Role of Informal Integration in Career
Advancement: In vestigation s in Plural and
Multicultural Organization s and Im p lication s
for Diversity Valuation
Jacq uelin e A. Gilbert
Middle Tenn essee State University
Den iz S. Ones
University of Minnesota
Th e m ajo r question wh ich this research exam in ed is wh eth er in form al
integration is likely to result in career advancem ent an d perceived resou rces
with in two different organ izatio n al contexts (plu ral an d m u ltic u ltu ral).
Specifically, we examined interactions of race, gender, an d organ ization type
on the above two outcom e variables. In plural organizations, employees are
expected to assim ilate in to the dom in ant cultu re, while in m ultic ultu ral
organ ization s, cultural change for the in divid ual and the organization is
reciprocal. Hypotheses were tested with a com bined sam ple of 101 m en , 35
women, 29 persons of color, and 107 whites. Results indicated that, congruent
with pred ictions, greater social in tegration occurred in an organ ization al
context in which valuin g differences was a priority. Further, the influence of
informal integration on career advan cemen t was still im portan t even after
con trolling for such variables as age, organization al ten ure, education, an d
hierarchical level within the organization. Im plications of these findings for
valuin g diversity are discussed.
Rece nt predictions of increased workforce dive rsity have le d to inte rest in
ways to fully integrate all employe es into the organization to attain maxi-
Sex Roles, Vol. 39, Nos. 9/10, 1998
1998 Plenum Publishing Corporation
The authors wish to thank Sue Rosenberg Z alk for her patience in this proce ss, and an
anonymous re viewer for he lpful comments and suggestions.
To whom corre spo n de nce should be addre sse d at Departme nt of Manage me nt an d
Marketing, Colle ge of Business, Middle Tennesse e State University, Murfreesboro, TN 31720.