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Backlash

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Title:
Backlash white males' reaction to diversity training
Creator:
Haygood, Stacy
Place of Publication:
Denver, CO
Publisher:
University of Colorado Denver
Publication Date:
Language:
English
Physical Description:
51 leaves : ; 28 cm

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Subjects / Keywords:
Diversity in the workplace -- Study and teaching ( lcsh )
Men, White -- Attitudes ( lcsh )
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bibliography ( marcgt )
theses ( marcgt )
non-fiction ( marcgt )

Notes

Bibliography:
Includes bibliographical references (leaves 43-51).
Thesis:
Psychology
General Note:
Department of Psychology
Statement of Responsibility:
by Stacy Haygood.

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Source Institution:
|University of Colorado Denver
Holding Location:
|Auraria Library
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
Resource Identifier:
51782871 ( OCLC )
ocm51782871
Classification:
LD1190.L645 2002m .H39 ( lcc )

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Full Text
BACKLASH:
WHITE MALES REACTION TO DIVERSITY TRAINING
B.A., Southern Methodist University, 1997
M.A., University of Colorado at Denver, 2002
A thesis submitted to the
University of Colorado at Denver
in partial fulfillment
of the requirements for the degree of
Master of Arts
Psychology
2002
by
Stacy Haygood


This thesis for the Master of Arts
degree by
Stacy M. Haygood
has been approved
by
Donna Chrobot-Mason
Annette Towler
^IzBlOZ
Date


Haygood, Stacy M. (M.A., Psychology)
Backlash: White Male Reaction to Diversity Training
Thesis directed by Assistant Professor Donna Chrobot-Mason
ABSTRACT
White male backlash against diversity training has important consequences for
organizations. This study examined whether White male backlash toward diversity
training could be minimized when organizations do the following: 1) include White
males in their definition of diversity for a training program, 2) include a statement of
purpose for the training, and 3) include a diverse group of participants in the training
session. White racial identity was assessed as a moderator of the effects of diversity
training variations on white male backlash. Findings suggest that White male backlash
can be minimized when White males are included in an organizational definition of
diversity. Additionally, White males reported less backlash when they were in
heterogeneous training groups. Finally, White racial identity did not moderate the
effects of the independent measures on white male backlash. Future research and
implications for both researchers and organizations are discussed.
This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidates thesis. I recommend
its publication.
Signed
iii
Donna Chrobot-Mason


CONTENTS
Tables.......................................................vi
CHAPTER
1. INTRODUCTION..............................................1
White Male Inclusion.....................................6
Diversity and the White Male.........................6
Diversity Programs and the White Male................7
Diversity Training and the White Male................11
Purpose of Diversity Training...........................12
Offering an Inclusive Purpose for Diversity Training.12
Composition of Diversity Training.......................14
Heterogeneous Composition in Diversity Training.....15
Homogeneous Composition in Diversity Training.......17
Examining Within-Group Differences in White Male Reactions
to Diversity and Diversity Programs.....................18
White Males Differ in Their Support and Their Attitudes
Toward Diversity and Diversity Programs.............19
Helms White Racial Identity Development Model......22
IV


2. METHOD........................................... 27
Participants.......................................27
Independent Measures...............................28
Dependent Measures.................................29
Moderator..........................................30
3. RESULTS...........................................33
Backlash...........................................33
Helms White Racial Identity Attitude Scale........34
4. DISCUSSION........................................38
REFERENCES.................................................43
V


TABLES
Table
1.1 Means, Standard Deviations, Coefficients Alpha, and
Intercorrelations..........................................37
VI


CHAPTER 1
INTRODUCTION
Managing diversity will be one of the top agendas of organizational
leaders throughout the 21st century due to changes in workforce
demographics that include women, minorities, and other non-traditional
groups (Cox, 1991). Therefore, diversity consultants have begun to
challenge and advise organizations to become multicultural, a concept that
refers to the degree that an organization values cultural diversity and is
willing to utilize and encourage it (Cox, 1991, p. 34). Cox (1991)
recommends that organizations should transition from a traditional
organization to a multicultural organization because of benefits of a diverse
workforce. Cox suggests a diverse workforce increases organizational
effectiveness, lifts morale, encourages creativity and innovation, and
enhances productivity. Thus, in order to reap the benefits of a diverse
workforce, organizations have focused their attention on women and
minorities and implemented numerous diversity programs.
In the early 1990s, organizations began to focus more attention on
diversity programs that included recruiting, hiring, promoting, mentoring, and
training and programs that ensured that all employees received equal
l


opportunities in the workplace; however, possibly as a result of these
programs White male backlash emerged (Lynch, 1997, p. 13). Although
little empirical evidence exists in the diversity literature regarding White male
backlash, researchers do describe it and provide an explanation as to why it
occurs. Backlash is defined as the negative reactions, such as hostility,
anger, resentment, and fear, that surface when White males feel they have
been treated unfairly and have been excluded from diversity programs
(Devine, Plant, & Buswell, 2000; Heilman, McCullough, & Gilbert 1996;
Lynch, 1997; Martinez, 1996; Soni, 1999). Accordingly, researchers have
suggested a number of reasons why White male backlash occurs in
organizations.
The literature suggests why White male backlash to diversity
programs has emerged. First, White males feel left out because they
believe many organizations accommodate minorities and women more so
than they do men in recruiting, hiring, promoting, mentoring, and training
(Solomon, 1991). Second, Devine, Plant, and Buswell (2000) report that
resentment and negative reactions to diversity policies can occur when
nonprejudiced norms are imposed on White males (p. 197). In other
words, White males who are told not to be prejudice may feel that their
freedom is restricted; these feelings may fuel prejudiced attitudes and
increase backlash. Third, White male backlash has occurred because of
2


ineffective implementation of affirmative action and EEO programs.
Heilman, McCullough, and Gilbert (1996) discovered that preferential
selection, one system of affirmative action, provokes negative feelings,
attitudes, and behaviors for some White males. In fact, White males
exposed to policies that are explained in terms of preferential treatment and
reverse discrimination instead of policies that are framed in terms of
remedying past discrimination or increasing cultural diversity are shown to
increase backlash (Dovidio & Gaertner, 1996; Pratkanis & Turner, 1996).
Fourth, mentoring programs have also heightened White male backlash
because some organizations have forced the White male to take on a role
that he may resent (Whitaker, 1996). Lastly, diversity awareness training
has also fueled White male backlash because the focus of the training is
typically on issues of race and gender, and typifies the White male as the
oppressor of these minority groups (Hayles & Russell, 1997).
In addition to the five reasons discussed above, Mobley and Payne
(1992) provide other causes for White male backlash; these causes include
lack of jobs, increased competition for resources, and political correctness
as a threat to First Amendment Rights. If organizations use this research in
order to understand why White male backlash occurs, they may then be
able to minimize the consequences of backlash.
3


There may be many consequences of White male backlash on
organizations. Heilman, McCullough, and Gilbert (1996) found that
organizations may have less motivated White male employees due to
affirmative action-based preferential selection. They also found that males
may feel alienated and hostile because they perceive themselves as victims
of discrimination. Another problem for organizations that have implemented
affirmative action programs is increased intergroup conflict due to backlash
(Cox, 1991; Kossek & Zonia, 1993). A fourth problem for organizations is
that they are unable to manage diversity effectively because their White
male employees resist diversity programs (Society for Human Resource
Management, 1993). Finally, organizations must contend with the potential
for decreased job performance and increased turnover: White males may
feel less satisfied with their jobs and report lower levels of organizational
commitment because they perceive the organization as being unfair (Folger
& Konovsky, 1989; Greenberg, 1982; Konovsky & Cropanzano, 1991;
McFarlin & Sweeney, 1991; Schaubroeck, May, & Brown, 1994). Thus,
White male backlash could become costly for organizations that invest in
efforts to increase retention, job satisfaction, organizational commitment,
and employee motivation.
While organizations seek to understand the causes and
consequences of White male backlash, organizations must still continue to
4


investigate ways to minimize backlash. Although diversity training--a
program that is designed to change employees attitudes about diversity
and/or to develop skills needed to work with a diverse workforce (Noe,
1999, p. 358)~seems a logical way to reduce this backlash, the research
shows that training may also fuel backlash. For example, Silverstein (1995)
reported that some workplace diversity training sessions had managers
storm out of training saying things like, I didnt make slavery, or Its not
my fault" (p. 1). Thus, diversity training programs can create more tension in
organizations. Perhaps researchers need to consider the characteristics of
a successful diversity training program in order to minimize White male
backlash.
Organizations have been preparing for a diverse workforce by
implementing training programs with a focus on diversity (Chrobot-Mason &
Quinones, 2001). Even though the literature on backlash to diversity
training is limited, the literature does suggest that White male backlash to
diversity training does have important consequences. My study will examine
whether White male backlash toward diversity training can be minimized
when organizations do the following: 1) include White males in their
definition of diversity for a training program 2) include a statement of
purpose for the training, and 3) include a diverse group of participants. In
addition, I will use Helms White Racial Identity Attitude Scale (1990) to
5


examine if White male backlash decreases when a White male has a higher
White racial identity. In order to address the above, an examination of the
literature is necessary; thus, first, I will discuss diversity and the White male.
Second, I will present the literature supporting that organizations offer a
purpose for training. Third, I will review the two differing views regarding
trainee composition. Finally, I shall present the White Racial Identity
Development Theory in relation to White male backlash.
White Male Inclusion
Diversity and the White Male
Throughout the literature, the term diversity is used to explain how
individuals differ based on ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation,
physical disability, and religious affiliation. Based on the above definition,
most researchers agree that the term diversity, should be inclusive rather
than exclusive (Crosby & VanDeVeer, 2000; Ely, 1995; Hayles & Russell,
1997; Ipsaro, 1997; Lynch, 1997; Mobley & Payne, 1992; Whitaker, 1996).
Hayles and Russell (1997) have found that organizations that effectively
advance their diversity initiatives are those that emphasize a broad definition
of diversity, which should include all the ways people differ. However, some
organizations have used their definition of diversity to promote equality
primarily for minorities and women (Solomon, 1991). Thus, in the ways the
6


term diversity is typically defined and used, White males are not included
because they are the majority population. In fact, only one (US West) out of
seventy corporations surveyed included White males in its diversity
initiatives (Ipsaro, 1997). This statistic is surprising considering White males
still typically hold the positions of power in our corporations today (Tsui &
Gutek, 1999).
Due to the exclusion of White males from the definition of diversity,
two problems have emerged. First, some White males have negative
attitudes (backlash) toward their organizations diversity initiatives. Second,
White males feel resentment toward minority and female co-workers
because these co-workers perceive the White male as oppressors and not
part of diversity initiatives. Both of these problems have caused White
males to question their futures within organizations that claim to value
diversity (Ipsaro, 1997). Unless organizations begin to include White males
in the definition of diversity, White male backlash will continue to be a
problem for organizations. In order for organizations to profit from a diverse
culture, they must include all individuals, not just select groups in the
definition of diversity.
Diversity Programs and the White Male
Organizations have implemented diversity programs to promote a
7


