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Normative Multiculturalism in Organisations: Scale Development, Validation, and Organisational Outcomes

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Version 2 2023-02-24, 02:34
Version 1 2023-01-11, 00:00
posted on 2023-02-24, 02:34 authored by O'Donnell, Kai

Due to rising ethnic diversity in modern workplaces, the importance of understanding the influence of multiculturalism on employee experiences and organisational outcomes is increasingly recognised. A 3-factor model for measuring Normative Multiculturalism (NMC)—comprised of multicultural contact (MC), multicultural ideology (MI), and multicultural policy and practice (MPP)—has been used at the national-level to describe the relationship between multiculturalism and trust, threat and national identification, and social cohesion. However, this model has not yet been validated in finer scales of social organisation. In this thesis I develop a new scale for measuring NMC for application in organisations or workplaces. Drawing on a community sample from New Zealand (n = 202 participants), the first study used psychometric testing and Exploratory Factor Analysis to develop a consolidated Normative Multiculturalism Scale for Organisations (NMS-O). The 3-factor solution comprised of MC, MI and MPP best fit the data over alternative models. Evidence of criterion validity was supported by correlations between the new scale and established workplace criterion measures (e.g., valuing pluralism, organisational fairness). In Study Two a community sample from the United States (n = 316) participated in the new NMS-O. Confirmatory Factor Analysis provided additional support for the 3-factor model of NMC. Subsequent path analyses tested a hypothesised model of relationships between NMC and employee outcomes (organisational citizenship behaviours [OCB] and turnover intentions) as partially mediated by trust, perceived threat and organisational identification. A modified model demonstrated acceptable fit to the data with perceived threat mediating the relationships between MI and MPP and both OCB and turnovers intentions; trust mediating the effects of MI and MPP on OCB; and organisational identification mediating the effects of MPP on both OCB and turnover intentions. Multigroup comparisons demonstrated that the path model was invariant for ethnic majority and minority group members in the United States. The present research provides support for the normative interpretation of multiculturalism in the organisational context, linking NMC with outcomes that are important for both employees and organisational decision-makers. Further, the NMS-O offers a diagnostic capability for workplace practitioners who want to positively influence employee outcomes and consequent organisational performance.


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Date of Award



Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Rights License


Degree Discipline


Degree Grantor

Te Herenga Waka—Victoria University of Wellington

Degree Level


Degree Name

Master of Science

Victoria University of Wellington Unit

Centre for Applied Cross-Cultural Research

ANZSRC Socio-Economic Outcome code

139999 Other culture and society not elsewhere classified

ANZSRC Type Of Activity code

3 Applied research

Victoria University of Wellington Item Type

Awarded Research Masters Thesis



Victoria University of Wellington School

School of Psychology


Ward, Colleen