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Title: Recruiting for diversity : sex differences in undergraduates' choices of potential employers
Author: Freeman, Cheryl
ISNI:       0000 0001 3483 786X
Awarding Body: Cranfield University
Current Institution: Cranfield University
Date of Award: 2003
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The aim of this research is to explore sex differences in undergraduates’ choices of potential employers. It focuses on a major employer (‘the Firm’), wishing to increase the number of job applications it receives from female undergraduates, and comprises three linked projects. No previous research was found that addresses sex differences in organisational choice. In the first project, a contribution is made by identifying, using Repertory Grids, eightyfour organisational attributes by which undergraduates differentiate between potential employers. A survey in the second project found organisational attractiveness (the product of the importance of organisational attributes and the perceived extent of their presence in a particular organisation) positively correlated with likelihood to apply. Sex differences were found in both components of organisational attractiveness: a new contribution to the literature. Regression analysis revealed the attributes that predict women’s likelihood to apply to the Firm: ‘people with whom I have things in common’; ‘friendly, informal culture’; ‘cares about its employees as individuals’; and ‘dynamic, forward-looking approach to its business’. The Firm’s image in these areas was found to require improvement and, in the final project, group interviews with female new joiners (to the Firm) identified tangible ‘cues’ that the Firm can use to signal the predictor attributes to undergraduates. Having identified the importance of interaction with employees in forming undergraduates’ images of organisations, a new approach was developed to measure the employees’ image of the Firm, and this was supplemented by group interviews. The results contribute to practice and literature by revealing that the employees’ image is not universally strong and, in talking with undergraduates, they ‘tell it like it is’. This study highlights that, ultimately, the Firm’s desired image must be supported by employees’ experiences of it, which management may need to examine further if the Firm is to attract more female undergraduates.
Supervisor: Vinnicombe, Susan Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (D.B.A.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available