Justice in preferential hiring

Journal of Business Ethics 10 (10):797 - 803 (1991)
s This paper reports studies designed to examine perceptions of preferential selection. Subjects evaluated the fairness of hypothetical cases of selection decisions based on either candidate sex or ethnic origin. A within-subjects design and a between-subjects design yielded convergent results showing that (1) preferential selection was perceived as unfair, irrespective of respondent sex or the basis for the preferential treatment (i.e., candidate sex or ethnic origin), (2) the level of perceived injustice was directly related to the discrepancy in merits between the successful minority candidate and the more qualified yet unsuccessful majority candidate, and (3) the provision of either an ethical or legislative justification for the selection decisions further exacerbated feelings of injustice. Possible interpretations for the findings and practical implications of the study were then discussed.
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