Racial Discrimination in Context: The Role of Organizational Policies and Practices in Hiring Discrimination

Monday, Mar 28, 2022 | 12:45 pm - 2:00 pm

Hybrid Event - In-Person & Zoom Webinar

CSLS Speaker Series
“Racial Discrimination in Context: The Role of Organizational Policies and Practices in Hiring Discrimination”
with DAVID PEDULLA, Professor of Sociology, Harvard University

Cosponsored with the Thelton E. Henderson Center for Social Justicethe Center for Race & Gender

Hybrid Event
In-person (Room 244, Berkeley Law)
Zoom Webinar – Click here to register.

For more information visit:  https://csls.berkeley.edu/speakers-events/csls-speaker-series

Hiring discrimination persists against Black job applicants in the United States, serving as a key force in the reproduction of social and economic inequality. Existing scholarship often points to micro-level psychological mechanisms or macro-level institutional features as the central drivers of discrimination. In this article, we bring together the organizational inequality and hiring discrimination literatures to argue that organizational policies and practices, key meso-level forces, are also important in shaping racial discrimination in hiring. Integrating insights from multiple strands of organizational theory, we examine four organizational policies and practices—individual change programs, public signaling efforts, relational investments, and structural features—that may limit hiring discrimination and develop a theoretical argument about which features are most likely to successfully do so. To test our argument, we draw on an original dataset that matches direct measures of hiring discrimination from a field experiment with survey data about the organizations that were part of the field experiment. We do not find evidence that individual change and public signaling efforts impact racial discrimination. However, structural features of the organization and certain relational investments, mentoring and networking programs with a racial emphasis, are associated with less racial discrimination. We conclude by discussing the implications of these findings for scholarship on discrimination, organizations, and social inequality.


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