Department of Management


Date of this Version



Published in Journal of Organizational Behavior 36 (2015), pp. 491–513; doi: 10.1002/job.1988


Copyright © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. Used by permission.


We combine the interactional model of cultural diversity (IMCD) and relative deprivation theory to examine employee outcomes of perceived workplace racial discrimination. Using 79 effect sizes from published and unpublished studies, we meta-analyze the relationships between perceived racial discrimination and several important employee outcomes that have potential implications for organizational performance. In response to calls to examine the context surrounding discrimination, we test whether the severity of these outcomes depends on changes to employment law that reflect increasing societal concern for equality and on the characteristics of those sampled. Perceived racial discrimination was negatively related to job attitudes, physical health, psychological health, organizational citizenship behavior, and perceived diversity climate and positively related to coping behavior. The effect of perceived racial discrimination on job attitudes was stronger in studies published after the Civil Rights Act of 1991 was passed than before. Results provide some evidence that effect sizes were stronger the more women and minorities were in the samples, indicating that these groups are more likely to perceive discrimination and/or respond more strongly to perceived discrimination. Our findings extend the IMCD and relative deprivation theory to consider how contextual factors including changes to employment law influence employee outcomes of perceived workplace discrimination.