Being LGBTQ+ in the Workplace

Key Info

Basic Information

Lehrstuhl für Wirtschaftswissenschaften für Ingenieure und Naturwissenschaftler


As rapid social, legal, and organizational surrounding the topic of diversity are happening, more and more LGBTQ+ individuals are openly “out” at work. Still, to date, Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) research has focused much more on other minority groups (e.g., racial minorities).
The time has come to dramatically expand the academic body of knowledge on being LGBTQ+ in the workplace. To lay the groundwork for future research, we need to understand what we already know.
Therefore, in your thesis, you will conduct a literature review on LGBTQ+ employees, focusing on a specific topic. The specific topic can be agreed upon in our initial call.
A potential topic could be:
a) LGBTQ+ networks and allies as formal and informal sources of social support for LGBTQ+ employees: How do LGBTQ+ network and supportive supervisors or colleagues contribute to the wellbeing and desirable work attitudes and behavior of LGBTQ+ employees?
b) Differences in workplace behavior and attitudes between LGBTQ+ and non-LGBTQ+ employees and the underlying reasons: How do LGBTQ+ employees differ from other employees in the workplace? And why?
c) Authenticity at work among LGBTQ+ employees: Are LGBTQ+ employees their “true selves” at work? What factors can help them feel authentic, what factors can make being authentic more challenging?
d) Minority stress in the workplace: How do negative experiences (e.g., discrimination) and internalized attitudes (e.g., internalized queerphobia) shape the workplace experience of LGBTQ+ employees?
An excerpt of your most important tasks during the thesis:
• Definition/narrowing down of the research questions
• Independent literature review
• Summary and discussion of the results

If you’re interested, please feel free to reach out directly via e-mail, attaching your CV and a recent grade transcript. If you have any preference regarding the four potential topics mentioned above, please also mention it in your e-mail. I look forward to working together!
Starting literature for all topics:
• Byington, E. K., Tamm, G. F., & Trau, R. N. (2021). Mapping sexual orientation research in management: A review and research agenda. Human Resource Management, 60(1), 31-53.
For topic a):
• Webster, J. R., Adams, G. A., Maranto, C. L., Sawyer, K., & Thoroughgood, C. (2018). Workplace contextual supports for LGBT employees: A review, meta‐analysis, and agenda for future research. Human Resource Management, 57(1), 193-210.
For topic c):
• Cha, S. E., Hewlin, P. F., Roberts, L. M., Buckman, B. R., Leroy, H., Steckler, E. L., ... & Cooper, D. (2019). Being your true self at work: Integrating the fragmented research on authenticity in organizations. Academy of Management Annals, 13(2), 633-671.
• Fletcher, L., & Everly, B. A. (2021). Perceived lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) supportive practices and the life satisfaction of LGBT employees: The roles of disclosure, authenticity at work, and identity centrality. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 94(3), 485-508.
For topic d):
• Meyer, I. H. (2003). Prejudice, social stress, and mental health in lesbian, gay, and bisexual populations: conceptual issues and research evidence. Psychological bulletin, 129(5), 674.
Keywords: LGBTQ+, sexual orientation, diversity, social support, authenticity, minority stress, discrimination

Keywords: LGBTQ+, sexual orientation, diversity, social support, authenticity, minority stress, discrimination