Graduate School of Business


Doctor of Business Administration (DBA)


Kimberly Johnson


HRMS, justice, retaliation, gender dominance, discrimination, corrections


Business | Human Resources Management


The stigma of corrections being labeled as a “male” workplace is a factor in the male/female ratio gap; thus, the new question is how to bridge the gender gap. In response to this human resource managers have implemented affirmative action strategies to ensure more females were being hired and promoted in corrections. Though unofficial in most areas, some state correctional agencies incorporated “quotas” in their affirmative action HRMS. Even though ‘quota-based’ or ‘gender based’ HRMS intended to reduce or eliminate discrimination, they have linked backlash effects and stigmatization toward females and minorities when the dominant group felt it was used. The purpose of this study was to assist the business of correctional facilities in grasping the effects of affirmative action HRMS regarding male correctional officers’ perception of fairness, discrimination, and justice. Additionally, it expanded on the affirmative action knowledge base of those studying the advantages (benefits) and disadvantages (cons) of constructing and maintaining affirmative action HRMS. This study was conducted using the qualitative multiple case study with a flexible design. A total of 13 participants were interviewed separately in a one-on-one manner. The interview questions consisted of 14 semi-structured questions to capture their perspectives and experiences regarding affirmative action HRMS. Each interview was recorded on a 32 Gb voice recorder, transcribed, and entered into NVivo Pro 12. The major themes discovered were career motivation, affirmative action, gender HRMS perceptions, and behavior/climate. The cross-case themes were reverse discrimination, fairness and trust perception, and behavior/climate. The findings revealed that officers’ perception of fairness and justice had directly influenced employee behavior when employees believed that a female was promoted using gender based HRMS. Though it was revealed that most officers believed that the number of females needed on shift was based on unofficial number requirements, heuristics was used to fill in that belief regarding organizational justice. Though the research did not back previous research regarding gender based HRMS and reverse discrimination, it did reveal that there was a relationship between gender based HRMS, FHT organizational justice, and retaliation. These findings can be used to as a method of awareness for male-dominated fields (such as corrections) to understand how incorporating gender into HRMS affects the dominant group. It also serves to provide insight into possible flaws in HRMS. Organizations can leverage these findings to develop or improve fair HRMS and provide a more inclusive, gender-neutral recruitment of promotion strategy.