diverse workforce; these programs are intended to reduce intergroup conflict
between all organizational members. Affirmative action, the most common
diversity program, is the umbrella of many diversity programs and tends to
set the standards for diversity initiatives in an organization (Whitaker, 1996).
The classical definition of affirmative action is "an organization going out of
its way to make sure there is no discrimination against people of color,
against White women, against people with disabilities, or against veterans
(Crosby & VanDeVeer, 2000, p. 3). However, Crosby and VanDeVeer
(2000) contend that affirmative action has taken on a new meaning:
unjustified set-asides or preferential treatment (p. 14-15). The problem
with this new definition is that it provides opportunities to all except the
White male and has resulted in a glass ceiling for the White male (Whitaker,
1996). Thus, what began as a goal to remove a barrier for females and
minorities in organizations has, thirty years later, become a perceived barrier
for White males in these same organizations (Silverstein, 1995).
As a result of these perceived barriers created by affirmative action,
organizations found that White males reacted negatively to the diversity
programs that included recruiting, hiring, and promoting of minorities and
women. Because White males were excluded from these programs,
backlash became one of the main restraining forces against affirmative
action and diversity programs (Cox, 1991; Norton & Fox, 1997). To help
8


reduce the conflict that affirmative action and diversity programs created,
organizations began implementing mentoring and training diversity
programs. Unfortunately, White males perceived mentoring and training as
another form of affirmative action and reacted against them as well (Gordon,
1992).
The literature offers further explanations as to why White males have
reacted negatively to diversity programs in general. First, White males resist
diversity programs because they have been excluded and continue to fear
exclusion (Carnevale & Stone, 1994). Second, they resent being targeted
as the "angry White male" (Lynch, 1997, p. 125). Third, they are concerned
that diversity programs will affect them negatively (Matheson, Warren,
Foster & Painter, 2001). Fourth, they fear that their freedom will be
restricted and are hostile about unfair distribution of rewards (Dovidio &
Gaertner, 1996). Fifth, they fear that they will be victims of reverse
discrimination (Whitaker, 1996). Thomas (1996) & Whitaker (1996) also
contend White males fear bringing up reverse discrimination because they
do not want to be seen as racists and oppressors. Perhaps, White male
backlash will be minimized if organizations include White males in diversity
programs.
White male exclusion from organizational recruiting, hiring,
promoting, and mentoring programs have been the basis of backlash.
9


Recruitment is one diversity initiative that has been modeled after affirmative
action policies and therefore has resulted in exclusion of the White male.
Many corporations have told White male recruiters that they prefer to hire
women in an effort to get females past the glass ceiling; therefore, pressure
on recruiters has created a backlash in men (Whitaker, 1996). Preferential
hiring, another affirmative action program, has also created a White male
backlash because many White male managers are told to hire a less
qualified candidate over a more qualified White male candidate, because
we are diversifying (Whitaker, 1996, p. 53).
At the same time, organizations have excluded White males from
promotions. One organization had a policy that any promotion in the
company had to be signed off by a vice president, if the candidate was
someone other than a woman or a minority (Solomon, 1991). Ipsaro (1997)
asserts that White males perceive minorities and women to be promoted at
a faster pace and attribute these promotions to minority quotas and
affirmative action. Lastly, some White males have been forced to take on
mentoring roles that they resent. White males often mentor a female or
minority to take their jobs or positions of higher stature (Whitaker, 1996).
Organizations need to recognize the importance of including White males in
diversity programs and expand the definition of diversity. If organizations
continue to exclude White males from diversity and diversity programs, the
10


males will continue to experience backlash against diversity in general and
organizational diversity programs.
Diversity Training and the White Male
Given the potential of negative consequences of White male
exclusion, I will investigate which factors minimize the impact of White male
backlash. Diversity training has become popular in organizations to reduce
intergroup conflict and to combat the negative reactions to affirmative action
programs and policies. There are two recognized diversity training
programs: awareness-based and skill-based (Hayles & Russell, 1997).
Awareness training is primarily cognitive and typically focuses on increasing
employees understanding of diversity, while skill-based training is primarily
behavioral and builds diversity interaction skills (Carenvale & Stone, 1994).
Although both types of training are recommended, the literature suggests
that diversity awareness training may heighten White male backlash.
Diversity awareness training has been shown to exclude White males
when the content focuses on specific demographic groups and blames them
for past inequities. Hayles and Russell (1997) identified an awareness-
based training program as one that focuses on issues of race and gender
that identifies the White male as the oppressor, which can leave the White
male with feelings of resentment and hostility. These two researchers
li


assert that this training creates an us versus them mentality and therefore
prevents White male trainees from contributing to diversity initiatives. For
example, one diversity awareness training session ridiculed White males
and resulted in an increased number of trainee complaints and law suits
(Myers, 1995). Negative outcomes of some diversity training programs
continue to be reported. Therefore, Hayles and Russell (1997) recommend
that an inclusive definition of diversity should be included in all diversity
training programs.
After an extensive review of the literature on diversity, diversity
programs, and diversity training, I contend that White male backlash occurs
because White males have been excluded from the above. I further
contend, White male backlash may be minimized if organizations include the
White male in the definition of diversity for a training program.
H1: White males who are included in an organizational definition of
diversity for training will exhibit less backlash than White males
who are not included.
Purpose of Diversity Training
Offering an Inclusive Purpose for Diversity Training
Organizational justice has been used to examine the outcomes of
workforce diversity programs. Organizational justice refers to the perceived
12


fairness of decision making in organizations (Folger & Cropanzano,1998).
Justice is offered by providing employees with choices and input into
decisions, by treating employees fairly and politely, and by providing
extensive explanations (Folger & Cropanzano, 1998). In Richard and
Kirbys (1997) diversity/organizational justice studies, they found that White
male participants rated a hiring decision as more fair when a political/legal or
problem-solving justification was used rather than no justification.
Furthermore, Belliveau (1996, p. 99) affirms that exposure of affirmative
action policies to all organizational members leads to greater endorsement
rather than a backlash against affirmative action.
Therefore, organizations might provide a justification for diversity
training in order to decrease backlash. One obvious form of justification is a
public statement of the purpose or need for the training. Thus, if a purpose is
stated for diversity training, organizations may expect to minimize White
male backlash. Similarly, offering an inclusive purpose (to improve problem-
solving by focusing on the role and contributions of all individuals, including
White males) may, additionally, minimize White male backlash.
H2: White males who are given an inclusive purpose for diversity
training will exhibit less backlash than White males who are
given no purpose.
13


Composition of Diversity Training
Diversity training has posed many difficulties for White males in
organizations. First, diversity training has elicited fear in White males
because males are concerned about being called racists, sexists, and
oppressors. Second, diversity training has often created feelings of
resentment and anger in White males because the males are often blamed
for past inequities; these discussions of inequities often arise in training
sessions that involve a group of trainees disclosing private information.
Third, some training has resulted in male hostility because males become
the victims of White male bashing when minorities and women share their
opinions about racism and sexism (Lynch, 1997, p. 109). Regardless of
these difficulties, diversity training may be necessary for organizations to
develop a work environment that values all employees in a diverse
workforce and allows everyone to contribute to his or her maximum potential
(Roosevelt, 1991). However, unless organizations minimize these negative
affects that diversity training has on the majority of their workforce
population, their White male employees may continue to have difficulties
and perceive training as unfair. Thus, examining the training literature is
valuable in order to explore perceptions of fairness.
According to the training effectiveness literature, perceptions of
fairness result from the ways in which trainees are assigned to training
14


situations. For instance, Baldwin, Magjuka, and Loher (1991) found that
trainees react more favorably to training that is voluntary, rather than
mandatory. Yet, these findings have yet to be generalized to diversity
training. Additionally, researchers have not thoroughly examined the effect
of composition of trainees in diversity training sessions. One body of
literature concludes that a diverse group of participants is more effective due
to the contact and interaction with a heterogeneous population. A second
body of literature suggests that homogeneous training groups are more
effective. Interestingly enough, Ipsaro (1997) contends that initially, diversity
training should include a homogeneous training group composed of White
males and that later, the training sessions should include a diverse group of
trainees. In my study, the composition of diversity training sessions (diverse
group vs. only White males) will be investigated to determine if White male
backlash is heightened or reduced given the composition of the trainees
enrolled in a training session.
Heterogeneous Composition in Diversity Training
Some White males believe that a diverse group of training
participants is fair for a diversity training session because all members are
included. The social psychology literature suggests that greater contact and
familiarity with members of a given social group reduces individuals
15


negative stereotypes and prejudices against the group (Allport, 1954).
Using this theory, many researchers began to explore contact and
interaction among organizational members in a diverse workforce. These
researchers found many positive outcomes, as outlined below.
Blaus (1977) research on groups suggested a positive relation
between increased heterogeneity and contact between groups with status
differences. Many researchers also report that a diverse group of
participants that interact will help all trainees explore not only their own
experience but others as well (Lindsay, 1994; Linnehan, Konrad, &
Greenhalgh, 2000). Additionally, some experts in the field of diversity
training recommend using identity models to increase awareness in
organizations. This type of training typically has encouraged demographic
groups in the organization to come together for training to sensitize all the
organizational members to one another (Ramsey, 1996, p. 231).
Hayles and Russell (1997) found that diverse teams tend to
outperform homogeneous teams, especially on complex tasks. Simons and
Abramms (1994) added that training is more successful when participant
heterogeneity is encouraged as much as possible in each session,
especially heterogeneity in terms of gender, race, and culture. Finally, Karp
and Sammour (2000) recommended that diversity training have as a diverse
group of participants as possible to minimize White male backlash and
16


maximize success. Overall, the above literature suggests diversity training
would be more successful with a composition of diverse trainees, rather than
a composition of White males.
Homogeneous Composition in Diversity Training
In contrast to heterogeneous training, researchers looked at the costs
and benefits of homogeneous training. They found that homogeneous
training can be perceived by some White males as unfair. For example, in
many instances organizations require managers to attend diversity training;
in many organizations these managers are typically White males and the
dominant group in the organization (Karp & Sammour, 2000). These White
males who are targeted for diversity training may exhibit backlash because
they perceive that organizations have unfairly singled them out. The males
perception is that the organization believes that these White males need
diversity training more than other organizational members (Lynch, 1997).
This perception may lead to backlash because the males view the training
as not particularly relevant to or necessary for them. Even though most
diversity training programs are designed to change the White male attitude
about other people, this training creates more problems and White male
backlash (Karp & Sammour, 2000).
17


