Get access

Diversity in Organizations and Cross-Cultural Work Psychology: What If They Were More Connected?


  • This article was written in full collaboration; authorship is listed in alphabetical order. We would like to thank the co-chairs and other panelists (Maritza Salazar, Chris W. Coultas, Rebecca Grossman, Jennifer Feitosa, Georgia Chao, Susan Jackson, and Kizzy Parks), as well as the audience, at “Culture and Diversity: Current and Future Theoretical and Practical Approaches,” a panel discussion held at the SIOP 2011 conference, for the inspiration leading to this article. We are also grateful for the insightful comments provided by Maritza Salazar and three anonymous reviewers, which helped us improve the article. Lilach Sagiv's work on this article was supported by a grant from the Recanati Fund of the School of Business Administration at the Hebrew University.

Bernardo M. Ferdman.
Address: California School of Professional Psychology, Alliant International University, 10455 Pomerado Rd., San Diego, CA 92130 USA

Lilach Sagiv.
Address: School of Business Administration, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Mount Scopus, Jerusalem 91905 Israel


In this article, we discuss how the fields of diversity in organizations and cross-cultural work psychology can benefit from greater attention to and integration with each other as well as more clarity regarding the distinctions between them. We first present—each in our own voice and from our individual perspective—past and current issues in the two respective areas. We then jointly identify and discuss key areas of commonality and difference between diversity and cross-cultural work psychology in theory, research, and practice. Subsequently, we point to ways the two fields might learn and benefit from each other's approaches and perspectives. We consider issues such as the interplay between culture and diversity, the dual impact of individuals on groups and vice versa, and the role of identity as an organizing principle in group diversity. Overall, this article provides illustrative examples of the benefits of more exchange and dialogue between the fields.