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Theoretical and methodological issues in conducting research related to diversity among nurses Wolff, Angela Apr 25, 2008

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1Theoretical and Methodological Issues in Conducting Research Related to Diversity among Nurses Angela Wolff, PhD Candidate, RN1 Dissertation Committee Pamela Ratner, PhD, RN, Professor1 Sandra Robinson, PhD, Professor2 John Oliffe, PhD, RN, Assistant Professor1 Linda McGillis Hall, PhD, RN, Associate Professor3 1UBC School of Nursing 2UBC Sauder School of Business 3U of T Faculty of Nursing 2Overview z Approaches to conceptualizing and measuring diversity z Theoretical underpinnings z Application to Diversity at Work study z Methodological challenges (e.g., research design, measurement considerations, and sampling approaches) z Recommendations and considerations 3Diversity Broadly defined to refer to a number of attributes that may lead to the perception that another person is different (or similar) from oneself. SES Tenure Occup Specialty Position Behaviour Styles Personality ValuesBeliefs KSA Religion Education Gender Ethnicity Age Attributes KSA = Knowledge, skills and attitudes 4Conceptualizing Diversity Simple/Categorical Approach 5Conceptualizing Diversity 1. Simple/Categorical Approach z Categorical approach to studying effects of demographics characteristics (e.g., age, gender) z Individuals with certain traits are similar in their work behaviours or attitudes z Limitations z Ignores variations in attitudes and behaviours among individuals belonging to the same category z Ignores importance of situational context 6Conceptualizing Diversity Compositional Approach Group A Heterogeneous Group B Homogeneous 7Conceptualizing Diversity 2. Compositional Approach z Degree of homogeneity or heterogeneity in a work unit (collective profile) z Limitations z Ignores variations in attitudes and behaviours among individuals belonging to the same category z Ignores importance of situational context 8Conceptualizing Diversity Relational Approach X X Group A Group B 9Conceptualizing Diversity 3. Relational Approach z Degree of relative difference between an individual and other workgroup members z Relational and contextual z Actual versus perceived differences 10 Theoretical Foundation z Social Identity Theory z Individuals classify themselves and others into social categories. z Categorization process implicitly involves a distinction between in-groups and out-groups (us-them). z Similarity-attraction Theory z Individuals who possess similar characteristics and attitudes will be attracted to one another. z Similarity and interpersonal attraction leads to frequent communication and positive exchanges, high individual sense of belonging, and a desire to maintain group affiliation. 11 Theoretical Foundation z Ecological and Cognitive Models z Models of variation, selection and retention to highlight the benefits of heterogeneity in information resources. z Distributive Justice Theory z Relative comparison among members to suggest that diversity in attributes that connote prestige or power (e.g., pay, rank) leads to internal competition, suppression of voice, reduced communication, and interpersonal undermining. 12 Predicted Outcomes z Reduced cohesiveness, interpersonal conflict, distrust, decreased task performance z Creativity, innovation, higher decision quality, task conflict, increased unit flexibility z Workgroup competition, deviant behaviour, reduced member input, withdrawal z Turnout, organizational commitment, job satisfaction, absenteeism 13 Example – Diversity at Work 1. Examine whether relational diversity (age, education, ethnicity and work values) contributes to the professional burnout of nurses. 2. Determine whether diversity is associated with individual’s involvement in conflict, and if this involvement, in turn, is associated with burnout. Diversity Burnout Conflict 14 Sample z Setting z 2 acute care hospitals (1 health authority) z Medical, surgical and other “specialty” nursing units z Sample z 603 nurses, 80% RNs z 17 nursing units z 82% response rate 15 Methodological Challenges z Measurement considerations (operationalization of diversity) z Research design z Sampling 16 Operationalization of Simple Approach to Diversity z Measures of variability – standard deviation, range, and interpercentile z Group differences – chi-squared, t test, and ANOVA ( ) 1 2 − = ∑ − N SD XX 17 Operationalization of Compositional Diversity 1. Blau Index of Heterogeneity z Categorical variables 2. Coefficient of Variation z Continuous variables ∑− 21 kp p = proportion of group members in a categoryk = # of different categories represented in a group ( ) Χ⎥⎦⎤⎢⎣⎡ Χ−Χ∑ N2 SD divided by the mean 18 Operationalization of Relational Diversity 1. Subjective measures (perceived) z 4-items “how similar” 2. Objective measures (actual) z Euclidean distance measure (D-score) z Polynomial regression Y = b1ind + b2grp + b1ind2 + b2grp2 + b3indgrp + e 2 1 2 1 )(1 ⎥⎦ ⎤⎢⎣ ⎡ −∑ = ji n j SSn 19 Relational Diversity (actual) z Euclidean distance measure (D-score) z The square root of the summed squared differences between an individual’s value (Si) on a demographic variable and the value on the same variable for every other individual (Sj) in the work unit sample, divided by the total number of respondents in the work unit (n), including the focal individual. 2 1 2 1 )(1 ⎥⎦ ⎤⎢⎣ ⎡ −∑ = ji n j SSn Si =the focal individual’s score on a specific attribute Sj = all other workgroup members’ scores on the same attribute 20 Criticisms of D-Score z Does not account for any effects beyond the linear plane (quadratic) z Measures only magnitude, rather than directional effects z Treats nominal classifications as if they were interval data (e.g., each ethnic classification is thought to be equally distant from each other) z Equality – Ignores the possibly that the separate components of the Si score (focal individual) – Sj score (all other members’ score) may disproportionately contribute to the prediction of individual outcomes 21 Polynomial Regression z Y = b1ind + b2grp + b1ind2 + b2grp2 + b3indgrp + e individual score on the given attribute workgroup score on the given attribute individual-level attribute score squared workgroup attribute score squared (interaction term) individual attribute score multiplied by workgroup attribute score variable error 22 Polynomial Regression z Y = b1ind + b2grp + b1ind2 + b2grp2 + b3indgrp + e z Corrects the directional masking characteristic of D-scores z Includes nonlinear effects z Accounts for higher-order relationships among the diversity scores for individuals and their associated workgroups 23 Methodological Challenges z Research design z Cross sectional z Longitudinal z Sampling approaches z Random sample z Population sample z Analysis z Regression models z Latent variable modeling 24 Conceptual Model RC EX Age Ed Eth Val TC DP CY PA PC 25 Conclusion z Approaches provide new avenues of diversity research to understand the effects and results of diversity in organizations z Diversity is dynamic, relational and context-based z What questions are we asking? z What attributes are salient? Xi Eta Chapter of Sigma Theta Tau 26 Questions and Comments a.wolff@shaw.ca

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