At the same time, White males may benefit from diversity training with
trainees who have similar identities. Tsui & Gutek (1999) reported that there
is less conflict among homogeneous groups compared to diverse groups in
organizations. In fact, some diversity training programs in the beginning
phases convene homogeneous training groups (Ipsaro, 1997; Ramsey,
1996). This method of coordinating homogeneous training groups is
supported by Lindsays (1994) assertion that interaction among diverse
individuals is difficult because each person holds different information about
others enrolled in training. Based on these two differing views, I will
investigate whether White males exhibit less backlash in a diversity training
pilot study with a composition of a heterogeneous group of trainees.
H3: White males in an organizational diversity training pilot study
that is heterogeneous will exhibit less backlash than White
males enrolled in a diversity training pilot study that is
homogeneous.
Examining Within-Group Differences in White Male
Reactions to Diversity and Diversity Programs
The literature reviewed above suggests that White male backlash to
diversity training could be minimized if organizations include White males in
their diversity definition, state an inclusive purpose for the training, and vary
the composition of trainees to include all organizational members. Yet,
18


these theories only address a few variables when in fact many variables and
constraints explain why White males may or may not support diversity
programs. Below, I will investigate why White males may or may not support
diversity programs and why White males may vary in their attitudes toward
these programs. I will also discuss the evidence for an additional hypothesis,
using Helms White Racial Identity Attitude Scale (1990) that is based on a
broader understanding of the degree of White male support and attitudes
toward diversity and diversity programs.
White Males Differ in Their Support and Their Attitudes
Toward Diversity and Diversity Programs
Evidence suggests that White males differ in their support for
diversity and diversity programs. In his questionnaire to Whites regarding
their feelings about racial integration, Jackman (1996, p. 761) discovered
that sixteen percent of Whites endorsed segregation, thirty-five percent
favored integration, and forty-four percent chose something in between.
Wade & Brittan-Powell (2001) reported that White males with traditional
masculine ideologies were likely to hold negative attitudes about racial
diversity and womens equality; however, White males with nontraditional
masculine ideologies reported having positive attitudes about racial diversity
and womens equality. Also, Steele (1990) found that White males with
higher levels of education were more tolerant of diversity. These three
19


findings on White male attitudes toward diversity support the notion that
White males are more likely to support diversity or diversity programs when
they are more educated and have nontraditional masculine ideologies.
The literature also reveals that White males differ in their attitudes
about diversity programs that include affirmative action, mentoring, and
diversity training. First, Steeh and Krysan (1996) reported that White males
vary in their attitudes toward affirmative action. In fact, some White males
reported less negativity toward affirmative action programs when all
minorities are included in the program goals, rather than a single minority
group. Second, Dovidio and Gaertner (1996) found that some White males
who claim to be nonprejudiced and nondiscriminating oppose affirmative
action because their status in organizations is being threatened by blacks
and other minorities. Third, Kravitz and Klineberg (2000) asserted that
opposition to affirmative action is strongest among respondents who are
older, White, politically conservative, and have little personal experience
with employment discrimination. Furthermore, they found that White males
who are politically conservative and young expect negative outcomes from
affirmative action programs. Therefore, White male support for affirmative
action varies by age and political affiliation. Fourth, De Vries and Pettigrew
(1994) found that many White Dutch police offers opposed the
implementation of affirmative action. However, a year after the affirmative
20


action program was implemented, many of the White male officers wanted
minority partners because having a minority partner improved their ability to
handle situations involving persons of diverse backgrounds. Based on all of
these findings, White males clearly differ in their attitudes toward affirmative
action. Thus, organizations cannot assume that all White males will accept
diversity programs to the same extent.
Cross-gender mentoring programs also illicit differing attitudes among
White males. Ragins and Cotton (1993) report that cross-gender mentoring
programs are an issue for White males for many reasons. For instance,
some male mentors select men instead of women as proteges to avoid
jealous spouses, resentful co-workers, and office gossip. Also, some White
males resist mentoring women because they have been conditioned to
perceive women in a traditional rather than a professional role and therefore,
feel women should not be in the workplace at all (Ragins & Cotton, 1993).
Thus, some White males resist cross-gender mentoring relationships.
As with affirmative action and cross-gender mentoring, White males
also have differing attitudes about diversity training. Researchers found that
fifty-four percent of White men employed by a computer firm reported that
they thought they were losing stature as a result of diversity training (Murray,
1993). This study concludes that about half of the White males endorse
training, whereas the other half do not. Also, many White males fear
21


diversity training because they assume they will be called the oppressors of
minorities and women (Ipsaro, 1997). Because Ipsaro (2001) understood
these fears, he has begun to provide White males more recognition in
diversity training and help minorities and women understand the changes
that White males have been asked to make over the last fifty years. As a
result of Ipsaros (1997) expertise about White males, many organizations
around the world have begun to transition from rebuking the White male to
recognizing the importance of understanding the White male. Training with
this content and focus has caused organizations and White males to be
more comfortable and confident about the results of diversity training;
Helms White Racial Identity Development Model
The above literature recognizes that White males differ in their
attitudes and support for diversity and diversity programs; another
explanation for these differences is found in Helms (1990) White Racial
Identity Model. Helms (1990) White Racial Identity Theory is an identity
model that examines White differences in attitudes toward blacks. Thus,
Helms (1990) White Racial Identity Model is useful because it can help
organizations determine if White males with a high White racial identity will
experience less backlash toward a diversity training program. Organizations
22


can use this model to better understand why some White males may
support diversity training initiatives and why others may not.
White racial identity refers to an identity based on Whites
perceptions that they share, with other Whites, a common White racial
heritage (Helms, 1990, p. 3). The White Racial Identity Model is a
developmental process in which the White individual starts at a naive stage
with respect to race or racism and progresses to an informed stage in which
the individual attains a healthy White racial identity. This theory describes
and explains the stages in which identification with White culture influences
behavior in interracial situations.
Helms model of White racial identity is composed of six stages of
development that are broken down into a two-phase process of
development. The first phase, the abandonment of racism, includes
Contact, Disintegration, and Reintegration. Individuals in this phase are
likely to experience discomfort in interracial situations (Block, Roberson, &
Neuger 1995). The second phase, defining a nonracist White identity,
includes Pseudo-Independence, Immersion/Emersion, and finally Autonomy.
Individuals in this phase begin to develop a positive White identity and they
become more comfortable in interracial situations and interactions.
In stage 1, Contact, of the White Racial Identity Theory, Whites
become aware of the existence of blacks. Helms (1990) contends that the
23


more contact that Whites have with blacks, the more likely they will develop
an awareness and choose to interact with blacks. In stage 2, Disintegration,
White individuals acknowledge their Whiteness but are often conflicted with
what they have been taught to believe about blacks and do not realize that
they may be racists. In stage 3, Reintegration, Whites realize that they have
been portrayed as being superior to blacks; therefore, they make a choice
either to interact or not to interact with blacks.
In stage 4, Pseudo-Independence, Whites begin to internalize their
Whiteness and recognize that they have a responsibility to ameliorate
racism. Furthermore, they are curious about blacks and begin to develop an
intellectual understanding of blacks and black culture. In stage 5,
Immersion/Emersion, Whites have a positive White identity; as a result, they
are able to replace black stereotypes with accurate information, and they are
aware of what it means to be White. In stage 6, Autonomy, Whites have
developed a healthy White racial identity. Thus, they have a diverse world-
view, they value cultural similarities and differences, and they feel a kinship
with people regardless of race. They have achieved racial self-
actualization (Helms, 1990, p. 66).
Clearly, Helms (1990) model reveals that White males may vary in
their stage of racial identity development. A White male who does not
progress past stage 3 will have different attitudes and beliefs compared to
24


the White male who has progressed into stage 4. Helms (1990) asserted
that individuals with a high White racial identity are more likely to support
diversity programs than those with a low White racial identity. Thus,
researchers have utilized the White Racial Identity Model and investigated
White male attitudes and reactions to interracial situations at work. For
example, Block, et al. (1995) report that White males with a high racial
identity had more favorable reactions toward interracial situations at work.
They discovered that individuals characterized by high levels of stage 3,
Disintegration, and low levels of stage 6, Autonomy, are more likely to react
negatively toward interracial situations at work. Whites lower in their White
racial identity do not endorse principles of equality in the workplace and do
not perceive the existence of discrimination against blacks. In addition, they
do not support affirmative action policies or interventions, which has been
termed White male backlash (Block et al., 1995).
Based on the discussion above regarding White males support for
and attitudes toward diversity and diversity programs and Helms (1990)
White Racial Identity Theory, I will investigate if White males exhibit more
backlash if they have a lower White racial identity.
H4: White racial identity will moderate the effects of an
inclusive definition on white male backlash.
25


H4a: White racial identity will moderate the effects of a
given purpose for training on white male backlash.
H4b: White racial identity will moderate effects of a
heterogeneous training group on white male backlash.
26


CHAPTER 2
METHOD
Participants
Participants were White male employees from Fortune 500
companies and other organizations located in the Western United States.
Specifically, White male participants were from a variety of fields consisting
of, but not limited to: Snowplow Drivers, Maintenance Supervisors, Fire
Chiefs and Lieutenants, Engineers, Accountants, Human Resource
Managers, Trainers, and Consultants. Eight different scenarios were
developed to manipulate the various diversity training conditions. The
principal investigator presented one of the eight scenarios to each group of
survey respondents, prior to administering the survey measure.
Participants were voluntarily asked to fill out a survey that consisted of a
backlash scale in response to the diversity training session presented.
Participants then filled out the White Racial Identity Attitude Scale. A total of
1, 982 surveys were collected from all demographic groups; however, only
429 surveys were received from White male participants. Because this
study was only interested in White male respondents the remainder of the
analyses were conducted with the 429 respondents.
27


Independent Measures
A 2x2x2 design was used for this study. In order to present the
three manipulations, participants were told that AmeriCom, a fictitious company,
needed their reactions and opinions toward the design and promotion of a
diversity training session for an upcoming pilot study. The training participants
were then asked to provide their reactions and opinions by filling out a survey
after observing a Power Point slide and then listening to a brief presentation. All
eight scenarios informed participants that the final diversity training session
would include all AmeriCom employees.
The first independent variable, the definition condition, consisted of two
levels (providing White male participants either an inclusive or an exclusive
definition of diversity). Specifically, the inclusive definition stated: AmeriCom
defines diversity as valuing and recognizing culture, ethnicity, race (White,
Asian, Black, Hispanic, Eskimo, American Indian, and Latino), gender,
nationality, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education, experiences,
opinions and beliefs in all organizational endeavors. The exclusive definition
stated: AmeriCom defines diversity as valuing and recognizing minorities and
females in all organizational endeavors.
The second independent variable, the purpose condition, consisted of
two levels (providing participants with either a purpose or no purpose for the
diversity training). Participants in the purpose condition were told that the goal of
28


the training program was to improve problem-solving by focusing on the role
and contributions of all individuals, including White males.
The third independent variable, the composition condition, also consisted
of two levels (selecting a homogeneous or heterogeneous training group for the
pilot study). All participants were informed that a pilot study would be necessary
before the final diversity training could take place. White male participants in the
heterogeneous condition were informed that randomly selected employees at all
organizational levels and demographic groups would be chosen to attend the
pilot study. Conversely, participants presented with the homogeneous condition
were told that randomly selected White male employees would be selected to
attend the pilot study.
Dependent Measures
Backlash, the dependent variable, was measured using a 8-item survey
that had a 5-point likert scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree. The
backlash items were developed by the researcher based on the White male
backlash literature presented in the introduction of this paper. The items are as
follows: 1) I would resent the diversity training at AmeriCom; 2) I would be fearful
of my future at AmeriCom after the company implemented its diversity training
program; 3) I would feel angry about the diversity training at AmeriCom; 4) I
would look forward to attending the diversity training at AmeriCom; 5) I would
29


