Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 8, Issue 2, pp 181–198

The role of physical appearance in managerial decisions

  • Michael L. Klassen
  • Cynthia R. Jasper
  • Richard Jackson Harris
Full Articles

DOI: 10.1007/BF02230384

Cite this article as:
Klassen, M.L., Jasper, C.R. & Harris, R.J. J Bus Psychol (1993) 8: 181. doi:10.1007/BF02230384


This study was designed to examine stereotypical beliefs about the physical appearance of employees and the effects of these beliefs on decision-making. Current stereotypes about obese and very thin people were assessed, and the effect of beliefs about obese and very thin people on subjects' evaluations of employee performance was measured. The findings indicated that subjects used information about employees' weight and body build differently, depending on whether they were responding to questions about discipline, the likelihood of recurrence of behavior, or their desire to work with certain employees. Overall, the results suggest that subjects exclude nondiagnostic aspects of employees (e.g., weight and body build) in some types of work decisions.

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1993

Authors and Affiliations

  • Michael L. Klassen
    • 1
  • Cynthia R. Jasper
    • 2
  • Richard Jackson Harris
    • 3
  1. 1.University of Northern IowaCedar Falls
  2. 2.University of Wisconsin-MadisonUSA
  3. 3.Kansas State UniversityUSA