Recognizing and Intervening in Bias Incidents in the Academic Workplace: A Self-Categorization Theory Perspective

Academic Article


  • More people are scrutinizing how bias incidents create a negative workplace climate for faculty from underrepresented groups. Bystander intervention can mitigate the negative impact of bias incidents on workplace climate, but not everyone notices bias and even fewer actually intervene. In this paper, we draw on self-categorization theory to explain which faculty bystanders will recognize and intervene during bias incidents. Analysis of data from a survey of 394 faculty members at a medium size public university supports the notion that members of underrepresented groups and people who have attended ADVANCE bias awareness training are more likely to report having witnessed bias incidents. Further, women, full professors, and non-white faculty members are more likely to intervene in bias incidents. However, faculty who report greater departmental “fit” and those who perceive their colleagues as more likely to intervene are less likely to intervene themselves. Implications for improving academic workplace climate are discussed.
  • Authors

  • Shea, Christine M
  • Young, Justin R
  • Banyard, Victoria
  • Malone, Mary Fran
  • Graham, Karen
  • Byron, Gerard Jay
  • Publication Date

  • June 29, 2018
  • Digital Object Identifier (doi)


  • 1
  • Issue

  • 1