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Am J Community Psychol. 1995 Apr;23(2):151-79.

Occupational conditions and workers' sense of community: variations by gender and race.

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School of Social Service Administration, University of Chicago, Illinois 60637, USA.


The literature is reviewed to define a sense of community in the workplace and to identify factors that may foster it. A model is developed and estimated with survey data from a culturally diverse sample of men and women performing lower-level jobs at a medium-sized manufacturing firm. Results of regression analyses are reported that correct for sample selection bias resulting from the lower response rates of minority workers. Findings suggest that well-designed jobs and supportive workplace relationships and policies are important in explaining workers' sense of community, defined as workers' perceptions of mutual commitment between employee and employer. Informal sources of support play a larger role in explaining men's sense of community, while formal sources of support are more important in explaining women's sense of community. Findings further suggest that African American workers, especially women, have a difficult time experiencing a sense of community at work.

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