fear the diversity training at AmeriCom; 6) I would feel hostile toward the
diversity training at AmeriCom; 7) I would be fearful of being called an oppressor
of minorities and women during AmeriComs diversity training; and 8) I would be
angry if AmeriCom approached diversity as a way to accommodate minorities
and women more so than they do White males.
A principal axis factor analysis was conducted using the 8 backlash
items. A single factor solution was determined by using the statistical scree plot,
the size of the eigenvalue, and the factor matrix solution (Ford, MacCallum, &
Tait, 1986). The eigenvalue for the single factor was 4.10, accounting for 51 %
of the variance. A coefficient alpha of .85 was calculated for the 8 backlash
items.
Moderator
White racial identity was assessed using Helms White Racial Identity
Scale (1990). The White Racial Identity Attitude Scale (WRIAS) was
developed to assess attitudes related to the five stages of White racial
identity. The underlying premise of the WRIAS is that a White persons
attitude about Whites, Whiteness, and White culture, and a White persons
attitudes about Blacks, Blackness, and Black culture depends on that
persons racial identity. According to Helms, these attitudes are reflective of
five stages of development from least to most healthy. Each of the five
30


stages are measured by an attitude scale of 10 items and the likert scale for
all 50 items ranged from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree).
In the first stage, Contact, the individual is typically color-blind and
naive about how race and racism impact the world. Helms defines Contact
as obliviousness to racial/cultural issues (e.g., I hardly think about what
race I am.). In the second stage, Disintegration, the individual may feel
confused about White and Black culture, oppression, and humanity. Helms
defines Disintegration as awareness of the social implications of race on a
personal level" (e.g., I do not understand what Blacks want from Whites.).
In the third stage, Reintegration, the individual is most likely to
express anger. Helms defines Reintegration as "idealization of everything
perceived to be White and denigration of everything thought to be Black
(e.g., I get angry when I think about how Whites have been treated by
Blacks.). In the fourth stage, Pseudo-Independence, the individual begins
to have an intellectual understanding of Blacks and Black culture and begins
to process the unfairness of being Black. Helms defines Pseudo-
Independence as "internalization of Whiteness and capacity to recognize
personal responsibility to ameliorate the consequences of racism (e.g., "I
feel as comfortable around Blacks as I do around Whites.). In the fifth, and
final, stage, Autonomy, the individual has a positive, nonracist White identity,
values cultural similarities and differences, and seeks to acknowledge and
31


abolish racial oppression. Helms defines Autonomy as a bicultural or
racially transcendent world view" (e.g., I involve myself in causes regardless
of the race of the people involved in them.).
Helms (1990) reports a coefficient alpha for the Contact stage
ranging from .55 to .67, the Disintegration stage ranging from .76 to .77, the
Reintegration stage ranging from .75 to .80, the Pseudo-Independence
stage from .65 to .71, and, finally, the Autonomy stage ranging from .65 to
.67. In this study, a coefficient alpha for Contact was found to be .32,
Disintegration was .76, Reintegration was .76, Pseudo-Independence was
.65, and, finally, Autonomy was .60. Given the low reliability of the Contact
subscale, it was not used for purposes of this study. Other researchers also
report low reliability for the Contact scale and have also omitted the scale
from their studies (Behrens, 1997; Helms, 1999).
32


CHAPTER 3
RESULTS
Backlash
An analysis of variance was conducted to test hypotheses 1-3.
Hypothesis one states: White males who are included in an organizational
definition of diversity for training will exhibit less backlash than White males
who are not included. In order to test hypothesis one, White males who
received the inclusive definition condition were coded a 1 and White males
who received the exclusive definition condition were coded a 0. Hypothesis
one was supported and the results revealed a significant main effect for
including White males in the definition of diversity on backlash, F (1, 429) =
7.70, p = .01, eta-squared = .02). Thus, White males who are included in an
organizational definition of diversity for training (M = 3.29, SD = 1.17) will
exhibit less backlash than White males who are not included (M = 3.61, SD
= 1.21).
Hypothesis two states: White males who are given an inclusive purpose
for diversity training will exhibit less backlash than White males who are given
no purpose. White males in the purpose condition were coded a 1 and White
33


males in the no purpose condition were coded a 0. The main effect of the
purpose condition was not significant, F (1,429) = .72, q_= .40.
Hypothesis three states: White males in an organizational diversity
training pilot study that is heterogeneous will exhibit less backlash than
White males enrolled in a diversity training pilot study that is homogeneous.
White males in the homogeneous condition were coded a 1, and White
males in the heterogeneous condition were coded a 0. Hypothesis three
was supported and the results revealed a significant main effect for White
males in the heterogeneous condition on backlash, F (1, 429) = 6.12, g =
.01, eta-sauared = .01). Thus, White males who are in a heterogeneous
training group (M = 3.31, SD = 1.18) will exhibit less backlash than White
males who are in a homogeneous training group (M = 3.59, SD = 1.21).
Helms White Racial Identity Attitude Scale
Hypothesis four states: White racial identity will moderate the effects
of an inclusive definition on white male backlash. Hypothesis four (a) states:
White racial identity will moderate the effects of a given purpose for training
on white male backlash. Finally, Hypothesis four (b) states: White racial
identity will moderate the effects of a heterogeneous training group on white
male backlash.
34


In order to test these hypotheses a composite measure of White
racial identity was calculated by summing the point values for each of the
four subscales separately. Then, as recommended by Helms, the overall
score for each stage was divided by 10 to maintain the scale metric.
Additionally, an overall White racial identity score was given to each White
male participant based on the stage where the highest score was received;
the scale ranged from 2 to 5. This score represented the respondents stage
of White racial identity.
A series of hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to test
Hypotheses 4, 4a, and 4b. In step one, the independent measure (definition
condition, purpose condition, or composition condition) was entered. In step
two, one of the four stages of the White Racial Identity Attitude Scale was
entered. In step three, the interaction term was entered. Additional hierarchical
regression analyses were performed with an overall White racial identity stage
entered in step two, and the interaction term in step three. In all fifteen
regression analyses, White racial identity did not moderate the effects of the
independent measures on white male backlash. Because hypotheses with
regard to White racial identity were not supported additional analyses were
conducted.
Finally, a bivariate correlation was calculated to determine if a
relationship existed between white racial identity stages and backlash. Results
35


supported a significant negative relationship between the Autonomy stage and
backlash (r = -.13), p = .01. Additionally, results supported a significant positive
relationship between the Disintegration, (r = .28), p = .01, and the Reintegration,
(r = .38), p = .01, stages and backlash. There was no significant relationship
between the Pseudo-Independence stage and backlash.
Means, standard deviations, coefficients alpha, and intercorrelaitons are
presented on the next page in Table 1.1.
36


Table 1.1
Means. Standard Deviations. Coefficients Alpha, and Intercorrelations
Variable Mean S.D. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
Independent Measures 1. Definition 3.29 1.17
2. Purpose -- -.04
3. Composition 3.21 1.18 .01 .03
Dependent Measures 4. Backlash 3.45 1.20 -.13** .05 .12* (.85)
Moderator 5. Disintegration 2.13 .55 -.09 -.04 .02 .28** (.76)
6. Reintegration 2.10 .55 -.09 -.02 .06 .38** .81 (.76)
7. Pseudo- 3.64 .57 -.04 .06 -.05 -.05 -.09 -.05 (.65)
Independence
8. Autonomy 3.80 .58 -.01 .04 -.07 -.13 .03 .00 .74* * (.60)
9. Overall White 4.59 .62 .06 .02 .04 -.15 -.02 -.06 .02 .40 -
Racial Identity
*E < .05; ** e < .01
Note: All variables were measured on a 5-point likert scale. N size = 429. Coefficient Alphas are reported
on the main diagonal.


CHAPTER 4
DISCUSSION
The results of this study suggest that backlash may be minimized if
organizations include White males in their definition of diversity. Although
the difference between the group who received an inclusive definition and
the group who received an exclusive definition is small, inclusion may still be
an important issue for organizational leaders to consider when designing
diversity training. Additionally, in this study I found that White males
exhibited less backlash in a heterogeneous, rather than a homogeneous,
composition of trainees. Again, although the difference between the two
groups was small, the findings suggest that organizations should include all
demographic groups in diversity training.
Responses to the White Racial Identity Scale indicate that White
males in this study generally exhibited a healthy racial identity. Only 2
percent of White males in this sample fell in the Disintegration and
Reintegration stages, whereas 35 percent fell in the Pseudo-independence
stage and 63 percent fell in the Autonomy stage. However, as expected,
analyses did show a negative relationship between white male backlash and
higher stages of White racial identity and a positive relationship between
38


backlash and lower stages of identity. This suggests that Whites with a
higher racial identity are less likely to exhibit backlash against diversity
training.
Given this skewed data and the lack of findings, the White Racial
Identity Attitude Scale may be outdated. Thus, the revision or construction
of a new White Racial Identity Attitude Scale may be necessary to continue
/
research in this area. Furthermore, Helms scale has received criticism for
its psychometric inadequacy (data do not support separate developmental
stages). Moreover, the scale only measures Whites attitudes toward Blacks
(Swanson, Tokar, & Davis, 1994; Block & Carter, 1996; Behrens, 1997). An
alternative to this scale is Phinneys Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure
(1992). Phinney, Lochner, and Murphy (1990) propose that ethnic identity
development occurs along a continuum and is a construct that varies across
individuals. The Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure may be of greater use
for this type of research until the White Racial Identity Attitude Scale is
revised.
There are many limitations of this study. First, White males did not
feel protected in sharing their true opinions and reactions while taking the
survey in their respective organizations. Second, using a purpose that was
meant to help White males feel included, instead, made them feel
uncomfortable. Third, use of the White Racial Identity Attitude Scale may
39


have contributed to a lack of significant findings. Again, the scale may be
outdated and psychometrically invalid. Finally, the manipulations used in
this study may not have been distinct and therefore may have skewed the
results.
In addition to completing quantitative survey questions, White males
were asked their opinions on White male backlash at the completion of the
study by the researcher. Many White males informed the researcher that
they acknowledge the existence of the concept of backlash, but not the
current definition that researchers are using. Many of these White males
claimed that they do not feel anger, fear, hostility, or resentment with regard
to diversity initiatives, but simply frustration. They expressed that their
frustration stems from being excluded from diversity and also for being
blamed for past iniquities. Thus, researchers need to look deeper into the
meaning of backlash to determine if a change in the conceptualization of this
construct is needed.
During the open discussion, respondents also expressed frustration
regarding the lack of white males that are currently being recruited into
organizations. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2000) reported that by
the year 2005, only 15% of entrants into the workforce will be White males.
Finally, White males also admitted that they felt they could not be honest on
40


the survey. This may be due to White male pride or a concern that their
organizations would be informed about their individual responses.
Also during the open discussions, I observed a specific conversation
among a group of White males. They were discussing the fact that the root
word of diversity means to divide. Moreover, they questioned whether or not
diversity training would be necessary in the next 10 years when White males
are the minority.
Additionally, White males were given an open-ended question on the
survey that states: Additional comments about the diversity training program
offered at AmeriCom. Out of the 207 respondents that were in the exclusive
definition group, 12 percent (n = 25) stated that no consideration is given to
White males with regard to diversity. Other themes, with a small sample
size, emerged in coding the open-ended items that had a total of 361
respondents. Specifically, 5 percent (n = 18) of respondents reported that
reverse discrimination and the promotion of unqualified employees is
occurring in their organizations. Another theme reported by 3 percent (n =
11) of respondents was that participants were in favor of the diversity
training, but reported that they would like to see more training that focuses
on similarities among co-workers.
Of the 212 White males in the homogeneous condition 7 percent (n=
15) reported that they did not think it was fair to minorities and women that
41


