William R. Osmun, Ph.D. is a 2019 graduate of the PHD Program in Leadership and Change at Antioch University.
Dr. Osmun at his Dissertation Defense.
L-R: Dr. Philomena Essed, Committee Chair, Dr. Lize Booysen, Committee Member, Dr. Robert Giloth, Committee Member (not shown).
- Philomena Essed, Ph.D., Committee Chair
- Lize Booysen DBL, Committee Member
Robert Giloth, Ph.D., Committee Member
Employment is the key to economic and social mobility through which one can potentially manage and maintain self-respect, purpose, dignity, agency, and meaning. Human resource professionals (HRPs), therefore, as gatekeepers to employment have an immense potential impact on the lives of historically marginalized populations and their communities. The purpose of this study was to better understand why HRPs hire from historically and structurally marginalized populations and what resistance they face as a result. While many studies have looked at the phenomenon of hiring discrimination and its opposite, there is a dearth of literature and understanding of the “micro” dynamics of progressive hiring. This study centered on interviews with 17 HRPs who had a reputation of intentionally and successfully hiring from structurally targeted and marginalized groups. Using biographical narrative inquiry, I asked: what motivates HRPs to hire from historically and structurally marginalized populations and what challenges and resistance do they face preceding, during or as a result of these efforts? From the results of the interviews, themes were identified which included insights into how the participants defined the non-traditional talent pools (NTTPs) they focused on; the distinctions between hiring because of organizational goals versus personal motivation; the nature of resistance HRPs encountered in progressive hiring and their means for dealing with this; strategies used for outreach to NTTPs, how HRPs defined success, and overall key insights, as seen by the participants. The themes were reviewed in relation to a number of normative frameworks in the literature that prescribe models for combating discrimination and, more generally for leadership and change. The study concludes with suggestions for how its results and conclusion contribute to research and, when framed as recommendations, to practice. This dissertation is accompanied by the author’s MP4 video introduction and is available in open access at AURA: Antioch University Repository and Archive, http://aura.antioch.edu/ and Ohiolink ETD Center, https://etd.ohiolink.edu/
Osmun, W. R. (2019). Hiring the “Other”—A Biographical Narrative Inquiry of Progressive Human Resource Professionals. https://aura.antioch.edu/etds/480