Dissertations, Theses and Capstone Projects

Date of Award

11-2014

Degree Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)

Department

Management

First Advisor

Dr. K. Praveen Parboteeah

Second Advisor

Dr. Neal Mero

Third Advisor

Dr. Torsten Pieper

Abstract

Little is known about the relationship between workplace diversity and corporate ethics even though these two initiatives share similar ethical roots (Alder & Gilbert, 2006), and are quite popular in corporate America (Kochan, Bezrukova, Ely, Jackson, Joshi, Jehn, Leonard, Levine, & Thomas, 2003; Murphy, 2001). This study seeks to contribute to knowledge in these two areas by assessing whether diversity’s contributions to firm performance are maximized through its effects on the firm’s ethical processes. Using data that were collected on a sample of Fortune 500 firms, this study tested several hypotheses with predictor variables that represent two manifestations of diversity in corporate America: diversity management and the diversity of the boards of directors. Mediated hierarchical regression results from this study show that some aspects of a firm’s ethical practices help explain the relationship between diversity management and firm performance. In addition, I find a positive relationship between board of directors’ racial diversity and diversity management, which reinforces the importance of board of directors’ composition in directing strategic initiatives. The study also provides support for the social cognitive theory’s premise that prior experiences affect the learning and modeling of new norms (Bandura, 1969; 1998).