White males would attend diversity training as a group. Furthermore,
responses to the open-ended question suggested that of the 226
participants 5 percent (n = 15) did not like being separated from other
groups in the purpose condition (the purpose of training is to focus on the
roles and contributions of all individuals, including White males). Finally, 1
percent (n = 4) respondents recommended that race no longer be used to
categorize employees.
Based on the above comments and perceptions, researchers and
organizations may need to consider changing current diversity initiatives.
Organizations may want to start by changing the name from diversity
training to a name like inclusive or equality training. The definition of
diversity appears, for many White males, to entail color of skin, promotion of
unqualified co-workers, and affirmative action programs. Furthermore,
organizations should be concerned about the legal ramifications associated
with the above mentioned responses from White males. A quick search on
Lexis Nexis will inform the researcher that the number of White male cases
against organizations is increasing at a fast rate. In fact, thirty court cases
regarding the above mentioned complaints from White males are currently in
litigation. Results of this study suggest the importance of continuing to
investigate White male backlash. Future research in this area should begin
by attempting to more clearly define White male backlash.
42


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Full Text

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BACKLASH: WHITE MALES' REACTION TO DIVERSITY TRAINING by Stacy Haygood B.A., Southern Methodist University, 1997 M.A., University of Colorado at Denyer, 2002 A thesis submitted to the University of Colorado at Denver in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Master of Arts Psychology 2002

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This thesis for the Master of Arts degree by Stacy M, Haygood has been approved by Donna Chrobot-Mason Annette Towler '1fz 3/oz. Date

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Haygood, Stacy M. (M.A., Psychology) Backlash: White Male Reaction to Diversity Training Thesis directed by Assistant Professor Donna Chrobot-Mason ABSTRACT White male backlash against diversity training has important consequences for organizations. This study examined whether White male backlash toward diversity training could be minimized when organizations do the following: 1) include White males in their definition of diversity for a training program, 2) include a statement of purpose for the training, and 3) include a diverse group of participants in the training session. White racial identity was assessed as a moderator of the effects of diversity training variations on white male backlash. Findings suggest that White male backlash can be minimized when White males are included in an organizational definition of diversity. Additionally, White males reported less backlash when they were in heterogeneous training groups. Finally, White racial identity did not moderate the effects of the independent measures on white male backlash. Future research and implications for both researchers and organizations are discussed. This abstract accurately represents the content of the candidate's thesis. I recommend its publication. Donna Chrobot-Mason iii

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CONTENTS Tables ........................................................ .................................... vi CHAPTER 1. INTRODUCTION ........................................................................ 1 White Male Inclusion .......................................... ....................... 6 Diversity and the White Male ............................................... 6 Diversity Programs and the White Male .............................. 7 Diversity Training and the White Male ............................... 11 Purpose of Diversity Training ............................ ...................... 12 Offering an Inclusive Purpose for Diversity Training .......... 12 Composition of Diversity Training ............................................. 14 Heterogeneous Composition in Diversity Training ............. 15 Homogeneous Composition in Diversity Training .............. 17 Examining Within-Group Differences in White Male Reactions to Diversity and Diversity Programs .................................... 18 White Males Differ in Their Support and Their Attitudes Toward Diversity and Diversity Programs ....................... 19 Helms' White Racial Identity Development Model ............ 22 iv

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2. METHOD ............................................................ : ..................... 27 Participants .............................................................................. 27 Independent Measures ............................................................ 28 Dependent Measures ............................................................... 29 Moderator ................................................................................. 30 3. RESULTS ................................................................................. 33 Backlash .................................................................................. 33 Helms' White Racial Identity Attitude Scale ............................. 34 4. DISCUSSION ........................................................................... 38 REFERENCES ......................................................................................... 43 v

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TABLES Table 1.1 Means, Standard Deviations, Coefficients Alpha, and lntercorrelations ....................................................... 37 vi

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CHAPTER 1 INTRODUCTION Managing diversity will be one of the top agendas of organizational leaders throughout the 21st century due to changes in workforce demographics that include women, minorities, and other non-traditional groups (Cox, 1991 ). Therefore, diversity consultants have begun to challenge and advise organizations to become "multicultural," a concept that refers to "the degree that an organization values cultural diversity and is willing to utilize and encourage it" (Cox, 1991, p. 34). Cox (1991) recommends that organizations should transition from a traditional organization to a multicultural organization because of benefits of a diverse workforce. Cox suggests a diverse workforce increases organizational effectiveness, lifts morale, encourages creativity and innovation, and enhances productivity. Thus, in order to reap the benefits of a diverse workforce, organizations have focused their attention on women and minorities and implemented numerous diversity programs. In the early 1990's, organizations began to focus more attention on diversity programs that included recruiting, hiring, promoting, mentoring, and training and programs that ensured that all employees received equal 1

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opportunities in the workplace; however, possibly as a result of these programs "White male backlash" emerged (Lynch, 1997, p. 13). Although little empirical evidence exists in the diversity literature regarding White male backlash, researchers do describe it and provide an explanation as to why it occurs. Backlash is defined as the negative reactions, such as hostility, anger, resentment, and fear, that surface when White males feel they have been treated unfairly and have been excluded from diversity programs (Devine, Plant, & Buswell, 2000; Heilman, McCullough, & Gilbert 1996; Lynch, 1997; Martinez, 1996; Soni, 1999). Accordingly, researchers have suggested a number of reasons why White male backlash occurs in organizations. The literature suggests why White male backlash to diversity programs has emerged. First, White males feel left out because they believe many organizations accommodate minorities and women more so than they do men in recruiting, hiring, promoting, mentoring, and training (Solomon, 1991 ). Second, Devine, Plant, and Buswell (2000) report that resentment and negative reactions to diversity policies can occur when "nonprejudiced norms" are imposed on White males (p. 197). In other words, White males who are told not to be prejudice may feel that their freedom is restricted; these feelings may fuel prejudiced attitudes and increase backlash. Third, White male backlash has occurred because of 2

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\ ineffective implementation of affirmative action and EEO programs. Heilman, McCullough, and Gilbert (1996) discovered that preferential selection, one system of affirmative action, provokes negative feelings, attitudes, and behaviors for some White males. In fact, White males exposed to policies that are explained in terms of preferential treatment and reverse discrimination instead of policies that are framed in terms of remedying past discrimination or increasing cultural diversity are shown to increase backlash (Dovidio & Gaertner, 1996; Pratkanis & Turner, 1996). Fourth, mentoring programs have also heightened White male backlash because some organizations have forced the White male to take on a role that he may resent (Whitaker, 1996). Lastly, diversity awareness training has also fueled White male backlash because the focus of the training is typically on issues of race and and typifies the White male as the oppressor of these minority groups (Hayles & Russell, 1997). In addition to the five reasons discussed above, Mobley and Payne (1992) provide other causes for White male backlash; these causes include lack of jobs, increased competition for resources, and political correctness as a threat to First Amendment Rights. If organizations use this research in order to understand why White male backlash occurs, they may then be able to minimize the consequences of backlash. 3

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There may be many consequences of White male backlash on organizations. Heilman, McCullough, and Gilbert (1996) found that organizations may have less motivated White male employees due to affirmative action-based preferential selection. They also found that males may feel alienated and hostile because they perceive themselves as victims of discrimination. Another problem for organizations that have implemented affirmative action programs is increased intergroup conflict due to backlash (Cox, 1991; Kossek & Zonia, 1993). A fourth problem for organizations is that they are unable to manage diversity effectively because their White male employees resist diversity programs (Society for Human Resource Management, 1993). Finally, organizations must contend with the potential for decreased job performance and increased turnover: White males may feel less satisfied with their jobs and report lower levels of organizational commitment because they perceive the organization as being unfair (Folger & Konovsky, 1989; Greenberg, 1982; Konovsky & Cropanzano, 1991; McFarlin & Sweeney, 1991; Schaubroeck, May, & Brown, 1994). rhus, White male backlash could become costly for organizations that invest in efforts to increase retention, job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and employee motivation. While organizations seek to understand the causes and consequences of White male backlash, organizations must still continue to 4

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investigate ways to minimize backlash. Although diversity training--"a program that is designed to change employees' attitudes about diversity and/or to develop skills needed to work with a diverse workforce" (Nee, 1999, p. 358)--seems a logical way to reduce this backlash, the research shows that training may also fuel backlash. For example, Silverstein (1995) reported that some workplace diversity training sessions had managers storm out of training saying things like, "I didn't make slavery," or "It's not my fault" (p. 1 ). Thus, diversity training programs can create more tension in organizations. Perhaps researchers need to consider the characteristics of a successful diversity training program in order to minimize White male backlash. Organizations have been preparing for a diverse workforce by implementing training programs with a focus on diversity (Chrobot-Mason & Quinones, 2001 ). Even though the literature on backlash to diversity training is limited, the literature does suggest that White male backlash to diversity training does have important consequences. My study will examine whether White male backlash toward diversity training can be minimized when organizations do the following: 1) include White males in their definition of diversity for a training program 2) include a statement of purpose for the training, and 3) include a diverse group of participants. In addition, I will use Helms White Racial Identity Attitude Scale (1990) to 5

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examine if White male backlash decreases when a White male has a higher White racial identity. In order to address the above, an examination of the literature is necessary; thus, first, I will discuss diversity and the White male. Second, I will present the literature supporting that organizations offer a purpose for training. Third, I will review the two differing views regarding trainee composition. Finally, I shall present the White Racial Identity Development Theory in relation to White male backlash. White Male Inclusion Diversity and the White Male Throughout the literature, the term diversity is used to explain how individuals differ based on ethnicity, gender, age, sexual orientation, physical disability, and religious Based on the above definition, most researchers agree that the term diversity, should be inclusive rather than exclusive (Crosby & VanDeVeer, 2000; Ely, 1995; Hayles & Russell, 1997; lpsaro, 1997; Lynch, 1997; Mobley & Payne, 1992; Whitaker, 1996). Hayles and Russell ( 1997) have found that organizations that effectively advance their diversity initiatives are those that emphasize a broad definition of diversity, which should include all the ways people differ. However, some organizations have used their definition of diversity to promote equality primarily for minorities and women (Solomon, 1991 ). Thus, in the ways the 6

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term "diversity" is typically defined and used, White males are not included because they are the majority population. In fact, only one (US West) out of seventy corporations surveyed included White males in its diversity initiatives (lpsaro, 1997). This statistic is surprising considering White males still typically hold the positions of power in our corporations today (Tsui & Gutek, 1999). Due to the exclusion of White males from the definition of diversity, two problems have emerged. First, some White males have negative attitudes (backlash) toward their organizations' diversity initiatives. Second, White males feel resentment toward minority and female co-workers because these co-workers perceive the White male as oppressors and not part of diversity initiatives. Both of these problems have caused White males to question their futures within organizations that claim to value diversity (lpsaro, 1997). Unless organizations begin to include White males in the definition of diversity, White male backlash will continue to be a problem for organizations. In order for organizations to profit from a diverse culture, they must include all individuals, not just select groups in the definition of diversity. Diversity Programs and the White Male Organizations have implemented diversity programs to promote a 7

