Decreasing overt discrimination increases covert discrimination: Adverse effects of equal opportunities policies

Christopher Lennartz, Karin Proost*, Lieven Brebels

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

    Abstract

    Building on the moral licensing literature, this paper examines whether highlighting the successful implementation of an equal opportunities policy in a company leads to covert forms of discrimination in hiring decisions (i.e., expressing a preference for a white candidate over an equally qualified black/Moroccan candidate in an ambiguous context). Furthermore, moral self‐image is indirectly tested as a possible underlying mechanism. Two scenario studies first revealed that covert discrimination is more likely after
    highlighting a successful implementation of an equal opportunities policy in the company (study 1) and that elevated levels of moral self‐image are related to covert discrimination (study 2). Subsequently, a field study revealed that the presence of successful equal opportunities policies positively related to employees’ moral self‐image (study 3)
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)129-138
    Number of pages10
    JournalInternational Journal of Selection and Assessment
    Volume27
    Issue number2
    Early online date2019
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - Jun 2019

    Keywords

    • inclusion
    • diversity
    • legal
    • regulatory context
    • selection
    • placement
    • DIVERSITY-VALIDITY DILEMMA
    • AFFIRMATIVE-ACTION
    • GUIDELINES
    • EXPERIENCE
    • EMPLOYMENT
    • EXPRESSION
    • ATTITUDES
    • IMPACT

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