First Advisor

Donald Truxillo

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Applied Psychology






Applicant reactions, Organizational behavior, Privacy concerns, Employee selection -- Computer network resources -- Psychological aspects, Internet users -- Psychology, Right of Privacy



Physical Description

1 online resource (x, 219 p.) : ill. (some col.)


This dissertation explores applicant reactions to Internet-based selection procedures in order to advance theory and practice related to the use modern employee selection tools. Previous authors have explored this topic area (e.g., Harris et al., 2003). However, this dissertation goes beyond previous research by proposing and testing a model that incorporates the measurement of multiple constructs that are highly relevant to organizations when utilizing Internet-based selection procedures. Such constructs include privacy concerns, explanations, control, fairness perceptions, litigation intentions, organizational intentions, and test-taking motivation. Current organizational justice theory, previous findings from studies on applicant reactions to selection procedures, and research on Internet privacy concerns provided the foundation on which this research is based. This dissertation also pulls from theory in the legal, information sciences, and psychology literatures. A model of applicant reactions that included privacy concerns and multiple outcomes relevant to organizations was proposed. Hypotheses examining this model were tested via a high-fidelity laboratory study with student participants. One-third of the participants in this study were seeking jobs at the time of participation. Findings indicated that privacy concerns are an important predictor of both proximal (i.e., fairness perceptions) and distal (i.e., organizational intentions, test-taking motivation) applicant reaction outcomes. Results also demonstrated support for a mediating role of fairness perceptions in the relationships between privacy concerns and organizational intentions as well as between privacy concerns and test-taking motivation. Providing applicants with control and explanations were found to have no moderating effect on the relationship between privacy concerns and fairness perceptions. However, post-hoc analyses indicated that excuse explanations moderated the effect of privacy concerns on test-taking motivation. Theoretical implications of this dissertation include support for a one-factor model of organizational justice as well as a call for more integration of research from outside of industrial-organizational psychology. Additionally, areas for future research, including opportunities for improvement of study design involving timing of measures, are presented. Finally, implications for practice are discussed in regard to the possible impact of privacy concerns to large numbers of applicants participating in Internet-based selection processes, including a discussion on the importance of applicant privacy concerns to organizations and the use of multiple, inexpensive methods that may aid organizations in increasing fairness perceptions among applicants.


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Portland State University. Dept. of Psychology

Persistent Identifier