Original Research

Exploring organisational diversity climate with associated antecedents and employee outcomes

Sean McCallaghan, Leon Jackson, Marita Heyns
SA Journal of Industrial Psychology | Vol 45 | a1614 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/sajip.v45i0.1614 | © 2019 Sean McCallaghan, Leon Jackson, Marita Heyns | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 November 2018 | Published: 24 June 2019

About the author(s)

Sean McCallaghan, Business School, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa
Leon Jackson, WorkWell Research Unit, Business School, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa
Marita Heyns, Optentia Research Focus Area, North-West University, Vanderbijlpark, South Africa


Orientation: Organisations are consistently changing and diversifying; therefore, researchers and practitioners are viewing diversity as an essential part of organisational behaviour literature and practice.

Research purpose: The purpose of this study was to investigate a simple mediation model, with the diversity climate as the proposed mediator, transformational leadership as the model antecedent and organisational commitment as the outcome.

Motivation for the study: The South African diversity climate research is limited, including mediation investigations. Increased organisational diversification requires constant and relevant information with regard to diversity management.

Research approach/design and method: A quantitative approach using a cross-sectional design collected 230 responses from a convenience sample. Transformational leadership was considered through six key behaviours associated with transformational leadership. Organisational commitment was considered as per the Psycones questionnaire and the organisational diversity climate was determined using a single-dimension diversity climate instrument. Statistical analysis included descriptive statistics, correlation analysis and a simple mediation model.

Main findings: Correlation results revealed that both transformational leadership and a diversity climate demonstrated practical effects with organisational commitment. Results from a standardised regression coefficient confirmed that transformational leadership predicts the diversity climate significantly. Both transformational leadership and diversity climate predicted commitment. The simple mediation model revealed that the diversity climate can be considered a mediator in the relationship between transformational leadership and employee commitment.

Practical/managerial implications: Organisations would benefit from leadership assessments for current and future employees, especially organisations that would like to prioritise a constructive diversity climate and employee commitment.

Contribution/value-add: Contributions are made towards limited diversity climate investigations by providing empirical evidence of the mediating role of a diversity climate.


Transformational leadership; diversity climate; organisational commitment; South Africa; mediation.


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Crossref Citations

1. Work-place diversity climate: Its association with racial microaggressions and employee work-place well-being
Sean McCallaghan
Journal of Psychology in Africa  vol: 32  issue: 6  first page: 560  year: 2022  
doi: 10.1080/14330237.2022.2121476