Managing Discrimination in Selection: The Influence of Directives From an Authority and Social Dominance Orientation

  • Umphress E
  • Simmons A
  • Boswell W
 et al. 
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Abstract

The authors examined one manner in which to decrease the negative impact of social dominance orientation (SDO), an individual difference variable that indicates support for the "domination of 'inferior' groups by 'superior' groups" (J. Sidanius & F. Pratto, 1999, p. 48), on the selection of candidates from low-status groups within society. Consistent with the tenets of social dominance theory, in 2 studies we found that those high in SDO reported that they were less likely to select a potential team member who is a member of a low-status group (i.e., a White female in Study 1 and a Black male in Study 2) than those low in SDO. However, explicit directives from an authority moderated this effect such that those high in SDO were more likely to select both candidates when authority figures clearly communicated that job performance indicators should be used when choosing team members. Thus, our studies suggest that the negative effects of SDO may be attenuated if those high in SDO are instructed by superiors to use legitimate performance criteria to evaluate job candidates.

Author-supplied keywords

  • discrimination
  • diversity
  • selection
  • social dominance orientation

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