• Frank Dobbin


July 2020, Paper, "Diversity training remains ubiquitous, despite decades of research suggesting that it may not work.  We develop a theory of training efficacy.  Training features and context can frame the motive for pursuing diversity as individual, organizational, or external/legal.  According to job autonomy and self-determination theories, individual and organizational framing - such as voluntary training or cultural curriculum - will elicit trainee commitment, thus we expect them to increase managerial diversity.  According to institutional and deterrence theories, legal framing, such as mandatory training and legal curriculum, will elicit rebellion and backfire.  The organizational context of training also signals motivation.  Training in organizations with a business reason to pursue diversity or with a diversity chief, signals organizational motivation.  We expect training to be more effective in these contexts. Predictions are tested and supported using data on 805 workplaces over more than thirty years.  Findings have implications for theory and practice for promoting organizational change."

Non-HKS Author Website - Frank Dobbin