Date of Completion


Embargo Period



Social class; Diversity; Selection; P-O Fit; Hiring

Major Advisor

Dr. Greg Reilly

Associate Advisor

Dr. John Mathieu

Associate Advisor

Dr. Travis Grosser

Field of Study

Business Administration


Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Social class describes individuals’ possession of economic, social, and cultural capital, and their subjective social rankings relative to others (Bourdieu, 1984). As social class can be easily detected, it is quite likely that it plays a significant role in many workplace processes, such as selection. By considering the context of the hiring process, my dissertation explores the impact of social class from the perspective of hiring managers. First, I conducted a construct clarity study to clarify the multidimensional nature of the construct of social class. Second, using the factors found from my construct clarity study, I developed applicant stimulus materials (e.g., referral email, resume, video interviews) representative of three stages of the hiring process (e.g., acquiring, screening, and interviewing). Stimulus materials were presented to 78 participants in the acquiring stage, 105 participants in the screening stage, and 220 participants in the interviewing stage. Results of this dissertation find that hiring managers’ perceptions of applicant P-O fit are influenced by applicants’ social class. These effects are found during the acquiring stage and decrease in significance and prevalence as the hiring process progresses. Implications to research and practice as well as future directions for continued research on social class in the management literature are presented.