Publication Type

Conference Paper

Publication Date



This paper studies the demographic diversity/similarity of individuals with members of their work environments through the lens of their perceived organizational context, and uses communication as the mechanism through which employees develop organizational attachment. I investigate the black box between demographic diversity and organizational attachment from two angels. First, a process model with communication as the mediator provides one explanation of why the relationship exists. Second, this study extends the current literature on organizational demography from a group level to a perceived organizational level phenomenon by proposing and examining the importance of an individual’s “organizational reference group” as an essential conceptualization of the organizational context for organizational members. In other words, I explore how an individual’s organizational experiences are impacted by the perceived organizational context, which can be captured by the construct of organizational reference group, rather than assuming that all organizational members experience a uniform social context that includes everybody in the same organization. Specifically, I adopt a relational demography approach and focus on demographic attributes such as age, gender, race, organizational tenure, education rather than personality, interest, or skills. Findings of this study questions the uniform effects of all demographic attributes, and suggests that communication may either reinforce, change or mediate the relationship between demographic diversity and organizational attachment.


Organizational Behavior and Theory

Research Areas

Organisational Behaviour and Human Resources


Academy of Management Annual Meeting, New Orleans, 6-11 August 2004

City or Country

New Orleans, LA, USA