Factorial Surveys in Social Psychology: The Prospects of Professional Recognition in Germany – a Factorial Survey on the Acceptance of Officially Recognized Foreign Certificates in German Firms

Tuesday, 12 July 2016: 17:15
Location: Hörsaal 48 (Main Building)
Oral Presentation
Felix STUMPF, Friedrich-Alexander University Erlangen-Nuremberg, Germany
With the “Recognition Act” in 2012, Germany introduced a standardized procedure to assess and recognize foreign vocational and professional qualifications. This procedure is intended to formally help employers with the identification of equivalent foreign and German vocational and professional qualifications. Yet, it is unclear in how far firms – as the central gatekeepers of the labour market – actually rely on the results of this official instrument. Our research question is therefore whether the official confirmation of equivalent foreign qualifications will, ceteris paribus, actually lead to equal chances in application and hiring processes. More generally, we investigate whether formal professional recognition enables foreigners to access qualified labour market segments more easily.

To answer these questions, we will employ a factorial survey. The basic idea here is to present firms hypothetical foreign applicants for a job position as a logistics manager. The characteristics of the applicants and their degrees will be experimentally varied. On the individual level, this includes the applicant’s gender, age, job experience and salary expectations. For a detailed analysis of the effects of professional recognition, the applicants come either with a German vocational training degree or a foreign qualification, the latter either without any official evaluation or with partial or full recognition as an equivalent to a German degree.

The survey will be conducted among a representative sample of all German firms which employ at least one logistics manager. Because the degree of professionalization of recruitment processes and recruitment practices vary with firm size, we expect that recognition will have different effects for different firm types. To take account of this, we use a unique stratified sampling design for firms with 1-9, 10-49 and 50-249 employees. This will allow us to generate results for recruitment practices in association with professional recognition for different firm sizes and structures.