Date of Conferral







Steven C. Tippins


This study examined the perceptions of White men on whether they should or should not be treated with total equality and be included in affirmative action (AA) planning in the workplace. Previous studies explored the topic of discrimination toward white males and AA. Using Festinger's cognitive-dissonance theory and Adams's theory of equity, this study focused on research questions addressing basic knowledge of AA planning, perceived discrimination, dissonance, and, the perceptions of White men about AA planning. Using phenomenological methodology, data were collected from personal interviews, and analyzed by obtaining a sense of the phenomenon, categorizing the interviews into meaningful and smaller units, transforming the language to emphasize the phenomenon, and synthesizing the meaning into a consistent statement of the phenomenon structure. Results of the study suggested that very few of the White men knew much, if anything, about AA planning in the workplace, and even fewer perceived any type of discrimination associated with it. An overarching theme is that most also believe that AA is still necessary, for protected groups, and sometimes lower income white males, as a check and balance against discrimination that they still see occurring today. The results should assist organizations in understanding the perceptions of why White men do or do not believe they should be accounted for in AA planning, Implications for positive social change include better understanding of the evolving needs as the workforce demographic characteristics undergo changes and this could also potentially help reduce the number of discrimination lawsuits where white males are suing for equal rights in the workplace.