Beyond the Law: Processes Underlying Religious Accommodation Decisions Public

Purpose: Currently, the academic understanding of religious accommodation at workplace is skewed toward a consideration of legal decision-making. The main purpose of this research is to move beyond these legal considerations and provide a fresh perspective on antecedents of religious accommodation decisions when managerial discretion is high. To this end, we present a model that incorporates psychological and relational processes. Approach: This research draws on a variety of theoretical perspectives from psychology, organizational behavior, and human resource management to theorize a descriptive model of managerial decision-making regarding religious accommodation requests. Findings: The authors develop a conceptual framework and research agenda for examining front-line decision-makers’ responses to employees’ religious accommodation requests. The focus is on characteristics of the decision-maker, the requester, and the request that can influence the perceived sincerity of a request and the perceived accommodation cost. Research Implications: Our proposed model moves beyond US-based legal perspectives of religious accommodation and facilitates the identification of novel theoretical perspectives for better understanding accommodation decisions. Practical Implications: 21st century managers are faced with a wide variety of religious accommodation requests. Identification of underlying mechanisms through which these decisions are made facilitates effective interventions to build and sustain an inclusive culture. Originality: This work is among the first efforts in the management literature to theorize about the process of religious accommodation decision-making. We address the paucity of academic research in this area by introducing perceptual drivers of religious accommodation decisions.


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