Comparing cultural diversity perspectives among public service employees in the Netherlands in 2008 and 2018

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Purpose – The Netherlands’ national government (Rijksoverheid) is an example of a large public organization that strives to recruit and retain employees from different cultural groups, and aims to reap the benefits of workplace diversity. Research has shown that a major predictor of the effectiveness of diversity policy and interventions is the diversity perspective of employees, i.e. which outcomes they associate with cultural diversity in their work environment.

Design/methodology/approach – The present study compares public servants’ diversity perspectives in two similar independent samples, from 2008 (n51,617) and 2018 (n52,024), using the Benefits and Threats of Diversity Scale (BTDS; Hofhuis et al., 2015).

Findings – Results show that in 2018, employees of the Netherlands’ national government perceived more benefits of diversity for gaining insight about and access to different groups within society. Additionally, contributions of cultural diversity to creativity and innovation within teams are reported significantly more often in 2018 than in 2008.

Originality/value – The findings may be of interest to diversity scholars, since data on changes in cultural diversity perspectives across time are rare, and the paper provides a unique comparison of measurements at two time points, one decade apart, within the same organization.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)726-738
Number of pages11
JournalEquality, Diversity and Inclusion
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - 17 Jan 2022

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
The research presented in this paper was financially supported by a grant from the Netherlands' Ministry of Internal Affairs and Kingdom Relations. The author thanks Dr. Anouk van Drunen for contributing to data preparation and analyses

Publisher Copyright:
© 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited.

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