U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government, Department of Justice.

NCJRS Virtual Library

The Virtual Library houses over 235,000 criminal justice resources, including all known OJP works.
Click here to search the NCJRS Virtual Library

Perceptions About Minority and Female Opportunities for Job Advancement: Are Beliefs About Equal Opportunities Fixed?

NCJ Number
The Prison Journal Volume: 85 Issue: 4 Dated: December 2005 Pages: 399-419
Scott D. Camp; Neal P. Langan
Date Published
December 2005
21 pages
This study examined perceptions of job advancement opportunities for a correctional agency that is an equal opportunity employer and focused on job advancement opportunities for minorities and females.
In this research study, focus was placed on the perceptions about job opportunities in an actual organization, a large correctional agency. The study examined the impact of management practices on perceptions of job opportunities in three areas: (1) whether management practices affected the overall perceptions of differences in opportunities held by staff; (2) what types of contextual factors affected employee perceptions of fairness in promotions; and (3) whether differences between respondents’ perceptions about their own job advancement opportunities and those of minorities and women were amenable to change or were fixed. Data were taken from the 2001 administration of the Prison Social Climate Survey (PSCS). The general finding of the study, at least with regard to the limited issue of workers’ perceptions about job advancement opportunities, was both good and bad. The good news was that management practices did appear to have some impact on the size of the gap that respondents provided between their own chances for job advancement and those of women and minorities. However, the bad news was that management practices appeared to have no impact on mitigating the differences between men and women or between African-Americans and Whites in making implicit comparisons of job opportunities. The research suggests that the ability to influence workers attitudes about equal opportunities in the workplace may be less than commonly supposed. Tables, notes, references