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Project title: Understanding beneficiary responses to affirmative action

Primary supervisor: Dr Aarti Iyer

Project description: Organisations seek to increase the representation of disadvantaged groups (e.g., women, ethnic minority groups) by implementing affirmative action programs, which include policies and procedures to help reduce bias and provide additional opportunities for target groups. The presence of such programs can elicit a stereotype of beneficiary incompetence, such that people believe that beneficiary groups cannot succeed on their own merit. However, little is known about how members of beneficiary groups themselves might negotiate such stereotypes: when will they be undermined by an affirmative action program (e.g., feeling anxious or insulted by the implication that they need help) and when will they be bolstered by it (e.g., appreciating the help being offered)? This project will investigate a range of factors (e.g., individual differences, group processes, organisational characteristics) that shape beneficiary responses to affirmative action programs. It will also consider the implications of these responses for beneficiariesí career aspirations and broader workplace attitudes (e.g., job satisfaction).

Formal enquiries should be addressed to: Dr Aarti Iyer (a.iyer@sheffield.ac.uk)

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