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diverse workforce; these programs are intended to reduce intergroup conflict between all organizational members. Affirmative action, the most common diversity program, is the umbrella of many diversity programs and tends to set the standards for diversity initiatives in an organization (Whitaker, 1996). The classical definition of affirmative action is "an organization going out of its way to make sure there is no discrimination against people of color, against White women, against people with disabilities, or against veterans" (Crosby & VanDeVeer, 2000, p. 3). However, Crosby and VanDeVeer (2000) contend that affirmative action has taken on a new meaning: "unjustified set-asides or preferential treatment" (p. 14-15). The problem with this new definition is that it provides opportunities to all except the White male and has resulted in a glass ceiling for the White male (Whitaker, 1996). Thus, what began as a goal to remove a barrier for females and minorities in organizations has, thirty years later, become a perceived barrier for White males in these same organizations (Silverstein, 1995). As a result of these perceived barriers created by affirmative action, organizations found that White males reacted negatively to the diversity programs that included recruiting, hiring, and promoting of minorities and women. Because White males were excluded from these programs, backlash became one of the main restraining forces against affirmative action and diversity programs (Cox, 1991; Norton & Fox, 1997). To help 8

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reduce the conflict that affirmative action and diversity programs created, organizations began implementing mentoring and training diversity programs. Unfortunately, White males perceived mentoring and training as another form of affirmative action and reacted against them as well (Gordon, 1992). The literature offers further explanations as to why White males have reacted negatively to diversity programs in general. First, White males resist diversity programs because they have been excluded and continue to fear exclusion (Carnevale & Stone, 1994). Second, they resent being targeted as the "angry White male" (Lynch, 1997, p. 125). Third, they are concerned that diversity programs will affect them negatively (Matheson, Warren, Foster & Painter, 2001 ). Fourth, they fear that their freedom will be restricted and are hostile about unfair distribution of rewards (Dovidio & Gaertner, 1996). Fifth, they fear that they will be victims of reverse discrimination (Whitaker, 1996). Thomas (1996) & Whitaker (1996) also contend White males fear bringing up reverse discrimination because they do not want to be seen as racists and oppressors. Perhaps, White male backlash will be minimized if organizations include White males in programs. White male exclusion from organizational recruiting, hiring, promoting, and mentoring programs have been the basis of backlash. 9

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Recruitment is one diversity initiative that has been modeled after affirmative action policies and therefore has resulted in exclusion of the White male. Many corporations have told White male recruiters that they prefer to hire women in an effort to get females past the glass ceiling; therefore, pressure on recruiters has created a backlash in men (Whitaker, 1996). Preferential hiring, another affirmative action program, has also created a White male backlash because many White male managers are told to hire a less qualified candidate over a more qualified White male candidate, "because we are diversifying" (Whitaker, 1996, p. 53). At the same time, organizations have excluded White males from promotions. One organization had a policy that any promotion in the company had to be signed off by a vice president, if the candidate was someone other than a woman or a minority (Solomon, 1991 ). lpsaro ( 1997) asserts that White males perceive minorities and women to be promoted at a faster pace and attribute these promotions to minority quotas and affirmative action. Lastly, some White males have been forced to take on mentoring roles that they resent. White males often mentor a female or minority to take their jobs or positions of higher stature (Whitaker, 1996). Organizations need to recognize the importance of including White males in diversity programs and expand the definition of diversity. If organizations continue to exclude White males from diversity and diversity programs, the 10

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males will continue to experience backlash against diversity in general and organizational diversity programs. Diversity Training and the White Male Given the potential of negative consequences of White male exclusion, I will investigate which factors minimize the impact of White male backlash. Diversity training has become popular in organizations to reduce intergroup conflict and to combat the negative reactions to affirmative action programs and policies. There are two recognized diversity training programs: awareness-based and skill-based (Hayles & Russell, 1997). Awareness training is primarily cognitive and typically focuses on increasing employees' understanding of diversity, while skill-based training is primarily behavioral and builds diversity interaction skills (Carenvale & Stone, 1994). Although both types of training are recommended, the literature suggests that diversity awareness training may heighten White male backlash. Diversity awareness training has been shown to exclude White males when the content focuses on specific demographic groups and blames them for past inequities. Hayles and Russell (1997) identified an awareness based training program as one that focuses on issues of race and gender that identifies the White male as the oppressor, which can leave the White male with feelings of resentment and hostility. These two researchers 11

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assert that this training creates an "us versus them" mentality and therefore prevents White male trainees from contributing to diversity initiatives. For example, one diversity awareness training session ridiculed White males and resulted in an increased number of trainee complaints and law suits (Myers, 1995). Negative outcomes of some diversity training programs continue to be reported. Therefore, Hayles and Russell (1997) recommend that an inclusive definition of diversity should be included in all diversity training programs. After an extensive review of the literature on diversity, diversity programs, and diversity training, I contend that White male backlash occurs because White males have been excluded from the above. I further contend, White male backlash maybe minimized if organizations include the White male in the definition of diversity for a training program. H1: White males who are included in an organizational definition of diversity for training will exhibit less backlash than White males who are not included. Purpose of Diversity Training Offering an Inclusive Purpose for Diversity Training Organizational justice has been used to examine the outcomes of workforce diversity programs. Organizational justice refers to the perceived 12

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fairness of decision making in organizations (Folger & Cropanzano, 1998). Justice is offered by providing employees with choices and input into decisions, by treating employees fairly and politely, and by providing extensive explanations (Folger & Cropanzano, 1998). In Richard and Kirby's (1997) diversity/organizational justice studies, they found that White male participants rated a hiring decision as more fair when a political/legal or problem-solving justification was used rather than no justification. Furthermore, Belliveau (1996, p. 99) affirms that "exposure of affirmative action policies to all organizational members leads to greater endorsement rather than a backlash against affirmative action." Therefore, organizations might provide a justification for diversity training in order to decrease backlash. One obvious form of justification is a public statement of the purpose or need for the training. Thus, if a purpose is stated for diversity training, organizations may expect to minimize White male backlash. Similarly, offering an inclusive purpose (to improve problem solving by focusing on the role and contributions of all individuals, including White males) may, additionally, minimize White male backlash. H2: White males who are given an inclusive purpose for diversity training will exhibit less backlash than White males who are given no purpose. 13

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Composition of Diversity Training Diversity training has posed many difficulties for White males in organizations. First, diversity training has elicited fear in White males because males are concerned about being called racists, sexists, and oppressors. Second, diversity training has often created feelings of resentment and anger in White males because the males are often blamed for past inequities; these discussions of inequities often arise in training sessions that involve a group of trainees disclosing private information. Third, some training has resulted in male hostility because males become the victims of "White male bashing" when minorities and women share their opinions about racism and sexism (Lynch, 1997, p. 1 09). Regardless of these difficulties, diversity training maybe necessary for organizations to develop a work environment that values all employees in a diverse workforce and allows everyone to contribute to his or her maximum potential (Roosevelt, 1991 ). However, unless organizations minimize these negative affects that diversity training has on the majority of their workforce population, their White male employees may continue to have difficulties and perceive training as unfair. Thus, examining the training literature is valuable in order to explore perceptions of fairness. According to the training effectiveness literature, perceptions of fairness result from the ways in which trainees are assigned to training 14

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situations. For instance, Baldwin, Magjuka, and Loher (1991) found that trainees react more favorably to training that is voluntary, rather than mandatory. Yet, these findings have yet to be generalized to diversity training. Additionally, researchers have not thoroughly examined the effect of composition of trainees in diversity training sessions. One body of literature concludes that a diverse group of participants is more effective due to the contact and interaction with a heterogeneous population. A second body of literature suggests that homogeneous training groups are more effective. Interestingly enough, lpsaro (1997) contends that initially, diversity training should include a homogeneous training group composed of White males and that later, the training sessions should include a diverse group of trainees. In my study, the composition of diversity training sessions (diverse group vs. only White males) will be investigated to determine if White male backlash is heightened or reduced given the composition of the trainees enrolled in a training session. Heterogeneous Composition in Diversity Training Some White males believe that a diverse group of training participants is fair for a diversity training session because all members are included. The social psychology literature suggests that greater contact and familiarity with members of a given social group reduces individuals' 15

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negative stereotypes and prejudices against the group (Allport, 1954). Using this theory, many researchers began to explore contact and interaction among organizational members in a diverse workforce. These researchers found many positive outcomes, as outlined below. Blau's (1977) research on groups suggested a positive relation between increased heterogeneity and contact between groups with status differences. Many researchers also report that a diverse group of participants that interact will help all trainees explore not only their own experience but others' as well (Lindsay, 1994; Linnehan, Konrad, & Greenhalgh, 2000). Additionally, some experts in the field of diversity training recommend using identity models to increase awareness in organizations. This type of training typically has encouraged demographic groups in the organization to come together for training to "sensitize" all the organizational members to one another (Ramsey, 1996, p. 231 ). Hayles and Russell ( 1997) found that diverse teams tend to outperform homogeneous teams, especially on complex tasks. Simons and Abramms (1994) added that training is more successful when participant heterogeneity is encouraged as much as possible in each session, especially heterogeneity in terms of gender, race, and culture. Finally, Karp and Sammour (2000) recommended that diversity training have as a diverse group of participants as possible to minimize White male backlash and 16

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maximize success. Overall, the above literature suggests diversity training would be more successful with a composition of diverse trainees, rather than a composition of White males. Homogeneous Composition in Diversity Training In contrast to heterogeneous training, researchers looked at the costs and benefits of homogeneous training. They found that homogeneous training can be perceived by some White males as unfair. For example, in many instances organizations require managers to attend diversity training; in many organizations these managers are typically White males and the dominant group in the organization (Karp & Sammour, 2000). These White males who are targeted for diversity training may exhibit backlash because they perceive that organizations have unfairly singled them out. The male's perception is that the organization believes that these White males need diversity training more than other organizational (Lynch, 1997). This perception may lead to backlash because the males view the training as not particularly relevant to or necessary for them. Even though most diversity training programs are designed to change the White male attitude about other people, this training creates more problems and White male backlash (Karp & Sammour, 2000). 17

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At the same time, White males may benefit from diversity training with trainees who have similar identities. Tsui & Gutek (1999) reported that there is less conflict among homogeneous groups compared to diverse groups in organizations. In fact, some diversity training programs in the beginning phases convene homogeneous training groups (lpsaro, 1997; Ramsey, 1996). This method of coordinating homogeneous training groups is supported by Lindsay's (1994) assertion that interaction among diverse individuals is difficult because each person holds different information about others enrolled in training. Based on these two differing views, I will investigate whether White males exhibit less backlash in a diversity training pilot study with a composition of a heterogeneous group of trainees. H3: White males in an organizational diversity training pilot study that is heterogeneous will exhibit less backlash than White males enrolled in a diversity training pilot study that is homogeneous .. Examining Within-Group Differences in White Male Reactions to Diversity and Diversity Programs The literature reviewed above suggests that White male backlash to diversity training could be minimized if organizations include White males in their diversity definition, state an inclusive purpose for the training, and vary the composition of trainees to include all organizational members. Yet, 18

