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An exploration of the determinants of applicant fairness perceptions in high-stakes selection settings

Zibarras, L. (2010). An exploration of the determinants of applicant fairness perceptions in high-stakes selection settings. (Unpublished Doctoral thesis, City University London)


In the last two decades there has been a proliferation of research focusing on the applicants' perspective of selection, which has examined the attitudes and cognitions that applicants have about a selection process. The fundamental premise underlying this research is that fairness perceptions influence certain outcomes such as applicant decision-making, organisation attractiveness and litigation intentions (Gilliland, 1993). There has been an abundance of research examining the outcomes of fairness perceptions; however, relatively little research has focused on the determinants of these perceptions. Therefore this thesis presents four studies designed to explore the determinants of applicant fairness perceptions in high-stakes selection settings. All studies took place within the context of the UK National Health Service, using samples of applicants from two selection processes: General Practice (GP) and Public Health (PH). The first study explored the role of job relatedness, personality and selfefficacy in fairness perceptions using two samples of applicants from the shortlisting (N=156) and assessment centre (N=212) stages of the GP process. The second study explored the role of procedural justice rules, cognitive ability and candidate educational background using a sample (N=132) of applicants for PH. The third study explored the role of gender, ethnicity and selection method characteristics in perceptions of job relatedness in three field-based samples (total N=973). The fourth and final study presents research examining the role of spontaneously-produced attributions in applicant perceptions of a selection process using a series of 40 applicant interviews. Overall, findings suggested that most of the variables explored were determinants of applicant fairness perceptions, including personality, self-efficacy, cognitive ability, candidate educational background and attributions. On the other hand, demographic characteristics (gender and ethnicity) were not found to be determinants of fairness perceptions in the samples examined. In the final chapter the overall findings are discussed in relation to both their theoretical and practical implications; and finally some directions for future research are suggested

Publication Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BF Psychology
Departments: School of Health & Psychological Sciences > Psychology
Doctoral Theses
Doctoral Theses > School of Arts and Social Sciences Doctoral Theses
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