith, Department of Management, Spears School of Business, Oklahoma State University, 322 Business Building, Stillwater, OK 74078-4011. E-mail:


We extend prior work by disentangling the effects of 2 aspects of diversity management—numerical diversity and authenticity of efforts—that may contribute to people's perceptions and behavior. Using a 2 (Demographic Heterogeneity) × 2 (Projected Diversity Image) factorial design, Studies 1 and 2 revealed significant interactions suggesting that both demographic diversity and authentic attention to diversity management are necessary to create a reputation for genuine commitment to diversity that may protect organizations from perceptions of discrimination. The third study examined the effect of diversity management authenticity on insider employee interpersonal behaviors. Study 3 revealed that individuals enacted more interpersonal helping behaviors toward newcomers in more authentic organizations. Together, these studies examine authenticity from both inside and outside the company.