Perceived Injustice in Organizations

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  • Title: Perceived Injustice in Organizations: Reasons for Segregation of Immigrants
  • Author(s): Elisabeth Enoksen
  • Publisher: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Collection: Common Ground Research Networks
  • Series: Organization Studies
  • Journal Title: Change Management: An International Journal
  • Keywords: Diversity Management, Subtle Discrimination, Segregation, Unequal Treatment, Immigrant Workers, Minority and Majority Groups, Change Management
  • Volume: 19
  • Issue: 1
  • Year: 2019
  • ISSN: 2327-798X (Print)
  • ISSN: 2327-9176 (Online)
  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.18848/2327-798X/CGP/v19i01/1-9
  • Citation: Enoksen, Elisabeth . 2019. "Perceived Injustice in Organizations: Reasons for Segregation of Immigrants." Change Management: An International Journal 19 (1): 1-9. doi:10.18848/2327-798X/CGP/v19i01/1-9.
  • Extent: 9 pages

Abstract

Despite antidiscrimination laws and diversity initiatives, discrimination still exists in workplaces. Employees of both majority and minority origins must challenge this unfairness. However, in today’s organizations, subtle rather than more blatant discrimination may be more predominant and thus more difficult to recognize. Because of social categorization and ingroup-thinking that affect perceptions and often result in stereotyping, majority employees may not perceive injustice in the workplace. They may tend to believe that immigrants prefer to be segregated rather than the latter being caused by unequal treatment. This study examined what employees (N = 224) in a public health sector clinic in Norway perceived to be the reason for why immigrants are segregated in the workplace. Two hypotheses were tested. The first hypothesis claims that perceived segregation of immigrants in the workplace is associated with a low score on the belief that immigrants are subjected to unequal treatment that leaves them disadvantaged. The second hypothesis claims that perceived segregation of immigrants in the workplace is associated with a high score on the belief that immigrants are primarily concerned with their own special interests. Both of the independent variables significantly contributed to explaining variance in the dependent variable. However, contrary to the prediction, the first hypothesis was positively related to perceived segregation. The analysis thus showed no support for the first hypothesis, whereas it did support the second hypothesis. Although the respondents perceived that immigrants were being subjected to unequal treatment, the belief that immigrants are primarily concerned with their own special interest was considerably stronger. This indicates a tendency towards seeing segregation in the workplace as a result of immigrants’ own wishes, thereby limiting majority employees’ motivation to change the situation. The results are discussed together with suggestions for organizational change initiatives.