Want this Job? An Exploratory Analysis of Differing Views towards Pursuing a Truck Driving Career

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The Ohio State University

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Over the past 15 years the United States (US) has faced a massive shortage of truck drivers. The shortage has come to head in recent years, but a lack of truck drivers to support the economy has been a subject of research since the 1980s. Truck drivers have long been stereotyped as a rough and tumble group. This creates a scenario where workers in the trucking industry might be viewed as closed minded and unwilling to accept change. There are many factors that influence views towards employment in a particular occupation, but this research focuses on the effects of the public stereotypes about truck driving and how it shapes people’s views towards the opportunities for a variety of potential applicant pools for truck driver recruitment. In addition, this research seeks to quantify people’s opinions about the industry and what potential shortcomings the public image of trucking may have for the industry’s goals to balance labor supply and demand. Through a vignette-based experiment, this research pursued these goals with a particular focus on how views change based on gender and ethnicity, and this was evaluated in the context of key factors including subject gender identity, width of knowledge base, and personal connections to the truck driving industry. Building upon the results, research based suggestions were formulated to help enhance perceptions of the truck driving profession moving into the future.



Truck Driver Recruitment, Logistics, Diversity and Inclusion, Industry Perceptions, Vignette, Experiment