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Pullen E, Fischer MW, Morse G, Garabrant J, Salyers MP, Rollins AL. Racial disparities in the workplace: The impact of isolation on perceived organizational support and job satisfaction. Psychiatric Rehabilitation Journal. 2023 Mar 1; 46(1):45-52.
OBJECTIVE: Prior research indicates Black employees may be particularly vulnerable to job dissatisfaction and that social support at work is a potential resource that could influence employee outcomes. This study examined racial differences in workplace social networks and support, and how these factors may contribute to perceived organizational support and, ultimately, job satisfaction among mental health workers. METHOD: Using data from an all-employee survey in a community mental health center (N = 128), we assessed racial differences in social network supports, hypothesizing that Black employees would report smaller and less supportive social networks, and lower levels of organizational support and job satisfaction compared to White employees. We also hypothesized that workplace network size and support would be positively associated with perceived organizational support and job satisfaction. RESULTS: Hypotheses were partially supported. Compared to Whites, Blacks had smaller workplace networks that were less likely to include supervisors, were more likely to report workplace isolation (naming no workplace social ties), and were less likely to seek advice from their social ties at work. Regression analyses showed that Blacks and employees with smaller networks were more likely to perceive lower levels of organizational support, even after controlling for background variables. However, race and network size did not predict overall job satisfaction. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS FOR PRACTICE: These findings suggest that Black mental health services staff are less likely to have rich, diverse workplace networks than their White colleagues, which may put them at a disadvantage in terms of accessing support and other resources. (PsycInfo Database Record (c) 2023 APA, all rights reserved).