The Kenan Institute stands with the countless number of protestors working peacefully to eradicate systemic racism in the United States and globally. We join their calls for substantial reform in law enforcement and criminal justice—while recognizing that all sectors of our society must bear responsibility for re-examining the ways in which each has created, upheld and benefited from pervasive historical inequities.
We are committing ourselves to this effort, and are looking inward first. Fundamentally, we acknowledge that we currently lack the necessary understanding of the intricate ways in which structural racism has, and continues to, affect our employees, partners and work. We commit to educating ourselves about these effects and to using that knowledge to take necessary action. We pledge to re-examine our research agenda, committing resources to explore how we, as a society, got to where we are today—and where we might go from here. And recognizing ignorance as the root of prejudice and injustice, we commit on an individual and organizational level to daily making ourselves more aware of the causes and effects of systemic racism in business and the economy—and to proactively sharing our learnings with the public.
Specific steps we’ll be taking in the immediate term include:
We know that our research and that of our partners has the power to dispel myths perpetuating racist beliefs and actions, and holds the promise of providing solutions for promoting the fair and equitable treatment of all people. That’s why the Kenan Institute pledges to work with its stakeholders, from students and business executives to policymakers and community leaders, to better understand systemic racism so we can collaboratively work toward its dismantling and elimination.
This work is neither separate from, nor additional to, our mission; rather, it marks an essential and long overdue step in our efforts to leverage the private sector for the good of people and communities here in North Carolina, across the United States and around the world.
We embrace a broad definition of diversity* and recognize that diverse and equitable participation at all levels of our work is core to advancing the Kenan Institute’s mission of generating solutions to vital economic issues and stimulating economic prosperity in North Carolina and beyond. We are committed to creating a culture of empathy, compassion and authenticity that enables all people to feel heard, empowered, valued and welcomed to bring their whole selves to the workplace.
* diversity – Our definition of diversity includes race, ethnicity, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic circumstance, national origin, geographic background, immigration status, ability and disability, physical characteristics, veteran status, political ideology, religious belief and age. We further celebrate a diversity of thought: ideas, perspectives and values.
Reactions from Wall Street and Main Street to how a company addresses – or doesn’t address – issues of gender inequality and sexual harassment affect social media sentiment, brand equity and market value, new research shows.
This work examines the effects on worker psychological well-being and productivity of highly publicized negative identity-related societal events, such as the 2020 murder of George Floyd, mass shootings like the 2016 Pulse nightclub shooting that targeted LGBTQ+ individuals, and the 2021 Atlanta area Spa shootings that targeted individuals of Asian descent.
Angelica Leigh, assistant professor of management and organizations at Duke University Fuqua School of Business and 2023 Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow, defines the characteristics of mega-threats and their potential effects on the workplace.
Prior research suggests that female negotiators often obtain worse outcomes than male negotiators. The current research examines whether this pattern extends to the large subset of men and women who identify as gays and lesbians. In particular, we interweave scholarship on gender stereotypes with work on intersectionality and MOSAIC theory to develop a theoretical model that anticipates how male and female negotiators will be treated at the bargaining table based on whether they are perceived to be heterosexual or homosexual. This model predicts that homosexual women, like heterosexual men, will receive more beneficial negotiation offers and outcomes than heterosexual women and homosexual men.
Prior research suggests that female negotiators often obtain worse outcomes than male negotiators. The current research examines whether this pattern extends to the large subset of men and women who identify as gays and lesbians. In particular, we interweave scholarship on gender stereotypes with work on intersectionality and MOSAIC theory to develop a theoretical model that anticipates how male and female negotiators will be treated at the bargaining table based on whether they are perceived to be heterosexual or homosexual.
Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow Angelica Leigh, assistant professor of management and organizations at Duke University Fuqua School of Business, explored the effect of societal events, or “mega-threats,” on employees and employers in a talk Sept. 20.
Leigh, a Kenan Institute Distinguished Fellow, will discuss the influence that societal events which occur outside of organizations have on employees when they enter the workplace and on individuals in society more broadly.
In contrast to the equivocal findings in academic research, “the business case for diversity” is the dominant rhetorical paradigm for how U.S. corporations debate actions and policies around racial/ethnic diversity. In this paper, we conduct an empirical test of the paradigm by gathering data on the race/ethnicity of the individuals shown on the leadership pages of S&P 500 firms’ websites as of mid-2011, 2014, 2017, 2020 and 2021, and then determining if any of nine measures of the racial/ethnic diversity of these executives reliably predict cross-sectional variation in any of six measures of their firms’ financial performance over the next fiscal year. We do not find reliable evidence that they do.
Co-brands are strategically advantageous partnerships which can also involve risk. For example, Papa John’s gained access to the largest television audience in the US by sponsoring the National Football League (NFL), but later blamed stagnant sales on how the NFL’s handled players’ well-publicized protests of inequitable policing. What implications did Papa John’s prioritization of sales over fairness have for NFL consumption? To answer this question, the current research tests for changes in Sunday watch party rituals (SWPR), when U.S. consumers gather to socialize while watching live NFL games.
In recent years, the importance of reducing wealth inequality and spurring inclusive economic growth has become apparent. Most approaches to reducing wealth inequality have been on the policy side, for example, through changing taxation. But economic prosperity can also occur for people in the lower half of the wealth distribution through market-based actions. The business sector has innovated and found profitable opportunities by serving lower income or lower wealth communities — for example, fintech or telehealth are two domains in which for-profit businesses have created opportunities for those in more disadvantaged situations to improve their well-being, including their finances.
Multicultural experiences – such as living, traveling, or working abroad – can have many psychological benefits, including decreasing intergroup bias. However, unlike the intergroup contact literature, research on multicultural experiences has yet to examine whether the valence of these experiences may moderate such outcomes. So, could multicultural experiences actually increase intergroup bias? Five studies reveal that multicultural experiences increase (rather than decrease) intergroup bias when those experiences are negative (rather than positive).