Over the past 20 years, a large body of laboratory and field research has shown that, when people perform in settings in which their group is negatively stereotyped, they may experience a phenomenon called stereotype threat that can undermine motivation and trust and cause underperformance. This review describes that research and places it into an organizational context. First, we describe the processes by which stereotype threat can impair outcomes among people in the workplace. Next, we delineate the situational cues in organizational settings that can exacerbate stereotype threat, and explain how and why these cues affect stereotyped individuals. Finally, we discuss relatively simple empirically based strategies that organizations can implement to reduce stereotype threat and create conditions in which employees and applicants from all groups can succeed.


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