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Culture and Diversity at Work


Entry requirements

Only open to second year students who completed at least a Social and Organisational Psychology course or a similar course (only for students outside of the bachelor programme Psychology). For admission requirements, please contact the study adviser.


In this course we study the social psychological processes related to culture and diversity in work and organisations. Diversity and inclusion are important issues in today’s world, offering opportunities as well as posing major challenges for organisations and its employees at all levels. Increasing globalisation and the many forms of diversification have a growing impact on work outcomes, mobility, and wellbeing. Diversity is often associated with innovation, but research has shown ambiguous results for the impact of group composition on workgroup performance. One of the questions we will address is how to explain this. Other topics include, but are not limited to, strategies to enhance equality and inclusion, managing diversity, diversity training, the role of ethnic minorities, and gender inequality.

In the lectures and readings we examine classic and current theories and research on the impact of diversity on group processes, motivation and performance. We specifically pay attention to challenges in recruitment and selection, evaluation, leadership, and decision-making. We also discuss how stereotypes and prejudice can influence personnel decisions and career development, how group composition affects teamwork, and how motivation is impacted by group processes. The course is taught in English.

Course objectives

At the enf of the course, the student can:

  • recognise and describe the key concepts and theories on diversity and inclusion that are presented in the course;

  • apply those concepts and theories to work and organisational contexts;

  • analyse how the included concepts and theories relate to each other;

  • apply those concepts and theories to practical issues involving culture and diversity at work;

  • evaluate the benefits and challenges of diversity in work environments.


For the timetable of this course please refer to MyTimetable



Students must register themselves for all course components (lectures, tutorials and practicals) they wish to follow. You can register up to 5 days prior to the start of the course. The exception here is that first-year bachelor students are assigned and registered for all components in the first semester or academic year by the administration of their bachelor programme. The programme will communicate to these students for which course components and for which period the registration applies.


You must register for each exam in My Studymap at least 10 days before the exam date. Don’t forget! For more information, see the enrolment procedure.
You cannot take an exam without a valid registration in My Studymap.

Carefully read all information about the procedures and deadlines for registering for courses and exams.

Students who take this course as part of a LDE minor or a premaster programme, exchange students and external guest students will be informed by the education administration about the current registration procedure.

Mode of instruction

The course consists of eight two-hour lectures. Weblectures will be made available shortly after the lecture.


Students will be examined on their knowledge and understanding of the material and their ability to apply the knowledge they have acquired in a final exam comprising multiple choice (70% of the grade) and open questions (30% of the grade). Open questions may be answered in English or in Dutch. The students will be examined on the readings and the information presented in the lectures. How and when an exam review will take place will be communicated on Brightspace after publication of the exam results.

The Institute of Psychology uses fixed rules for grade calculation and compulsory attendance. It also follows the policy of the Faculty of Social and Behavioural Sciences to systematically check student papers for plagiarism with the help of software. All students are required to take and pass the Scientific Integrity Test with a score of 100% in order to learn about the practice of integrity in scientific writing. Students are given access to the quiz via a module on Brightspace. Disciplinary measures will be taken when fraud is detected. Students are expected to be familiar with and understand the implications of these three policies.


Reading consists of articles and chapters made available via Brightspace. Typical examples are provided below. The final list and additional readings will be printed in the syllabus; changes may be announced in lecture and/or via Brightspace.

  • Berry, J. W. (2005). Acculturation: Living successfully in two cultures. International Journal of Intercultural Relations, 29(6), 697-712.

  • Derks, B., Van Laar, C., & Ellemers, N. (2016). The queen bee phenomenon: Why women leaders distance themselves from junior women. The Leadership Quarterly, 27(3), 456-469.

  • Eagly, A. H., & Koenig, A. M. (2021). The vicious cycle linking stereotypes and social roles. Current Directions in Psychological Science, 30(4), 343-350.

  • Eccles, J. (2009). Who am I and what am I going to do with my life? Personal and collective identities as motivators of action. Educational Psychologist, 44(2), 78–89.

  • Ely, R. J., & Thomas, D. A. (2001). Cultural diversity at work: The effects of diversity perspectives on work group processes and outcomes. Administrative Science Quarterly, 46(2), 229-273.

  • Fiske, S. T., & Lee T. L. (2008). Stereotypes and prejudice create workplace discrimination. In A. P. Brief (Ed.), Diversity at work (pp. 13–52). Cambridge University Press.

  • Gaertner, S. L., & Dovidio, J. F. (2005). Understanding and addressing contemporary racism: From aversive racism to the common ingroup identity model. Journal of Social Issues, 61(3), 615–639.

  • Gündemir, S., Martin, A. E., & Homan, A. C. (2019). Understanding diversity ideologies from the target’s perspective: A review and future directions. Frontiers in Psychology, 10, 282.

  • Hornsey, M. J., & Hogg, M. A. (2000). Assimilation and diversity: An integrative model of subgroup relations. Personality and Social Psychology Review, 4(2), 143-156.

  • Kanter, R. M. (1976). The impact of hierarchical structures on the work behavior of women and men. Social Problems, 23(4), 415–427.

  • Kulik, C. T., & Roberson, L. (2008). Diversity initiative effectiveness: What organizations can (and cannot) expect from diversity recruitment, diversity training, and formal mentoring programs. In A. P. Brief (Ed.), Diversity at work (pp. 265–317): Cambridge University Press.

  • O'Brien, L. T., Major, B. N., & Gilbert, P. N. (2012). Gender differences in entitlement: The role of system-justifying beliefs. Basic and Applied Social Psychology, 34(2), 136–145.

  • Richard, N. T., & Wright, S. C. (2010). Advantaged group members’ reactions to tokenism. Group Processes & Intergroup Relations, 13(5), 559-569.

  • Roberson, Q. M. (2019). Diversity in the workplace: A review, synthesis, and future research agenda. Annual Review of Organizational Psychology and Organizational Behavior, 6, 69-88.

  • Roberge, M. É., & van Dick, R. (2010). Recognizing the benefits of diversity: When and how does diversity increase group performance? Human Resource Management Review, 20(4), 295–308.

  • Ryan, M. K., & Haslam, S. A. (2007). The glass cliff: Exploring the dynamics surrounding the appointment of women to precarious leadership positions. Academy of Management Review, 32(2), 549–572.

  • Shore, L. M., Randel, A. E., Chung, B. G., Dean, M. A., Holcombe Ehrhart, K., & Singh, G. (2011). Inclusion and diversity in work groups: A review and model for future research. Journal of Management, 37(4), 1262–1289.

  • Starck, J. G., Sinclair, S., & Shelton, J. N. (2021). How university diversity rationales inform student preferences and outcomes. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 118(16).

  • Stephan, W. G., & Stephan, C. W. (2001). Diversity initiatives in the workplace. In W. G. Stephan & C. W. Stephan (Eds.), Improving intergroup relations (pp. 75–101). Sage.

  • Van Knippenberg, D., De Dreu, C. K., & Homan, A. C. (2004). Work group diversity and group performance: An integrative model and research agenda. Journal of Applied Psychology, 89(6), 1008–1022.

  • White, J. B. (2008). Fail or flourish? Cognitive appraisal moderates the effect of solo status on performance. Personality and Social Psychology Bulletin, 34(9), 1171–1184.

Contact information

Bram Prasastyoga