Scientific principles versus practical realities : Insights from organizational theory to individual psychological assessment
(2011) Industrial and Organizational Psychology 4 (2011) 3, 311-316; doi: 10.1111/j.1754-9434.2011.01345.x
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Freie Schlagwörter (Englisch):
Individual psychological assessment (IPA) , executive / top management , performance assessment
Arbeits- & Organisationspsychologie
Kurzfassung auf Englisch:
Individual psychological assessment (IPA) for executive and top management positions isn´t an easy job. Still, knowledge gained over decades of scientific study suggests that we rely on structured job and organizational analyses; the construction of appropriate high- and low-fidelity simulations, cognitive tests, and affective inventories suitable in content and difficulty (Ones & Dilchert, 2009; Rubenzer, Faschingbauer, & Ones, 2000); as well as a structured and mechanical combination of the resulting information (Aegisdottir et al.,2006; Grove, Zald, Lebow, Snitz, & Nelson, 2000). And we will likely still remain painfully aware of the poor ability of even our most refined assessments for predicting executives´ performance.
Silzer and Jeanneret (2011) "disagree with those who have a simplistic view of executive roles" and argue that they "do not think a job-sampling approach to establish job relatedness [...] is feasible, given the complexity of executive jobs and the significant influence of contextual factors" and that "test batteries would only evaluate individuals on very general factors (mostly cognitive factors) that are far too broad to differentiate specific executive success." Rather, they stress the expertise of the assessing psychologist and "the clinician´s genuine creative act of generating a structural-dynamic hypothesis," arguing for assessors´ proposed ability to sort and integrate observations in multiple ways, to identify "broken legs" and to adapt the focus of the testing to the information so far received. Many reasons may explain why even scientist–practitioners discard the advice of their own discipline, ranging from implicit beliefs (Highhouse, 2008), classic attribution errors, and decision-making biases (Phillips & Gully, 2008) to the evolutionary novelty of our statistical decision rules for a task (predicting others´ behavior) as old as man himself (Colarelli & Thompson, 2008). Klimoski and Jones (2008) argued to also consider the context of personnel selection. Already conceptualized (Klehe, 2004) and proven useful (König et al., 2010) for personnel selection in general, this commentary tries to apply this idea to IPA in particular.
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