Methods: Data were collected via questionnaire from 910 athletic administrators from NCAA Division I universities. Participants completed a questionnaire in which they provided the demographics of their department (which were used to compute the department's diversity) and responded to items measuring their affective commitment to diversity and the creativity of the department.
Analysis/Results: As the hypothesis was concerned with the athletic department, as a whole, data were aggregated to the group level of analysis, thereby reducing the sample to 258 athletic departments. Regression analysis was employed to test the predicted relationships. The size of the department (i.e., total operating budget, number of head coaches) served as controls, affective commitment to diversity and racial diversity were entered in the second step, and the interaction between the latter variables was entered in the final step. Creativity served as the dependent variable. As predicted, both affective commitment and racial diversity were positively associated with creativity, as was the interaction term. Simple slope analysis indicated that creativity was low when racial diversity was high, but the affective commitment to diversity was low. However, creativity was highest when both affective commitment to diversity and racial diversity were high.
Conclusions: Findings from the study point to the value of an affective commitment to diversity, as absent such support, racial diversity impeded performance. Thus, athletic administrators should engender such a commitment within their workplace. In drawing from commitment theory, several options are possible, including increasing people's intrinsic motivation to pursue that course of action, allowing them to recognize the value of diversity, and/or encouraging them to derive part of their personal identity from workplace diversity.
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