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The Diversity-Morality Link
Keywords: diversity, ethics, groups, moral judgment
Abstract: I propose that attributions of an organization’s morality are made by the demographic composition of the organization. Given the strong norms of equality and inclusion that have made Americans wary of appearing prejudiced, I propose that diversity is associated with ethics such that diverse groups are perceived to be more ethical and ethical groups to be more diverse. The results of three studies support these predictions: people perceived more ethical organizations to be more diverse than homogeneous in their composition; they cited diversity more as a rationale for their decision in times of ethical turmoil; and finally, they perceived diverse organizations to value ethics more than homogeneous organizations. Collectively, these results suggest that organizational diversity and perceptions of morality are tightly linked.