Buying into the Business Case: A Bona Fide Group Study of Dialectical Tensions in Employee Network Groups
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Objectives for managing diversity in organizations include reducing lawsuits, responding to changing employee demographics, enhancing image, attracting and retaining a variety of talent, reaching new customer bases, and improving group effectiveness. Diversity management also emphasizes strategies to help retain and promote minority members once they have been hired. One of these ways is through employee network groups. This research adopts a case approach to describing and comparing a Black and a Hispanic employee network group at a United States affiliate of the Fortune Global 100 energy corporation, Summit International. This study applies bona fide group theory and dialectics to examine the complex intergroup relationships that employee network groups have in their organizations. The study offers three key contributions to communication theory. In connection with dialectics, bona fide group theory helped to reveal the multiple units from which group tensions emerge and the complex decisions that group members must make in managing them. The application of bona fide group theory also revealed an unexpected finding: that the network groups were engaged in concertive control with each other through interdependence with the organizational context. The bona fide group theory uncovered these processes because it revealed the norms and expectations that groups formed based on the corporate values regarding diversity.
Baker, Jane Stuart (2009). Buying into the Business Case: A Bona Fide Group Study of Dialectical Tensions in Employee Network Groups. Doctoral dissertation, Texas A&M University. Available electronically from