Purpose: This study aims to examine the effectiveness of three types of diversity policies in improving the numerical representation of ethnic minorities in organizations: the assignment of responsibility for the policy within the organization, tiebreak preferential treatment, i.e. selecting the ethnic minority candidate if the best applicants are equally qualified, and the formulation of target figures. Design/methodology/approach: The dataset consists of 8,283 official reports of Dutch work organizations filed in 2001 and 2002 to comply with the Act Stimulation Labor Participation Minorities (Wet SAMEN). The research is embedded in the broader literature on the underlying motivations for diversity policies and on their potential "symbolic" character. Findings: The analysis suggests that the three diversity policies and ethnic minority representation are correlated. However, the policies do not impact ethnic minority participation rates in the short run. Research limitations/implications: Future research should also include long-term effects, actual implementation processes, and the effectiveness of these three policies in combination with other policies and in specific contexts. Practical implications: Policymakers and strategic HRM practitioners should adopt a long time frame in trying to increase ethnic minority representation. In line with previous research, the study evaluates assigning responsibility within organizations most positively. Originality/value: These "hard" policies are central to the debate on equal opportunities, employment equity, and ethnic diversity, but few large N effectiveness studies are available.

Diversity management, Diversity policies, Employment equity, Ethnic minorities, Ethnic minority representation, Organizational responsibility, Preferential treatment, Target figures, Targets
dx.doi.org/10.1108/00483481211249157, hdl.handle.net/1765/64098
Personnel Review
Department of Public Administration

Verbeek, S.R, & Groeneveld, S.M. (2012). Do "hard" diversity policies increase ethnic minority representation?: An assessment of their (in)effectiveness using administrative data. Personnel Review, 41(5), 647–664. doi:10.1108/00483481211249157