Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Business Administration

Major Professor

David W. Schumann

Committee Members

Daniel J. Flint, Theodore P. Stank, Timothy P. Munyon


Interfunctional bias is examined in this dissertation as a potential barrier to interfunctional cooperation. Interfunctional cooperation is desirable in modern corporate organizations as a contributor to effective service delivery, operations planning, and sales performance. Interfunctional stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination are hypothesized to relate positively, and together provide the bias-based theoretical basis through which barriers to interfunctional cooperation can be more thoroughly understood. Based on the extant literature in marketing and psychology, competing models of interfunctional bias are developed and hypothesized. In the first of three studies a questionnaire-based survey of supply chain employees’ perceptions of salespeople permitted the examination of the hypothesized antecedent relationships of interfunctional stereotyping strength, including functional identification, organizational identification, trait negative affect, and conditions of bias-reducing contact. The results of study one suggest that employees’ organizational identification, trait negative affect of the employee, and an equal status between the functional groups directly relate with interfunctional stereotyping strength. Furthermore, interfunctional prejudice is positively related with interfunctional stereotyping strength and negatively related with employees’ internal motivation to respond without prejudice. Studies 2 and 3 employed experiments designed to examine the relationships between interfunctional stereotyping strength, prejudice, and discriminatory behavioral intentions, and included the following predicted moderating factors: internal motivation to respond without prejudice, monetary incentives to cooperate, and positive social norms. The positive relationship between interfunctional stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination was confirmed in both studies. As well, a hypothesized three-way interaction resulted between stereotyping strength, internal motivation, and external motivators when predicting prejudiced attitudes. There are several managerial and theoretical implications. First, the superordinate identity and equal status between functional groups should be considered in attempts to reduce interfunctional stereotyping. Second, the influence that individual-level variables such as internal motivation and trait negative affect can have on interfunctional stereotyping and prejudice provides insights into hiring considerations. Third, monetary incentives and positive social norms can be a positive influence toward reducing prejudice for those who are not internally motivated to be non-prejudiced. Finally, interfunctional bias as a barrier to interfunctional cooperation is empirically supported.

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