Access Type

Open Access Dissertation

Date of Award

January 2012

Degree Type


Degree Name



Instructional Technology

First Advisor

James L. Moseley


Much literature presents employee resource groups as beneficial to both the organizations and the employees who join these groups. Many large corporations have employee resource groups, and their presence is expanding. As companies continue to invest in employee resource groups, it is important to establish and review the business goals and expectations for the groups An environment where objectives and expectations are established and well understood creates less ambiguity for employees and allows them to focus on achieving the objectives. It is important to evaluate the objectives and expectations to see if the groups are achieving the expectations. Assessing the performance against the expectations also exposes any potential areas for modifying the objectives as the organizational needs and requirements of employee resource group changes. This will ensure the groups are aligned with the company's diversity strategy.

The purpose of the study was to look at differences and variables between members of employee resource groups and non-members of employee resource groups at a global technology company. Specifically, the study analyzed the association of employee resource group membership on self-report employee job performance. A group of 315 employee resource group members and 315 non-employee resource group members responded to an online questionnaire. The company uses four dimensions to evaluate job performance, and job performance was analyzed in each dimension. Then, the sum of the four dimensions was calculated. These dimensions were used in a correlation analysis to determine whether there was a positive relationship between participation in an employee resource group and self-reported job performance. The study found that there was a positive and significant correlation between self-reported job performance and employee resource group membership.

The study evaluated the extent to which employee resource group members perceived they were performing the objectives that were established for employee resource groups at a global technology company. Overall the study found that employee resource group members were achieving the objectives that the company set for them. Much research points to companies using employee resource groups to support the marketing of products or services to a targeted demographic. However, in this study that was the one area where the respondents indicated they did not have an opportunity to demonstrate this objective and the members did not positively respond that they were accomplishing this objective.

This study used the validated "Propensity to Connect (PCO)" instrument (Totterdell, Holman & Hukin, 2008), to examine the survey participants' tendency to connect with others. In two prior studies the three components of PCO, which are making friends, making acquaintances, and joining others were positively associated with social groups in two prior studies. For this study a logistic regression model was used to predict employee resource group membership. Only two components, making friends and joining others, showed a significant impact on predicting group membership. .

Continuing to look at variables associated with employee resource groups, the study used the validated questions on a "Turnover Intentions" instrument (Friedman & Holtom, 2002), for both employee resource group members and non-employee resource group members; to explore differences in intentions to leave the company. The results showed that members of the employee resource groups had lower their intentions to leave the company. The study showed no differences in satisfaction with employee resource groups based on various career stages. However, employees in the late career stages were more willing to connect with other employees.