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Article
Publication date: 30 August 2022

Ozias A. Moore, Beth Livingston and Alex M. Susskind

Hiring managers commonly rely on system-justifying motives and attitudes during résumé screening. Given the prevalent use of modern résumé formats (e.g. LinkedIn) that…

Abstract

Purpose

Hiring managers commonly rely on system-justifying motives and attitudes during résumé screening. Given the prevalent use of modern résumé formats (e.g. LinkedIn) that include not only an applicant's credentials but also headshot photographs, visible sources of information such as an applicant's race are also revealed while a hiring manager simultaneously evaluates a candidate's suitability. As a result, such screening is likely to activate evaluation bias. The purpose of this paper is to examine the role of a hiring manager's perceptions of race-system justification, that is, support for the status quo in relations between Black and White job candidates in reinforcing or mitigating hiring bias related to in-group and out-group membership during résumé screening.

Design/methodology/approach

Drawing from system justification theory (SJT) in a pre-selection context, in an experimental study involving 174 human resource managers, the authors tested two boundary conditions of the expected relationship between hiring manager and job candidate race on candidate ratings: (1) a hiring manager's affirmative action (AA) attitudes and system-justifying attitudes and (2) a job candidate's manipulated suitability for a position. This approach enabled us to juxtapose the racial composition of hiring manager–job candidate dyads under conditions in which the job candidate's race and competency for a posted position were manipulated to examine the conditions under which White and Black hiring managers are likely to make biased evaluations. The authors largely replicated these findings in two follow-up studies with 261 students and 361 online raters.

Findings

The authors found that information on a candidate's objective suitability for a job resulted in opposite-race positive bias among Black evaluators and same-race positive bias among White evaluators in study 1 alone. Conversely, positive attitudes toward AA policies resulted in in-group favoritism and strengthened a positive same-race bias for Black evaluators (study 1 and 2). We replicated this finding with a third sample to directly test system-justifying attitudes (study 3). The way in which White raters rated White candidates reflected the same attitudes against systems (AA attitudes) that Black raters rating Black candidates exhibited in the authors’ first two studies. Positive system-justifying attitudes or positive attitudes toward AA did not, however, translate into the elevation of same-race candidate ratings of suitability above those of opposite-race candidates.

Research limitations/implications

Although the size of the sample is on par with the percentage of Blacks nationwide in private-sector managerial-level positions ideally, the authors would have preferred to oversample Black HR managers. Given the scarcity of focus on Black HR managers, future researchers, using diverse samples of evaluators should also consider not only managers' and candidates' race but also their social dominance orientation. Moreover, it is important that future researchers use more racially diverse samples from other industries to more fully identify the ways in which the dynamics of system-justifying processes can emerge to influence evaluation bias during résumé screening.

Practical implications

Advances in technology pose new challenges to HR hiring practices. This study attempts to fill a void regarding the unintended effects of bias during digital résumé screening. These trends have important HR implications. Initial screening of a job applicant's credentials while concurrently viewing the individual's photograph is likely to activate subconscious evaluation bias, produces inaccurate applicant ratings. This study's findings should caution hiring managers about the potential for bias to arise when viewing job candidates' digital résumés and encourage them to carefully examine various boundary conditions on racial similarity bias effects on applicant pre-screening and subsequent hiring decisions.

Social implications

The study’s results suggest that bias might be attenuated as organizational leaders engage in efforts to understand their system-justifying motives and examine perceptions of the workplace social hierarchy (i.e. responses to status hierarchies) linked to perceptions of the status quo. For example, understanding how system justifying motives influence evaluation bias will inform how best to design training and other interventions that link discussions of workforce diversity to the relationships among groups within the organization's social hierarchy. This line of research should be further explored to better understand the complex forces at work when hiring managers adopt system-justifying motives during hiring evaluations.

Originality/value

The authors address the limitations of prior research by examining interactions between boundary conditions in a real-world context using real human resources hiring managers and more contemporary personnel-screening practices to test changes in the direction and strength of the relationship between hiring manager–job candidate race and hiring manager evaluations. Thus, the authors’ findings have implications for hiring bias and understanding of system-justification processes, particularly regarding how, when and why hiring managers support the status quo (i.e. perpetuate inequity) even if they are disadvantaged as a result.

Details

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 2040-7149

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 September 2002

Kirk Moll

States that there has been a recent explosion in the publication of reference works in the field of African American studies which indicates the mature field of…

Abstract

States that there has been a recent explosion in the publication of reference works in the field of African American studies which indicates the mature field of scholarship being achieved in this area. Provides a bibliographic guide for those wishing to identify and use research tools for studying African American literature.

