Inclusion is not a slam dunk: A study of differential leadership outcomes in the absence of a glass cliff

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© 2019 Elsevier Inc. Racial bias continues to act as one of the most thought provoking and controversial topics in our society. Even as organizations implement steps and policies to minimize discriminatory practices, evidence of bias in organizational decision-making persists. While much research has been devoted to the study of racial bias in hiring and promotion decisions, this study focuses on the effect of biases on employment outcomes of minority leaders after they have been hired or promoted to leadership positions that are comparable in quality to those of their white peers (i.e. no glass cliff present). More specifically, we investigate how discrimination influences performance rewards and employment separation decisions pertaining to minority leaders. The study uses archival data from the National Basketball Association collected from the year 2003 to 2015. From this data set, we utilize measures of head coaches' objective performance, reward allocation, and their likelihood of employment separation to find limited support for the hypotheses that minority leaders are given less time in position to achieve success and that when they do achieve success, they may be less likely than white leaders to be recognized for their accomplishments. Our findings suggest that in addition to researching selection processes, understanding why racial minorities are underrepresented in leadership positions also requires insight into the employment outcomes experienced by minority leaders.

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Leadership Quarterly





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