Date of Award

Winter 1-29-2024

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Industrial/Organizational Psychology (PhD)


Industrial/Organizational Psychology

First Advisor/Committee Member

Lynette Bikos

Second Advisor/Committee Member

Dana Kendall

Third Advisor/Committee Member

Jake Redding


recruiting, employee resource groups, organization attraction, organizational support


Employee resource groups (ERGs) have existed since the 1960’s to provide additional support for a group of employees within an organization that share a common identity (e.g., gender, race, sexual orientation, veteran status). Gaining in popularity over the past 25 years, they are utilized to drive change and foster diversity management (Welbourne et al., 2017). Organizations have also realized the potential for demonstrating a commitment to diversity to external stakeholders, future applicants, and current employees (Biscoe & Safford, 2010; Friedman & Holtom, 2002). ERGs are unique, thus are difficult to quantify and study empirically. However, given the prevalence of ERGs, it is critical that researchers investigate the role of ERGs for employees, organizations, and potential applicants. This study examined the causal effects of the presence of ERGs in recruiting materials on women’s intentions to apply to an organization through perceived organizational support. The study was conducted with 120 women over 18 years old. Participants were randomly assigned to one of two conditions. One condition advertised ERGs, and the control condition did not include ERG information. A simple mediation revealed that the relationship between the advertisement of ERGs and application intentions is mediated through perceived organizational support (B = 0.45, CI95 = 0.22 to 0.70). Results suggest that the presence of ERGs in recruiting materials may influence the perception of organizational support, which, in turn, affects the likelihood of individuals expressing an intent to pursue. It is critical that the ERGs are perceived as supportive. Therefore, organizations should convey to external stakeholders that their ERGs meaningfully contribute to the development and maintenance of an inclusive culture.