Details

Collection Building, vol. 21 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0160-4953

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 22 October 2019

Karyn Lacy

Since ethnographers tend to study poor, urban black communities most often, it is not surprise that the methodological literature contains a wealth of information designed…

Abstract

Since ethnographers tend to study poor, urban black communities most often, it is not surprise that the methodological literature contains a wealth of information designed to help scholars do this kind of work. Far less is known about the challenges ethnographers face when “studying up,” that is exploring middle and upper-middle-class communities. Less is know too about the challenges of working in a suburb versus an urban community. This chapter helps to fill that void. By chronicling the challenges I faced in the field while collecting the data for Blue-Chip Black, my book about the identity options of middle and upper-middle-class suburban blacks, I show that the strategies ethnographers of the urban poor employ in their work are not necessarily transferable to studies of the upper classes. I identify a set of methodological tools appropriate for analysis of the upper classes. I then turn to the theoretical contributions of my study as a way of showing the kinds of insights that can be gleaned from a study of those near the top of the class ladder.

Article
Publication date: 18 October 2022

Olufunmilola (Funmi) Ojediran, Allan Discua Cruz and Alistair Anderson

The aim of this study is to better understand how black women utilize capital to frame their entrepreneurial identities in order to become legitimate and thus challenge…

Abstract

Purpose

The aim of this study is to better understand how black women utilize capital to frame their entrepreneurial identities in order to become legitimate and thus challenge institutional norms. To achieve this, the study draws on perspectives on legitimacy, identity and capital and focuses on the well-established wine industry in South Africa.

Design/methodology/approach

Using in-depth qualitative data from semi-structured interviews, this study delves into the lived experiences of nine black women entrepreneurs and three stakeholders in the South African wine industry. Such a context is unique because of the aspects of exclusion and segregation of black women. The data were supplemented with associated secondary material and were analysed using the constant comparative technique.

Findings

This study reveals dissonance, that is, a misfit, between black women's social identities and their entrepreneurial self-identities in the South African wine industry; the study uncovers that specific capital forms allow framing their identity through heroical self-description, exploiting professionalism and enacting new roles to alter the perception of what is socially legitimate in the wine industry.

Originality/value

This study contributes to understanding by highlighting that black women entrepreneurs in the wine industry rebel against the expectation that they must fit into a predetermined role. The study highlights the relevance of legitimacy, identity and capital theoretical perspectives to study an underexplored context and unpack how black women challenge the barriers that affect their entrepreneurial identities in their quest to become legitimate. The value of this study revolves around revealing the underexplored connection between entrepreneurial identity and legitimacy through actions taken by black women entrepreneurs when reworking the role(s) tied to their social identities. The findings suggest the importance of capital, particularly cultural capital, in how black women entrepreneurs become legitimate in the wine industry. Avenues for further research are offered.

Details

International Journal of Entrepreneurial Behavior & Research, vol. 28 no. 8
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1355-2554

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 August 2020

Irenea Walker and William B. Russell

This research study focuses on fifth-grade African American students who attend an all-Black charter school whose administration and teachers are committed to providing…

Abstract

Purpose

This research study focuses on fifth-grade African American students who attend an all-Black charter school whose administration and teachers are committed to providing Black history instruction throughout the year. To fulfill the school's mission, the teachers integrate additional resources into the curriculum that includes lessons and activities about Black history. Therefore, the study sought to answer the following question: How does learning Black history throughout the school year impact African American fifth-grade students' self-esteem and positive self-image? The authors examined student work, conducted observations and listened as the participants engaged in critical discussions about race and racism.

Design/methodology/approach

Way to Go (WTG) is a K-12 public charter school located in an urban mid-size city in Florida, with a 100% Black student population; all WTG students receive scholarships and free lunch. The 15 participants in this study self-identified as African American fifth-grade students. The authors conducted a qualitative research study that included 13 observations, an analysis of five student work samples and a focus group interview with seven students. They used interpretative phenomenology to gather African American fifth-grade students' experiences and their interpretations of these experiences (Moustakas, 1994) while acquiring information about Black history.

Findings

The themes that emerged are it's time to go, unsung heroes and Black history is exciting. In the first theme, they learned why Blacks migrated from the South to northern cities and understood why it was time for them to go. Next, they explored the history of unsung Blacks who inspired them to think about a variety of careers to pursue. Finally, they were excited to learn Black history because they understood the importance of learning this history in order to grapple with current events, and they recognized that knowledge of this history would improve their self-worth and life choices.

Originality/value

WTG charter school exemplifies what schools should attain for regarding the teaching of Black history. Since elementary school provides the foundation for learning, it is the best time to teach African American students about self-esteem and what it means to be proud of their Blackness. The fifth-graders in this study exemplified how African American students take pride in their history and have a positive sense of self-worth when taught Black history. Black history lessons and activities such as the ones utilized in WTG school will benefit African American students and contribute to their success as students.

Details

Social Studies Research and Practice, vol. 15 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1933-5415

Keywords

Article
Publication date: 1 March 1986

Willa J. Thomas

The precursor of Black History Month was Negro History Week, which was first observed in 1926. It was initiated by Carter G. Woodson, the “father of black history,” and…

Abstract

The precursor of Black History Month was Negro History Week, which was first observed in 1926. It was initiated by Carter G. Woodson, the “father of black history,” and founder of the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History. At that time, the study of black culture concentrated on Afro‐American historical figures. The civil rights movement in the United States and the decolonizaiton of Africa were decades away.

