Calls for Papers

Special Issue and Conference on Reducing Inequality in Organizations: What Works? What Doesn't?

The ILR Review is calling for papers for a conference and a subsequent special issue devoted to identifying and developing organizational practices and processes that affect workplace inequality, diversity, and inclusion. We seek innovative research that will advance our understanding of the organizational arrangements that help to reduce the effects of bias and to promote diverse and inclusive workplaces. Emilio J. Castilla (MIT) and Pamela S. Tolbert (ILR, Cornell) will be the guest editors of the issue.

Scholars interested in participating should submit a detailed abstract to the ILR Review by February 1, 2015. The abstract should be no more than five pages in length (double-spaced, font size 12) and contain a brief theoretical discussion of the problem studied, along with a description of data, methods, and key findings. Authors whose abstracts are accepted will be invited to provide and present completed papers at a conference in New York City in late June 2015. Papers should be ready to be submitted for peer review. Based on initial reviewers' recommendations, discussions at the conference, and fit with the issue, a subset of authors will be asked to undertake revisions with the expectation that their papers will be published in a special issue of the Review. Papers that reviewers deem of good quality but are not selected for the special issue will be considered for publication in a regular issue of the journal.

Overview and Submission Procedures

While evidence suggests that overt expressions of racial and gender bias in U.S. workplaces have declined markedly since the passage of the original Civil Rights Act a half century ago, a stream of contemporary research has raised the concern that powerful, albeit more covert forms of bias persist in contemporary workplaces. To rectify past and potential problems of bias, ensure workplace equity and fairness, and promote a diverse, high-functioning workforce, many U.S. employers have designed and implemented an array of organizational policies and practices. Only within the last decade, however, have researchers systematically begun to explore the efficacy of such practices. Consequently, we know comparatively little about the kinds of organizational conditions that may foster or suppress biased behaviors and contribute to workforce integration.

In this context, the aims of this conference and special issue are to bring together empirical research from a variety of social science disciplines that will advance our understanding of the organizational arrangements that support equitable employment outcomes for individuals, and to specify conditions under which these arrangements are most effective. Focused exploration of these topics is intended to foster further research, as well as to contribute to practical efforts to effectively reduce discrimination and to increase inclusiveness in the workplace.

Submitted abstracts may reflect a range of methodologies, including surveys, qualitative or quantitative fieldwork, experiments, or the use of historical/archival data. We are interested in work at any level of analysis, from individuals to work groups to organizations, and in research using data from a variety of national contexts. We are also interested in studies across industries and markets, as long as they share a concern for understanding which organizational practices improve workplace equity.

Potential topics include (but are not limited to):

  • Organizational conditions affecting differential treatment in recruiting, screening, training, and hiring decisions
  • The impact of organizational recruitment and selection procedures on hiring (and post-hiring) outcomes
  • Aspects and features of organizations that affect occupational and job-level segregation based on gender and race
  • Conditions facilitating workplace relations in diverse groups and teams inside organizations
  • The effects of various organizational practices and policies on the promotion and retention of women and minorities
  • Organizational arrangements that affect race- and gender-related differences in training, promotion, and compensation outcomes
  • Organizational forms and work arrangements that influence workplace inequality, diversity, and inclusion
  • Differential impacts of social policies and organizational practices on labor market outcomes (e.g., by race and by gender)

Research addressing other related topics is also welcome. To submit your abstract for consideration, please e-mail a copy to ilrr@cornell.edu by February 1, 2015, and put "what works abstract" in the subject line.