My first foray into AI-based data analysis! Joao Goncalves, Pytrik Schafraad, Biyao Wu, and I used supervised machine-learning to study how organizations communicate about diversity on social media.
The validation of our digital tool, called Diversity Perspectives in Social Media (DivPSM) was just published in Public Relations Review. The algorithms are open source (https://github.com/joephofhuis/divpsm), so feel free use them in your own research, or contact me if you need more info.
In 2021, in the middle of the pandemic, I developed a new online teaching module intercultural communication. The project was financially supported by the Community for Learning and Innovation (CLI) at Erasmus University. The module was taught by experienced trainers from RISBO
Together with Mijail Fugueroa, I conducted an evaluation study, to test whether the module was effective in raising students’ cultural intelligence, and who benefited the most. The results of our study have just been published (Spoiler: the training works!).
It was very cool to be back in my birthplace to provide a workshop at the Gemeente Delft (Municipality of Delft) on diversity in teams. Thanks, Mark Rothuizen, for the invitation. Also nice to see my former school building in the ‘Delfts Kwartet’: What used to be the Jan Vermeerschool is now the Vermeer Centre.
Awareness of the importance of cultural diversity in the workplace is growing steadily. Research shows that successful integration of diverse cultural groups not only contributes to a fair and inclusive society, but also has benefits for the productivity of teams and organizations. However, communicating effectively on this topic remains a challenge, full of sensitivities and potential pitfalls. There are different opinions in society about what a successful diversity policy should look like. In addition, there is a lot of skepticism about the authenticity of diversity communication. Organizations are often accused of ‘colorwashing’: positive communication about cultural diversity without a link with actual diversity policy. To what extent is this skepticism justified?
Together with Gabriella Santos en Pytrik Schafraad I wrote an article (in Dutch) for www.innnovatiefinwerk.nl, in which we answer this question. Click HERE to read it.
This month, the magazine HP/De Tijd focuses on my recent research into ‘colorwashing’ – the tendency of organizations to communicate positively about diversity, with the aim of improving reputation, without correlation with actual or intended diversity activities.
Starting Sept 1st, I will be working as Associate Professor at the Amsterdam School of International Business (AMSIB), of Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences. I’m looking forward to meeting AMSIB’s international students and staff, and working together on teaching and research projects.
Who benefits from the international classroom? A longitudinal examination of multicultural personality development during one year of international higher education Joep Hofhuis, Joran Jongerling, Jeroen Jansz
Enhancing students’ intercultural competences through international higher education requires a thorough understanding of the way in which these competences develop over time, how they relate to outcomes, and which factors predict their growth. To answer these questions, a three-wave longitudinal study was conducted among a sample of first-year students in an international university program (n = 425). Intercultural competences were operationalized through the five dimensions of the Multicultural Personality Questionnaire (MPQ): Cultural Empathy, Openmindedness, Flexibility, Social Initiative and Emotional Stability. We examined development of these traits across one year, as well as their relationship with stress, life satisfaction, and academic performance (GPA). Cultural background (local vs. international student) and prior international experience (yes/no) were included as predictors. Results show that MPQ scores at the beginning of the year negatively relate to change across semester 1, which in turn is negatively related to change across semester 2. These findings suggest the presence of ceiling effects in MPQ development. In semester 1, emotional stability acts as a buffer against stress. In semester 2, stress is lower among students with higher scores on cultural empathy, and lower scores on flexibility. Cultural empathy and social initiative relate positively to academic performance. No significant main effects were found for cultural background, or prior international experience. However, these predictors interact on openmindedness and social initiative: local students with no prior international experience show a significant increase in these dimensions across the first semester, whereas the others do not.
Hofhuis, J., Jongerling, J. & Jansz, J. (2023). Who benefits from the international classroom? A longitudinal examination of multicultural personality development during one year of international higher education. Higher Education. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10734-023-01052-6
Good news! This year I will be able to expand my research project on how organizations communicate about diversity, especially focusing on the prevalence of ‘colorwashing’, thanks to a NWO Open Competition XS Grant (https://www.nwo.nl/en/researchprogrammes/open-competition-ssh/granted-projects).
From Colorwashing to Diversity Champion: Using machine learning to examine the relationship between organizational diversity communication and diversity outcomes.
Colorwashing’ is the practice of communicating positive diversity related messages with the goal to increase an organization’s reputation, without a relation to actual or intended diversity activities. Colorwashing increases public scepticism towards diversity communication, and harms existing efforts to increase workplace inclusion. This project uses machine learning algorithms to generate datasets on the prevalence of diversity communication in social media posts and annual reports of multinational organizations, and compares them to actual diversity outcomes. This will provide new knowledge on the how and why of colorwashing in organizational communication, and how to reduce it in the future.
Comparing cultural diversity perspectives among public service employees in the Netherlands in 2008 and 2018 Joep Hofhuis
The Netherlands’ national government
(Rijksoverheid) is an example of a large public organization that
strives to recruit and retain employees from different cultural groups,
and aims to reap the benefits of workplace diversity. Research has shown
that a major predictor of the effectiveness of diversity policy and
interventions is the diversity perspective of employees, i.e. which
outcomes they associate with cultural diversity in their work
The present study compares public servants’ diversity perspectives in two similar independent samples, from 2008 (n = 1,617) and 2018 (n = 2,024), using the Benefits and Threats of Diversity Scale (BTDS; Hofhuis et al., 2015).
Results show that in 2018, employees of the
Netherlands’ national government perceived more benefits of diversity
for gaining insight about and access to different groups within society.
Additionally, contributions of cultural diversity to creativity and
innovation within teams are reported significantly more often in 2018
than in 2008.
The findings may be of interest to diversity
scholars, since data on changes in cultural diversity perspectives
across time are rare, and the paper provides a unique comparison of
measurements at two time points, one decade apart, within the same
Automated content analysis of cultural Diversity Perspectives in Annual Reports (DivPAR): Development, validation, and future research agenda. Joep Hofhuis, Pytrik Schafraad, Damian Trilling, Nastasia Luca, & Bastiaan van Manen.
Objective: In this article, we present a digital tool (Diversity Perspectives in Annual Reports [DivPAR]) for automated content analysis of annual reports, designed to identify the presence of three cultural diversity perspectives-the Moral, Market, and Innovation perspectives-based on earlier work by Ely and Thomas (2001).
Method: In Study 1, we describe the development and validation of the instrument, through an iterative procedure in which manual annotation of independent subsamples (n = 24, 25) by human coders was compared to the computer coding in subsequent rounds, until sufficient agreement was reached. In Study 2, we illustrate the type of data that the script generates, by analyzing the prevalence of the three perspectives in annual reports of 55 Dutch organizations over a period of 2 decades (1999-2018; n = 937).
Results: Our findings confirm that DivPAR is sufficiently reliable for use in future research. In Study 2, we show that among Dutch organizations, the moral perspective is most prevalent, but the market and innovation perspectives are increasing in popularity.
Conclusion: DivPAR can be used to analyze the prevalence and longitudinal development of diversity perspectives in organizational communication. It enables scholars to draw comparisons across different sectors, regions, or countries, to study how diversity perspectives correlate with societal developments, and to uncover the (lack of) relationships between diversity communication and diversity outcomes. Directions for future research are discussed at the end of the article.
Hofhuis, J., Schafraad, P., Trilling, D., Luca, N., & van Manen, B. (2021). Automated content analysis of cultural Diversity Perspectives in Annual Reports (DivPAR): Development, validation, and future research agenda. Cultural Diversity and Ethnic Minority Psychology. Advance online publication. https://doi.org/10.1037/cdp0000413