Assessing the Impact of Intergroup Contact and Diversity training on Employers’ Hiring Attitudes, Intentions and Behaviours Toward Refugees
AdvisorMacInnis, Cara C.
Committee MemberMurry, Adam Thomas
Bourdage, Joshua S.
Subjectpsychology, intergroup contact, diversity training, refugees
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AbstractThe aims of this research project are to examine the impact of intergroup contact and diversity training on the general attitudes, hiring attitudes, hiring intentions, and hiring behaviour toward refugees among hirers residing in the United States. Hirers are operationalized as individuals with the final authority to make hiring decisions within their organizations. Refugees are a vulnerable and disadvantaged social group who face a number of barriers to successful employment. Studies exploring refugees in employment contexts are exceedingly rare, but integral to understanding refugee employment outcomes. Based on previous literature, two mediators for why intergroup contact and diversity training may impact attitudes toward social groups were examined: group empathy and intergroup anxiety. A sample of hirers (N = 379) was recruited from Amazon’s Mechanical Turk using a two-step methodology, with the goal of increasing data quality through the reduction of participant misrepresentation. Intergroup contact quantity, intergroup contact quality and diversity training all were associated with general attitudes toward refugees, with intergroup contact quantity/quality both being fully mediated by empathy and intergroup anxiety. The impact of diversity training on general attitudes was fully mediated only by group empathy. When comparing the predictors simultaneously, intergroup contact quality appears to have the strongest relationship on most hiring outcomes. However, hiring intentions were not found to predict hiring behaviour toward refugees. Several explanations for this are explored. Nonetheless, this research provides valuable contributions to knowledge surrounding intergroup contact theory and diversity training, and their relations with hiring of disadvantaged social groups, specifically refugees. Future research on this topic should explore these variables experimentally, to help establish causality and temporal directionality of these variables.
CitationBoss, H. (2019). Assessing the Impact of Intergroup Contact and Diversity training on Employers’ Hiring Attitudes, Intentions and Behaviours Toward Refugees (Unpublished master's thesis). University of Calgary, Calgary, AB.
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