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

Keywords

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

Cite this