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

Fingerprint

Industry
Personnel
Licensure
Equal opportunities
Discrimination
Self-image
Field study
Employees
Scenarios
Licensing
Hiring decisions

Keywords

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

Cite this

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title = "Decreasing overt discrimination increases covert discrimination: Adverse effects of equal opportunities policies",
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 afterhighlighting 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)",
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author = "Christopher Lennartz and Karin Proost and Lieven Brebels",
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Decreasing overt discrimination increases covert discrimination : Adverse effects of equal opportunities policies. / Lennartz, Christopher; Proost, Karin; Brebels, Lieven.

In: International Journal of Selection and Assessment, Vol. 27, No. 2, 06.2019, p. 129-138.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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KW - diversity

KW - legal

KW - regulatory context

KW - selection

KW - placement

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KW - EMPLOYMENT

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