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Organizational Variation in Formal Equal Employment Opportunity Structures

Julie A. Kmec and Sheryl L. Skaggs
Sociological Forum
Vol. 24, No. 1 (Mar., 2009), pp. 47-75
Published by: Wiley
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/40210336
Page Count: 29
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Organizational Variation in Formal Equal Employment Opportunity Structures
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Abstract

This article identifies the factors associated with Variation in the complexity of formal equal employment opportunity (EEO) structures across a sample of Washington and Oregon hospitals. Understanding such Variation provides insight into two key organizational processes: commitment to workplace equality and response to external pressures for equality. We draw on Oliver's (1991) organizational Strategie response theory to document the extent to which a hospital's patient demographics, legal regulation, economic sector, geographic location, and health System membership are related to complexity in the level of a hospital's formal EEO structures. Findings from ordered logistic regression analyses demonstrate that the presence of a nurse union and federal regulation of a hospital by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) are associated with less complex EEO structures. Meanwhile, urbanization is associated with more complex EEO structures. We discuss implications of these results for research and policy and offer the beginnings of a general theory of organizational Variation.

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