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these theories only address a few variables when in fact many variables and constraints explain why White males may or may not support diversity programs. Below, I will investigate why White males may or may not support diversity programs and why White males may vary in their attitudes toward these programs. I will also discuss the evidence for an additional hypothesis, using Helms White Racial Identity Attitude Scale (1990) that is based on a broader understanding of the degree of White male support and attitudes toward diversity and diversity programs. White Males Differ in Their Support and Their Attitudes Toward Diversity and Diversity Programs Evidence suggests that White males differ in their support for diversity and diversity programs. In his questionnaire to Whites regarding their feelings about racial integration, Jackman ( 1996, p. 761) discovered that sixteen percent of Whites endorsed segregation, thirty-five percent favored integration, and forty-four percent chose "something in between." Wade & Brittan-Powell (2001) reported that White males with traditional masculine ideologies were likely to hold negative attitudes about racial diversity and women's equality; however, White males.with nontraditional masculine ideologies reported having positive attitudes about racial diversity and women's equality. Also, Steele (1990) found that White males with higher levels of education were more tolerant of diversity. These three 19

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findings on White male attitudes toward diversity support the notion that White males are more likely to support diversity or diversity programs when they are more educated and have nontraditional masculine ideologies. The literature also reveals that White males differ in their attitudes about diversity programs that include affirmative action, mentoring, and diversity training. First, Steeh and Krysan (1996) reported that White males vary in their attitudes toward affirmative action. In fact, some White males reported less negativity toward affirmative action programs when all minorities are included in the program goals, rather than a single minority group. Second, Dovidio and Gaertner (1996) found that some White males who claim to be nonprejudiced and nondiscriminating oppose affirmative action because their status in organizations is being threatened by blacks and other minorities. Third, Kravitz and Klineberg (2000) asserted that opposition to affirmative action is strongest among respondents who are older, White, politically conservative, and have little personal experience with employment discrimination. Furthermore, they found that White males who are politically conservative and young expect negative outcomes from affirmative action programs. Therefore, White male support for affirmative action varies by age and political affiliation. Fourth, De Vries and Pettigrew (1994) found that many White Dutch police offers opposed the implementation of affirmative action. However, a year after the affirmative 20

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action program was implemented, many of the White male officers wanted minority partners because having a minority partner improved their ability to handle situations involving persons of diverse backgrounds. Based on all of these findings, White males clearly differ in their attitudes toward affirmative action. Thus, organizations cannot assume that all White males will accept diversity programs to the same extent. Cross-gender mentoring programs also illicit differing attitudes among White males. Ragins and Cotton (1993) report that cross-gender mentoring programs are an issue for White males for many reasons. For instance, some male mentors select men instead of women as proteges to avoid jealous spouses, resentful co-workers, and office gossip. Also, some White males resist mentoring women because they have been conditioned to perceive women in a traditional rather than a professional role and therefore, feel women should not be in the workplace at all (Ragins & Cotton, 1993). Thus, some White males resist cross-gender mentoring relationships. As with affirmative action and cross-gender mentoring, White males also have differing attitudes about diversity training. Researchers found that fifty-four percent of White men employed by a computer firm reported that they thought they were losing stature as a result of diversity training (Murray, 1993). This study concludes that about half of the White males endorse training, whereas the other half do not. Also, many White males fear 21

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diversity training because they assume they will be called the oppressors of minorities and women (lpsaro, 1997). Because lpsaro (2001) understood these fears, he has begun to provide White males more recognition in diversity training and help minorities and women understand the changes that White males have been asked to make over the last fifty years. As a result of lpsaro's (1997) expertise about White males, many organizations around the world have begun to transition from rebuking the White male to recognizing the importance of understanding the White male. Training with this content and focus has caused organizations and White males to be more comfortable and confident about the results of diversity training: Helms' White Racial Identity Development Model The above literature recognizes that White males differ in their attitudes and support for diversity and diversity programs; another explanation for these differences is found in Helms (1990) White Racial Identity Model. Helms (1990) White Racial Identity Theory is an identity model that examines White differences in attitudes toward blacks. Thus, Helms (1990) White Racial Identity Model is useful because it can help organizations determine if White males with a high White racial identity will experience less backlash toward a diversity training program. Organizations 22

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can use this model to better understand why some White males may support diversity training initiatives and why others may not. White racial identity refers to "an identity based on Whites' perceptions that they share, with other Whites, a common White racial heritage" (Helms, 1990, p. 3). The White Racial Identity Model is a developmental process in which the White individual starts at a naive stage with respect to race or racism and progresses to an informed stage in which the individual attains a healthy White racial identity. This theory describes and explains the stages in which identification with White culture influences behavior in interracial situations. Helms' model of White racial identity is composed of six stages of development that are broken down into a two-phase process of development. The first phase, the abandonment of racism, includes Contact, Disintegration, and Reintegration. Individuals in this phase are likely to experience discomfort in interracial situations (Block, Roberson, & Neuger 1995). The second phase, defining a nonracist White identity, includes Pseudo-Independence, lmmersion!Emersion, and finally Autonomy. Individuals in this phase begin to develop a positive White identity and they become more comfortable in interracial situations and interactions. In stage 1, Contact, of the White Racial Identity Theory, Whites become aware of the existence of blacks. Helms (1990) contends that the 23

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more contact that Whites have with blacks, the more likely they will develop an awareness and choose to interact with blacks. In stage 2, Disintegration, White individuals acknowledge their Whiteness but are often conflicted with what they have been taught to believe about blacks and do not realize that they may be racists. In stage 3, Reintegration, Whites realize that they have been portrayed as being superior to blacks; therefore, they make a choice either to interact or not to interact with blacks. In stage 4, Pseudo-Independence, Whites begin to internalize their Whiteness and recognize that they have a responsibility to ameliorate racism. Furthermore, they are curious about blacks and begin to develop an intellectual understanding of blacks and black culture. In stage 5, lmmersion!Emersion, Whites have a positive White identity; as a result, they are able to replace black stereotypes with accurate information, and they are aware of what it means to be White. In stage 6, Autonomy, Whites have developed a healthy White racial identity. Thus, they have a diverse world view, they value cultural similarities and differences, and they feel a kinship with people regardless of race. They have achieved "racial self actualization" (Helms, 1990, p. 66). Clearly, Helms' (1990) model reveals that White males may vary in their stage of racial identity development. A White male who does not progress past stage 3 will have different attitudes and beliefs compared to 24

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the White male who has progressed into stage 4. Helms (1990) asserted that individuals with a high White racial identity are more likely to support diversity programs than those with a low White racial identity. Thus, researchers have utilized the White Racial Identity Model and investigated White male attitudes and reactions to interracial situations at work. For example, Block, et al. (1995) report that White males with a high racial identity had more favorable reactions toward interracial situations at work. They discovered that individuals characterized by high levels of stage 3, Disintegration, and low levels of stage 6, Autonomy, are more likely to react negatively toward interracial situations at work. Whites lower in their White racial identity do not endorse principles of equality in the workplace and do not perceive the existence of discrimination against blacks. In addition, they do not support affirmative action policies or interventions, which has been termed White male backlash (Block et al., 1995). Based on the discussion above regarding White males support for and attitudes toward diversity and diversity programs and Helms' (1990). White Racial Identity Theory, I will investigate if White males exhibit more backlash if they have a lower White racial identity. H4: White racial identity will moderate the effects of an inclusive definition on white male backlash. 25

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H4a: White racial identity will moderate the effects of a given purpose for training on White male backlash. H4b: White racial identity will moderate effects of a heterogeneous training group on white male backlash. 26

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CHAPTER2 METHOD Participants Participants were White male employees from Fortune 500 companies and other organizations located in the Western United States. Specifically, White male participants were from a variety of fields consisting of, but not limited to: Snowplow Drivers, Maintenance Supervisors, Fire Chiefs and Lieutenants, Engineers, Accountants, Human Resource Managers, Trainers, and Consultants. Eight different scenarios were developed to manipulate the various diversity training conditions. The principal investigator presented one of the eight scenarios to each group of survey respondents, prior to administering the survey measure. Participants were voluntarily asked to fill out a survey that consisted of a backlash scale in response to the diversity training session presented. Participants then filled out the White Racial Identity Attitude Scale. A total of 1, 982 surveys were collected from all demographic groups; however, only 429 surveys were received from White male participants. Because this study was only interested in White male respondents the remainder of the analyses were conducted with the 429 respondents. 27

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Independent Measures A 2.x2x2 design was used for this study. In order to present the three manipulations, participants were told that AmeriCom, a fictitious company, needed their reactions and opinions toward the design and promotion of a diversity training session for an upcoming pilot study. The training participants were then asked to provide their reactions and opinions by filling out a survey after observing a Power Point slide and then listening to a brief presentation. All eight scenarios informed participants ttiat the final diversity training session would include all AmeriCom employees. The first independent variable, the definition condition, consisted of two levels (providing White male participants either an inclusive or an exclusive definition of diversity). Specifically, the inclusive definition stated: AmeriCom defines diversity as valuing and recognizing culture, ethnicity, race (White, Asian, Black, Hispanic, Eskimo, American Indian, and Latino), gender, nationality, age, religion, disability, sexual orientation, education, experiences, opinions and beliefs in all organizational endeavors. The exclusive definition stated:AmeriCom defines diversity as valuing and recognizing minorities and females in all organizational endeavors. The second independent variable, the purpose condition, consisted of two levels (providing participants with either a purpose or no purpose for the diversity training). Participants in the purpose condition were told that the goal of 28

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the training program was to improve problem-solving by focusing on the role and contributions of all individuals, including White males. The third independent variable, the composition condition, also consisted of two levels (selecting a homogeneous or heterogeneous training group for the pilot study). All participants were informed that a pilot study would be necessary before the final diversity training could take place. White male participants in the heterogeneous condition were informed that randomly selected employees at all organizational levels and demographic groups would be chosen to attend the pilot study. Conversely, participants presented with the homogeneous condition were told that randomly selected White male employees would be selected to attend the pilot study. Dependent Measures Backlash, the dependentVariable, was measured using a 8-item survey that had a 5-point Iikert scale from strongly disagree to strongly agree. The backlash items were developed by the researcher based on the White male backlash literature presented in the introduction of this paper. The items are as follows: 1) I would resent the diversity training at AmeriCom; 2) I would be fearful of my future at AmeriCom after the company implemented its diversity training program; 3) I would feel angry about the diversity training at AmeriCom; 4) I would look forward to attending the diversity training at AmeriCom; 5) I would 29

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fear the diversity training at AmeriCom; 6) I would feel hostile toward the diversity training at AmeriCom; 7) I would be fearful of being called an oppressor of minorities and women during AmeriCom's diversity training; and 8) I would be angry if AmeriCom approached diversity as a way to accommodate minorities and women more so than they do White males. A principal axis factor analysis was conducted using the 8 backlash items. A single factor solution was determined by using the statistical scree plot, the size of the eigenvalue, and the factor matrix solution (Ford, MacCallum, & Tait, 1986). The eigenvalue for the single factor was 4.1 0, accounting for 51% of the variance. A coefficient alpha of .85 was calculated for the 8 backlash items. Moderator White racial identity was assessed using Helms' White Racial Identity Scale (1990). The White Racial Identity Attitude Scale (WRIAS) was developed to assess attitudes related to the five stages of White racial identity. The underlying premise of the WRIAS is that a White person's attitude about Whites, Whiteness, and White culture, and a White person's attitudes about Blacks, Blackness, and Black culture depends on that person's racial identity. According to Helms, these attitudes are reflective of five stages of development from least to most healthy. Each of the five 30

