How can demographically diverse employees become friends?
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This research aimed to investigate how organizations can facilitate friendships among demographically diverse employees in the workplace. Such friendships can offer multiple benefits to employees and organizations and allow effective diversity management within the workplace. We hypothesized that transformational leadership would have a positive effect on diverse friendship formation through the creation of an inclusive climate. We collected survey data among 227 employees working in different organizations worldwide. Our results indicated that the perception of having a transformational leader could indeed facilitate friendship formation among diverse employees. More than this, we showed that the perception of working in an inclusive climate explains why employees who perceive their leader as transformational report more diverse workplace friendships. The present study demonstrates the importance of transformational leadership style and inclusive climate in helping organizations and employees navigate diverse organizations and reap both the benefits of friendship and those of diversity.