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Title:Amorality and morality penalties in selection decisions
Author(s):Kim, Jihyeon
Director of Research:Loewenstein, Jeffrey
Doctoral Committee Chair(s):Loewenstein, Jeffrey
Doctoral Committee Member(s):Goncalo, Jack; Loyd, Denise; Tenbrunsel, Ann
Department / Program:Business Administration
Discipline:Business Administration
Degree Granting Institution:University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Subject(s):Morality, Selection
Abstract:This dissertation investigates the systematic patterns of neglecting and underappreciating the morality of candidates in selection decisions. In Chapter 1, I propose that selectors tend to seek out information on competence and sociability but ignore morality. Three studies with over 2,400 working professionals provided support for the hypothesized tendency toward amorality in selectors’ decisions. I find that morality was less likely to be considered a relevant criterion in selection decisions compared to competence and sociability (Study 1.1). The selectors’ individual differences in morality seem to have little impact on spontaneously considering the candidates’ morality (Study 1.2). An ethics-focused hiring policy intervention encourages selectors to consider candidates’ moral attributes, to show moral awareness, and to adopt an ethical decision frame when making selection decisions (Study 1.3). In Chapter 2, I investigate how selectors evaluate positive moral signals of a candidate and whether selectors sometimes reject such moral candidates. Across five experiments, I show that selectors are less likely to select candidates who display positive moral signals than candidates not displaying any signals of morality. The morality penalty in selection decisions holds across different levels of competence (Study 2.1), occurs in both team-oriented and individual-oriented contexts (Study 2.2), and occurs with both US managers (Studies 2.1 and 2.2) and South Korean managers (Study 2.3). Further, the moral candidate is less likely to be selected than the immoral candidate who displays negative signals of morality (Study 2.4). The results show that selectors penalize candidates’ positive moral signals for two main reasons. The candidates displaying positive moral signals were perceived to be less sociable and to be more likely to threaten the selectors’ identity as moral beings. Finally, I demonstrate that an ethics-focused hiring policy intervention is effective in mitigating the morality penalty in selection decisions (Study 2.5). Implications and future directions are discussed.
Issue Date:2020-04-27
Rights Information:Copyright 2020 Jihyeon Kim
Date Available in IDEALS:2020-08-27
Date Deposited:2020-05

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