Ethical reputation as an organisational choice indicator: effects of job seekers' gender, field of study and family income level.

Master Thesis


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Recruiting and retaining top tier talent has increasingly become one of the few ways organisations can differentiate themselves from their competitors. In pursuit of the best talent for competitive advantage, an understanding of what job seekers want has become paramount to recruitment strategies. Given South Africa's heterogenous population make-up, the labour market consists of various groups of job seekers, each with unique characteristics that inform their organisational choices. To this end, the researcher sought to compare organisational choice decisions of different demographic groups of job seekers. Specifically, group comparisons in the consideration of ethical reputation as an organisational choice indicator, were made between job seekers of different genders, academic backgrounds and family income levels. Students registered at a metropolitan university in South Africa participated in a selfreport measurement instrument titled Organisational Choice Indicator (N = 330). Exploratory Factor Analysis revealed a four-dimensional construct for organisational choices in South Africa. Independent t-tests showed that job seekers from higher family income levels consider ethical reputations of organisations when choosing employers, more than their counterparts from lower family income levels. However, the test also indicated no significant differences between male and female job seekers, in the consideration of this indicator. Analysis of variance with planned contrasts revealed that in their job search endeavors, individuals with Humanities backgrounds consider how ethically reputable an organisation is, more than those with Engineering and Commerce backgrounds. Implications of these findings are presented, as well as suggestions for future research.