Religious Diversity at Work: Faith-Based Employee Resource GroupsNews and Events / Produced by TOW Project and Partners
Theology of Work Project staff worked in partnership with Seattle Pacific University to study Christian and interfaith employee resource groups. The study is now available in the Journal for Management, Spirituality, and Religion.
Title: Religious Diversity at Work: Faith-Based Employee Resource Groups
Authors: Chung, Helen H.; Johnson, Alexander E.; Tan, Christine S.; Pitman, Benjamin C.
Abstract: Research on affinity and employee resource groups (ERG) in organizations is growing but remains relatively sparse for religious or faith-based groups. This study is a phenomenological analysis of interview data from 26 individuals in organizations leading and managing faith-based employee resource groups in public and private organizations primarily in the U.S. Based on a thematic analysis of 26 individual interviews across Christian and Interfaith ERGs in technology, consulting, and other industries, the data illustrate how groups organize, their core identity-related activities, salient challenges and strategies, and perceived outcomes at the personal and organizational levels. Overall, the phenomenology of faith-based groups points to several implicit and explicit benefits as well as challenges of religious expression at work. We discuss the perceived personal and organizational outcomes of faith-based ERGs, explore how social identity theory helps explain key experiences described by ERG members, and offer some potential directions for future research.