The theory of Social Construction of Reality

According to the theory of social construction of reality, how people show themselves to others depends on their social interactions. People act in certain ways depending on their upbringing and what they were taught to believe to be right or wrong. This implies that backgrounds, cultural views, and values influence how people are perceived (Barnes, 2016). How daily circumstances are characterized or viewed is greatly influenced by daily experiences and backgrounds. In the society, the individuals' beliefs that guide their behavior have an impact on a variety of ideas, including lifestyle, clothing, food, and even economic presumptions (Nica & Potcovaru,, 2014). In the traditional society, for instance, men have always been seen as superior to women, and should, thus, occupy top managerial positions in the company. This perception has created a social construction of reality over time in which men are given higher salaries than women.

One way of understanding the concept of social construction of reality is through Thomas theorem in which Thomas noted that, “If men define situations as real, they are real in their consequences” (Knoblauch & Wilke¸ 2016). This is to mean that the behavior of individuals is influenced by their subjective rather than objective realty. Thus, the effects of a behavior make it to be a social reality. An example is defining a student to be violent; as a result of this, the student may begin to be aggressive and violent against others in order to make the label reality (Grace, 2016). Further, Thomas asserted that the moral codes and social norms that people currently embrace had been created through repeated definition of the events (Vera¸ 2016). In reference to this, the society creates a platform in which individuals are successively informed of what is wrong or right; this influences people’s behavior towards the set codes.

Workplace diversity is a very important concept to consider when aiming at enhancing human resource productivity. Every organization contains a group of people who vary greatly in terms of social groups. Multiculturalism entails understanding of different cultures among the diverse groups within a setting (Hong, Morris, Chiu, & Benet-Martinez¸ 2000). It involves variable perception in regards to current ideas including political views, ethnicity, sexual orientation, race, age, and other factors. In an organizational setting, the workforce does not have to conform with a particular social construction, but rather it is the role of the organization to create a particular culture or value that is able to accommodate and embrace the different cultures (Patton, 2015). For instance, some cultures may be against gay colleagues while other may support it in the same organization; to ensure that the cultural constructs of both groups are not abused, the organization may have a culture of prohibited discrimination, but at the same time prevents any intimate gestures at the workplace. Such a culture considers the interest of both gays and non-gays, thus, social construct of reality maintained.

Organizational beliefs, values, and assumptions must be able to align with that of the workforce in order to enhance performance and productivity of employees (Dreher, 2016). A common value that is multicultural in nature is hard work; the organization is able to facilitate a competent environment through strict rules and regulations as well as frequent work performance evaluations. The belief of gender equality can also be universal to a multicultural workforce. In an organization where both men and women are treated equally, competitiveness and productivity increases.


Hong, Y. Y., Morris, M. W., Chiu, C. Y., & Benet-Martinez, V. (2000). Multicultural minds: A dynamic constructivist approach to culture and cognition. American psychologist, 55(7), 709.

Barnes, B. (2016). On The Social Construction of Reality: Reflections on a Missed Opportunity. Human Studies, 39(1), 113-125.

Nica, E., & Potcovaru, A. M. (2014). The social construction of organizational reality. Psychosociological Issues in Human Resource Management, 2(2), 56-61.

Knoblauch, H., & Wilke, R. (2016). The Common Denominator: The Reception and Impact of Berger and Luckmann’s The Social Construction of Reality. Human Studies, 39(1), 51-69.

Grace, G. W. (2016). The linguistic construction of reality. Routledge.

Dreher, J. (2016). The Social Construction of Power: Reflections Beyond Berger/Luckmann and Bourdieu. Cultural Sociology, 10(1), 53-68.

Patton, M. Q. (2015). The sociological roots of utilization-focused evaluation. The American Sociologist, 46(4), 457-462.

Vera, H. (2016). Rebuilding a classic: The social construction of reality at 50. Cultural Sociology, 10(1), 3-20.

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