Beyond the law: processes underlying religious accommodation decisions

Pooya Tabesh, Phillip M. Jolly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Scopus citations


Purpose: Currently, the academic understanding of religious accommodation in the workplace is skewed toward a consideration of legal decision making. The purpose of this paper 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, the authors present a model that incorporates psychological and relational processes. Design/methodology/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 limitations/implications: The 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: Twenty-first 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/value: This work is among the first efforts in the management literature to theorize about the process of religious accommodation decision making. The authors address the paucity of academic research in this area by introducing perceptual drivers of religious accommodation decisions.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1254-1266
Number of pages13
JournalManagement Decision
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 3 2019

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Business, Management and Accounting(all)
  • Management Science and Operations Research


Dive into the research topics of 'Beyond the law: processes underlying religious accommodation decisions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this