An explanatory sequential mixed methods approach to investigating Black employee perceptions of racial microaggressions in workplace environments.


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Racism is a real and prominent fixture in society. People that identify as members of the Black community experience racial microaggressions daily (Sue, 2015). Many of those microaggressions occur in workplace settings where most working adults spend around 40 hours per week. Many organizations currently require employees to participate in diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging training to help raise awareness of microaggressions. Research shows microaggressions happen daily and have a harmful impact on Black employees’ health and work productivity (Sue, 2015). The purpose of this explanatory sequential mixed methods study was to examine Black employee perspectives and experiences on racial microaggressions and whether those employees perceive their workplace as prejudiced or discriminatory. This study used Critical Race Theory as the theoretical framework. Critical Race Theory was the chosen theoretical framework because its tenets are related to racial microaggressions. The permanence of racism seen throughout Critical Race Theory is one of the tenets that allow for racial microaggressions. For the investigation of this study, the researcher focused on the following three research questions: Do Black employees perceive their organization to be prejudiced or discriminatory? How are perceived and experienced racial microaggressions described by Black employees at their organization? How do the quantitative results of Black employee’s Workplace Prejudice/Discrimination Inventory (WPDI) scores compare and contrast to the qualitative data of Black employee’s perceptions of racial microaggressions at their organization? The researcher deployed non-probability snowball sampling to gather the quantitative data and purposive extreme sampling for the qualitative data. The quantitative data were collected using the Workplace Prejudice/Discriminatory Inventory Scale by James et al. (1994). To collect the qualitative data, the researcher deployed an electronic semi-structured interview questionnaire. The study’s overall findings revealed that Black employees perceive workplaces as prejudiced and discriminatory, workplace microaggressions occur in many forms, and workplace discrimination is linked to experienced racial microaggressions.



Racial microaggressions. Workplace discrimination.