Psychology Ph.D. Dissertations


Determinants of Symbolic Inferences About Organizations Among Job Market Entrants

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)



First Advisor

Scott Highhouse


Previous research has shown that organizational reputation can have an important impact on recruitment and retention, but little is known about the organizational factors that differentiate between an organization with a positive symbolic reputation and one with a negative symbolic reputation. Research has begun to examine the antecedents of attraction, but these studies have typically viewed reputation as a unidimensional construct, whereas the present study examines the symbolic reputation factors of organizational impressiveness and respectability, and have primarily focused on reputation perceptions of financial and business experts, while this study focuses on the perceptions of naïve, first-time job seekers. Results indicate that naïve job seekers view organizations that advertise heavily to be most impressive, and view organizations with products perceived to be high-quality as the most respectable. Implications for recruitment are discussed.