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stages are measured by an attitude scale of 1 0 items and the Iikert scale for all 50 items ranged from 1 (strongly disagree) to 5 (strongly agree). In the first stage, Contact, the individual is typically color-blind and naive about how race and racism impact the world. Helms defines Contact as "obliviousness to racial/cultural issues" (e.g., "I hardly think about what race I am."). In the second stage, Disintegration, the individual may feel confused about White and Black culture, oppression, and humanity. Helms defines Disintegration as "awareness of the social implications of race on a personal level" (e.g., "I do not understand what Blacks want from Whites."). In the third stage, Reintegration, the individual is most likely to express anger. Helms defines Reintegration as "idealization of everything perceived to be White .and denigration of everything thought to be Black" (e.g., "I get angry when I think about how Whites have been treated by Blacks."). In the fourth stage, Pseudo-Independence, the individual begins to have an intellectual understanding of Blacks and Black culture and begins to process the unfairness of being Black. Helms defines Pseudo Independence as "internalization of Whiteness and capacity to recognize personal responsibility to ameliorate the consequences of racism" (e.g., "I feel as comfortable around Blacks as I do around Whites."). In the fifth, and final, stage, Autonomy, the individual has a positive, nonracist White identity, values cultural similarities and differences, and seeks to acknowledge and 31

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abolish racial oppression. Helms defines Autonomy as a "bicultural or racially transcendent world view" (e.g., I involve myself in causes regardless of the race of the people involved in them."). Helms (1990) reports a coefficient alpha for the Contact stage ranging from .55 to .67, the Disintegration stage ranging from .76 to .77, the Reintegration stage ranging from 75 to .80, the Pseudo-Independence stage from .65 to .71, and, finally, the Autonomy stage ranging from .65 to .67. In this study, a coefficient alpha for Contact was found to be .32, Disintegration was 76, Reintegration was 76, Pseudo-Independence was .65, and, finally, Autonomy was .60. Given the low reliability of the Contact subscale, it was not used for purposes of this study. Other researchers also report low reliability for the Contact scale and have also omitted the scale from their studies (Behrens, 1997; Helms, 1999). 32

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CHAPTER3 RESULTS Backlash An analysis of variance was conducted to test hypotheses 1-3. Hypothesis one states: White males who are included in an organizational definition of diversity for training will exhibit less backlash than White males who are not included. In order to test hypothesis one, White males who received the inclusive definition condition were coded a 1 and White males who received the exclusive definition condition were coded a 0. Hypothesis one was supported and the results revealed a significant main effect for including White males in the definition of diversity on backlash, E (1, 429) = 7.70, Q = .01, eta-squared= .02). Thus, White males who are included in an organizational definition of diversity for training (M = 3.29, SD = 1.17) will exhibit less backlash than White males who are not included (M = 3.61, SD = 1.21 ). Hypothesis two states: White males who are given an inclusive purpose for diversity training will exhibit less backlash than White males who are given no purpose. White males in the purpose condition were coded a 1 and White 33

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males in the no purpose condition were coded a 0. The main effect of the purpose condition was not significant, E (1, 429) = .72, Q.. = .40. Hypothesis three states: White males in an organizational diversity training pilot study that is heterogeneous will exhibit less backlash than White males enrolled in a diversity training pilot study that is homogeneous. White. males in the homogeneous condition were coded a 1, and White males in the heterogeneous condition were coded a 0. Hypothesis three was supported and the results revealed a significant main effect for White males in the heterogeneous condition on backlash, E (1, 429) = 6.12, Q = .01, eta-squared = .01 ). Thus, White males who are in a heterogeneous training group (M = 3.31, SO= 1.18) will exhibit less backlash than White males who are in a homogeneous training group (M = 3.59, SO= 1.21 ). Helms' White Racial Identity Attitude Scale Hypothesis four states: White racial identity will moderate the effects of an inclusive definition on white male backlash. Hypothesis four (a) states: White racial identity will moderate the effects of a given purpose for training on white male backlash. Finally, Hypothesis four (b) states: White racial identity will moderate the effects of a heterogeneous training group on white male backlash. 34

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In order to test these hypotheses a composite measure of White racial identity was calculated by summing the point values for each of the four subscales separately. Then, as recommended by Helms, the overall score for each stage was divided by 1 0 to maintain the scale metric. Additionally, an overall White racial identity score was given to each White male participant based on the stage where the highest score was received; the scale ranged from 2 to 5. This score represented the respondent's stage of White racial identity. A series of hierarchical regression analyses were conducted to test Hypotheses 4, 4a, and 4b. In step one, the independent measure (definition condition, purpose condition, or composition condition) was entered. In step two, one of the four stages of the White Racial Identity Attitude Scale was entered. In step three, the interaction term was entered. Additional hierarchical regression analyses were performed with an overall White racial identity stage entered in step two, and the interaction term in step three. In all fifteen regression analyses, White racial identity did not moderate the effects of the independent measures on white male backlash. Because hypotheses with regard to White racial identity were not supported additional analyses were conducted. Finally, a bivariate correlation was calculated to determine if a relationship existed between white racial identity stages and backlash. Results 35

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supported a significant negative relationship between the Autonomy stage and backlash (r = -.13), p = .01. Additionally, results supported a significant positive relationship between the Disintegration, (r = .28), p = .01, and the Reintegration, (r = 38), p = .01, stages and backlash. There was no significant relationship between the Pseudo-Independence stage and backlash. Means, standard deviations, coefficients alpha, and intercorrelaitons are presented on the next page in Table 1.1. 36

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Table 1.1 Meansl Standard Coefficients and lntercorrelations Variable Mean S.D. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 Independent Measures 1. Definition 3.29 1.17 2. Purpose -----.04 3. Composition 3.21 1.18 .01 .03 Dependent Measures 4. Backlash 3.45 1.20 -.13-.05 .12* (:85) Moderator w 5. Disintegration 2.13 .55 -.09 -.04 .02 .28-(.76) -..I 6. Reintegration 2.10 .55 -.09 -.02 .06 .38.81-( 76) 7. Pseudo3.64 .57 -.04 .06 -.05 -.05 -.09 .05 (.65) Independence 8. Autonomy 3.80 .58 -.01 .04 -.07 -.13** .03 .00 .74* (.60) 9 Overall White 4.59 .62 .06 .02 .04 -.15--.02 -.06 .02 .40-Racial Identity *Q < .05; Q < .01 Note: All variables were measured on a 5-point Iikert scale. N size = 429. Coefficient Alphas are reported on the main diagonal.

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CHAPTER4 DISCUSSION The results of this study suggest that backlash may be minimized if organizations include White males in their definition of diversity. Although the difference between the group who received an inclusive definition and the group who received an exclusive definition is small, inclusion may still be an important issue for organizational leaders to consider when designing diversity training. Additionally, in this study I found that White males exhibited less backlash in a heterogeneous, rather than a homogeneous, composition of trainees. Again, although the difference between the two groups was small, the findings suggest that organizations should include all demographic groups in diversity training. Responses to the White Racial Identity Scale indicate that White males in this study generally exhibited a healthy racial identity. Only 2 percent of White males in this sample fell in the Disintegration and Reintegration stages, whereas 35 percent fell in the Pseudo-independence stage and 63 percent fell in the Autonomy stage. However, as expected, analyses did show a negative relationship between white male backlash and higher stages of White racial identity and a positive relationship between 38

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backlash and lower stages of identity. This suggests that Whites with a higher racial identity are less likely to exhibit backlash against diversity training. Given this skewed data and the lack of findings, the White Racial Identity Attitude Scale may be outdated. Thus, the revision or construction of a new White Racial Identity Attitude Scale may be necessary to continue research in this area. Furthermore, Helms' scale has received criticism for its psychometric inadequacy (data do not support separate developmental stages). Moreover, the scale only measures Whites' attitudes toward Blacks (Swanson, Tokar, & Davis, 1994; Block & Carter, 1996; Behrens, 1997). An alternative to this scale is Phinney's Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure (1992). Phinney, Lochner, and Murphy (1990) propose that ethnic identity development occurs along a continuum and is a construct that varies across individuals. The Multigroup Ethnic Identity Measure may be of greater use for this type of research until the White Racial Identity Attitude Scale is revised. There are many limitations of this study. First, White males did not feel protected in sharing their true opinions and reactions while taking the survey in their respective organizations. Second, using a purpose that was meant to help White males feel included, instead, made them feel uncomfortable. Third, use of the White Racial Identity Attitude Scale may 39

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have contributed to a lack of significant findings. Again, the scale may be outdated and psychometrically invalid. Finally, the manipulations used in this study may not have been distinct and therefore may have skewed the results. In addition to completing quantitative survey questions, White males were asked their opinions on White male backlash at the completion of the study by the researcher. Many White males informed the researcher that they acknowledge the existence of the concept of backlash, but not the current definition that researchers are using. Many of these White males claimed that they do not feel anger, fear, hostility, or resentment with regard to diversity initiatives, but simply frustration. They expressed that their frustration stems from being excluded from diversity and also for being blamed for past iniquities. Thus, researchers need to look deeper into the meaning of backlash to determine if a change in the conceptualization of this construct is needed. During the open discussion, respondents also expressed frustration regarding the lack of white males that are currently being recruited into organizations. In fact, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (2000) reported that by the year 2005, only 15% of entrants into the workforce will be White males. Finally, White males also admitted that they felt they could not be honest on 40

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the survey. This may be due to White male pride or a concern that their organizations would be informed about their individual responses. Also during the open discussions, I observed a specific conversation among a group of White males. They were discussing the fact that the root word of diversity means to divide. Moreover, they questioned whether or not diversity training would be necessary in the next 1 0 years when White males are the minority. Additionally, White males were given an open-ended question on the survey that states: Additional comments about the diversity training program offered at AmeriCom. Out of the 207 respondents that were in the exclusive definition group, 12 percent (n = 25) stated that no consideration is given to White males with regard to diversity. Other themes, with a small sample size, emerged in coding the open-ended items that had a total of 361 respondents. Specifically, 5 percent (n = 18) of respondents reported that reverse discrimination and the promotion of unqualified employees is occurring in their organizations. Another theme reported by 3 percent (n = 11) of respondents was that participants were in favor of the diversity training, but reported that they would like to see more training that focuses on similarities among co-workers. Of the 212 White males in the homogeneous condition 7 percent (n= 15) reported that they did not think it was fair to minorities and women that 41

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White males would attend diversity training as a group. Furthermore, responses to the open-ended question suggested that of the 226 participants 5 percent (n = 15) did not like being separated from other groups in the purpose condition (the purpose of training is to focus on the roles and contributions of all individuals, including White males). Finally, 1 percent (n = 4) respondents recommended that race no longer be used to categorize employees. Based on the above comments and perceptions, researchers and organizations may need to consider changing current diversity initiatives. Organizations may want to start by changing the name from diversity training to a name like inclusive or equality training. The definition of diversity appears, for many White males, to entail color of skin, promotion of unqualified co-workers, arid affirmative action programs. Furthermore, organizations should be concerned about the legal ramifications associated with the above mentioned responses from White males. A quick search on Lexis Nexis will inform the researcher that the number of White male cases against organizations is increasing at a fast rate. In fact, thirty court cases regarding the above mentioned complaints from White males are currently in litigation. Results of this study suggest the importance of continuing to investigate White male backlash. Future research in this area should begin by attempting to more clearly define White male backlash. 42

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