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The discriminatory impact of non‐adherence to leadership selection criteria: The case of higher education

Gloria Moss (Glamorgan University, Pontypridd, UK and Ecole Supérieure de Gestion, Paris, France)
Lyn Daunton (Glamorgan University, Pontypridd, UK)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 1 October 2006

1871

Abstract

Purpose

This research aims to fill a gap in the literature concerning the extent to which recruitment interviewers may substitute leadership capability sets (CSs) differing from those in the job specification (JS).

Design/methodology/approach

Semi‐structured interviews were conducted with senior personnel involved in senior staff selection in a higher education (HE) institution.

Findings

The interviews reveal that the majority of respondents select candidates against transactional capability sets (TcCSs), ignoring the largely transformational capability sets (TfCSs) laid down in the JS.

Research limitations/implications

The research is anchored in a single organisation and in a single sector, HE. It would be useful to extend the research to another institution in the public sector within both the public and the private sectors. It would furthermore be useful to identify the practical measures needed to overcome the problems identified here.

Practical implications

Organisations pursuing diversity initiatives or attempting to influence the culture of an organisation and its leadership style need to be aware of the extent, hitherto unrevealed, to which the leadership CSs laid down in the official selection criteria can be disregarded in favour of CSs substituted, consciously or unconsciously, by recruiters. If the practice identified here is representative across the HE sector, then a failure to follow the leadership CSs contained in a JS can serve as a barrier to the appointment of women who may favour the deployment of TfCSs. It may also serve as a barrier to the introduction of transformational leadership and cultures.

Originality/value

The paper provides useful information on CSs laid down in the official selection criteria and whether they can be disregarded in favour of CSs substituted, consciously or unconsciously, by recruiters.

Keywords

Citation

Moss, G. and Daunton, L. (2006), "The discriminatory impact of non‐adherence to leadership selection criteria: The case of higher education", Career Development International, Vol. 11 No. 6, pp. 504-521. https://doi.org/10.1108/13620430610692926

Publisher

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Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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