Making the Business Case for Employee Resource Groups

Theresa M. Welbourne (CEO) and Lacey Leone McLaughlin (CEO)
May 2013

There has been an evolution and growth of employee resource groups (ERGs) over the last 30 years. First, the name has changed. Once called affinity groups, they are referred to as not only ERGs, but also business resource groups, resource groups, and employee networks. The name change signifies a movement away from their original goals of supporting diversity and inclusion to being broader and more business focused.

ERGs seem to be a growing trend that not many people know about. The academic literature is almost void of research exploring ERGs, and while there are practitioner reports and surveys on the extent of ERG usage, the details are very limited compared with work done on other HR-related topics. In this article, our goal is to supplement the work on ERGs through several different data-gathering approaches.

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