Details

Reference Services Review, vol. 14 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0090-7324

Book part
Publication date: 27 March 2006

Pamela Braboy Jackson and Tiffani Saunders

This study explores the relationship between work stress, coping resources, and mental health. Utilizing data collected from a unique sample of professional African…

Abstract

This study explores the relationship between work stress, coping resources, and mental health. Utilizing data collected from a unique sample of professional African Americans (N=167), the study distinguishes between five forms of work stress (perceived discrimination, token stress, role overload, role conflict, and scrutiny) and several indicators of mental health (depression, anxiety, somaticism). The results show that token stress and role overload are more consistent predictors of mental health than any other form of work stress among Black elites. In terms of coping effectiveness, confrontation (e.g., seeking out someone who will listen) appears to be a beneficial strategy for handling work pressures. Forbearance (e.g., hiding one's feelings) and avoidance (e.g., leaving a situation) strategies are related to poor mental health. There is additional evidence however, that confrontational styles of coping are not always conducive during times of elevated work stress, especially when Black elites are faced with token stress. Optimistic comparisons, on the other hand, are useful coping resources among those elites who are dealing with high token stress and role overload.

Details

Employee Health, Coping and Methodologies
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-0-76231-289-4

Book part
Publication date: 12 November 2018

Alvin Killough, Eryn Killough, James Burnett and Grover Bailey

The function for the historically Black college and university (HBCU) has always been a hallmark of resolve educational inclusion and justice to promote the Negro…

Abstract

The function for the historically Black college and university (HBCU) has always been a hallmark of resolve educational inclusion and justice to promote the Negro identity, and develop social and economic mobility. Yet despite diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) determinations popular today, the authors contend that to cater to subpopulations outside of the Black community creates a marginalization and distraction from their historic purpose and legacy. As a necessary function of relevance, the focus of underserved populations on HBCU campuses should, instead, unwaveringly remain on African-Americans, descendants of slaves (DoS). We empirically examine HBCU academic curricula for African-American consciousness that is forward thinking for community advocacy and social justice. Research findings of HBCU course catalogs (N = 98) describe a very limited scope of course titles and descriptions that appear to cultivate intellectual tools to engage in racial and ethnic self-advocacy as a vital role for continued survival. The authors contend that the relevance of HBCU institutions cannot be fully realized and promoted absent a comprehensive understanding of the educational and socioeconomic status of the African-American population. Discussed are the implications and recommendations of how HBCUs will be able to retain their uniqueness and viability of purpose, including the application of social reconstructive theory in practice, as a theoretical framework.

Details

Underserved Populations at Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78754-841-1

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 2 June 2022

Tomika Ferguson and Mahauganee Shaw Bonds

With heightened national attention placed on race and gender identity, the ability and preparedness of students to engage in critical conversations on such topics and with…

Abstract

With heightened national attention placed on race and gender identity, the ability and preparedness of students to engage in critical conversations on such topics and with diverse groups is of much concern to educators. High school student-athletes are frequently thrust into the spotlight on topics related to race and racial identity, due to their hypervisibility and role as representatives of their schools. This chapter uses current events involving Black girl, high school, student-athletes to demonstrate how racialized and gendered experiences may shape how they understand themselves as well as their school and non-school environments. Further, this chapter includes a study that highlights the narratives of two Black female college athletes who, when prompted to discuss racialized and gendered experiences, shared stories that highlighted their primary and secondary educational experiences. These narratives identify school diversity and fitting in, and the coach as influencer as salient themes from the study. This illuminates the influence of early racialized encounters and the salience of those occurrences in shaping the way Black girls think about their own racial and gender identity development. In closing, this chapter calls on educators to prepare themselves to facilitate conversations about race through the use of equity audits, effective programming for Black girls, and a call for education advocates for Black girls in preK-12 environments.

Details

African American Young Girls and Women in PreK12 Schools and Beyond
Type: Book
ISBN: 978-1-78769-532-0

Keywords

Book part
Publication date: 24 October 2022

Crystal Nicole Eddins

This chapter offers insight on how existing paradigms within Black Studies, specifically the ideas of racial capitalism and the Black Radical Tradition, can advance…

Abstract

This chapter offers insight on how existing paradigms within Black Studies, specifically the ideas of racial capitalism and the Black Radical Tradition, can advance sociological scholarship toward greater understanding of the macro-level factors that shape Black mobilizations. In this chapter, I assess mainstream sociological research on the Civil Rights Movement and theoretical paradigms that emerged from its study, using racial capitalism as a lens to explain dynamics such as the political process of movement emergence, state-sponsored repression, and demobilization. The chapter then focuses on the reparatory justice movement as an example of how racial capitalism perpetuates wide disparities between Black and white people historically and contemporarily, and how reparations activists actively deploy the idea of racial capitalism to address inequities and transform society.

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