Julian Rengers: Informal Social Networks and Organizational Inclusion: The Invisible Minority’s Dilemma

Project Summary
Discriminatory behaviours against minorities of all kinds are common in many organizations. This may negatively affect their individual well-being and work performance. How can the inclusion of minorities at the workplace be enhanced? This project investigates the interplay between informal social networks, organizational policies, and inclusion of minorities at work. We focus on two aspects of inclusion- perceptions of belongingness and opportunities for authenticity - and their impact on work-related outcomes. Moreover, findings for lesbian women, gay men, and bisexual people (LGBs), whose minority status is, in principle, concealable, will be compared with those for other minorities at the workplace.

Research Design and Data
A multi-method approach will be used to address five sub-problems (see Figure I for a graphical representation of the conceptual model). The LISS Panel will be used to administer a web-based employee survey to a sample of employed individuals (N = 1500), thus providing a wide range of perceptions from multiple organizations. The LISS panel (Longitudinal Internet Studies for the Social Sciences, https://www.lissdata.nl/lissdata/about-panel), consists of a true probability sample of over 4000 Dutch households with 7000 individuals. Every month panel members complete online questionnaires of about 15 to 30 minutes in total. Researchers can submit questionnaires to be administered to the whole panel or sub-samples, in our case employed individuals. Additionally, several in-depth case studies within a number of organizations will be conducted to map the different networks and other organizational characteristics. For these qualitative projects, we will benefit from ongoing collaborations with several organizations who indicated their willingness to participate in the data collection.

PhD Student
Julian Rengers

Prof.dr. Rafael Wittek (University of Groningen)
Prof. dr. S. (Sabine) Otten (University of Groningen))
Dr. L. (Liesbet) Heyse (University of Groningen)

1 September 2017 - 31 August 2021

University of Gronigen


Department of Sociology
Faculty of Behavioral and Social SciencesUniversity of Groningen
Grote Rozenstraat 31, 9712 TG Groningen, The Netherlands
Email: r.p.m.wittek@rug.nl, 
Phone: +31 50 36 36282

Secretary: Ms. Lije Gong (+31 50 36 36469, lijie.gong@rug.nl)