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Social mobility, equity and the politics of recruitment

Fevre, Ralph William 2012. Social mobility, equity and the politics of recruitment. Sociology Compass 6 (9) , pp. 740-750. 10.1111/j.1751-9020.2012.00489.x

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Abstract

Much reliance has been placed on increased equity as a way of improving social mobility but the evidence base for this view, for example in Britain, looks less and less convincing. Part of the attraction of equity was that it was believed to promote efficiency through the refinement of meritocracy. Sociological theory now suggests that the equation of equity with efficiency may have prevented reforms which would have improved social mobility. This theory fills a gap in the human resource management (HRM) literature to show that it is far from obvious what managers should do to increase organisational efficiency when they make recruitment decisions. Instead of recruiting for efficiency, their decisions are shaped by the politics of recruitment both inside organisations, affecting management decision-making particularly, and outside organisations amongst legislators and pressure groups (for example). This politics has shaped the way equity figures in recruitment, it has, for the most part, only figured to the extent that it was believed to serve efficiency, yet what counted for efficiency was itself a political product. When it is hide-bound in this way it is small wonder that insufficient progress has been made in improving social mobility, in Britain and elsewhere, by increasing equity.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor
H Social Sciences > HM Sociology
Publisher: Sage
ISSN: 1751-9020
Funders: ESRC
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 05:34
URI: http://orca.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/52146

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