Victoria University

You are not worth the risk: The ethics of statistical discrimination in organisational selection of applicants

ResearchArchive/Manakin Repository

Show simple item record

dc.contributor.advisor Das, Ramon
dc.contributor.advisor Keller, Simon Scholes, Vanessa 2017-04-12T03:41:21Z 2017-04-12T03:41:21Z 2017 2017
dc.description.abstract Your job application is rejected unseen because you ticked a box admitting you smoke. The employer screened out applicants who ticked the 'smoker' box, because she had read empirical studies that suggest smokers, as a group, are a higher productivity risk than non-smokers. What distinctive ethical concerns inhere in the organisational practice of discriminating against applicants on the basis of group risk statistics? I argue that risk-focussed statistical discrimination is morally undesirable due to the lack of respect for applicants as unique autonomous agents. However, I argue further that the decision-making context affects the morality of this discrimination. Other things being equal, the morality of statistical discrimination varies depending on the purpose of the organisation, the level of detail in the discrimination, and whether the discrimination is transparent to applicants and includes some benefit for applicants. Because organisations may have good reason to use risk-focussed statistical discrimination when assessing applicants, I present some recommendations for decision-makers to mitigate the lack of respect for applicants as individual agents. Organisational decision-makers can focus on the extent to which the statistical data they use comprise i) factors that feature efforts and achievements of the applicant; ii) dynamic rather than static factors; and iii) data drawn from the applicant’s own history and actions over time. en_NZ
dc.language.iso en_NZ
dc.publisher Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ
dc.subject Ethics en_NZ
dc.subject Discrimination en_NZ
dc.subject Risk en_NZ
dc.title You are not worth the risk: The ethics of statistical discrimination in organisational selection of applicants en_NZ
dc.type Text en_NZ
vuwschema.contributor.unit School of History, Philosophy, Political Science and International Relations en_NZ
vuwschema.type.vuw Awarded Doctoral Thesis en_NZ Philosophy en_NZ Victoria University of Wellington en_NZ Doctoral en_NZ Doctor of Philosophy en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcfor 220102 Business Ethics en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcfor 220199 Applied Ethics not elsewhere classified en_NZ
vuwschema.subject.anzsrcseo 970122 Expanding Knowledge in Philosophy and Religious Studies en_NZ

Files in this item

This item appears in the following Collection(s)

Show simple item record

Search ResearchArchive

Advanced Search


My Account