SUSS PSY 201 ORGANISATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY STUDY UNIT 2 HR & PERSONNEL…
SUSS PSY 201 ORGANISATIONAL PSYCHOLOGY STUDY UNIT 2
HR & PERSONNEL ISSUES
is the systematic study of a job's tasks, duties, and responsibilities, as well as the
knowledge, skills, abilities & other characteristics (KSAOs)
- detailed accounting of job tasks, procedures, responsibilities and output.
- assessment of the relative value of jobs for determining compensation as well as performance criteria which serve as a basis for appraising successful job performance.
Job Evaluation and Comparable Worth
Detailed job evaluations typically examine jobs on a number of dimensions
Compensable factors are the job elements that are used to determine appropriate
compensation for a job.
The second issue deals with the fact that women are often paid far less than men for performing equivalent tasks.
gave birth to the concept of comparable worth, or equal pay for equal
refers to the notion that jobs that require equivalent KSAOs should
be compensated equally.
- means for appraising worker success in performing a job.
- information about the physical, educational and experiential qualities required to perform the job.
Uses for the job analysis products
Personnel Recruitment and Selection
Employee Training and Development
Equal Employment Opportunity
Job analysis method
Specific Job Analysis Techniques
Critical incidents technique (CIT)
The critical incidents technique (CIT) is a job analysis technique that
relies on instances
of especially successful or unsuccessful job performance.
Job element method
The job element method is a job analysis method that analyses jobs in terms of the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (
) required to perform the job.
Here job analyst
relies on subject matter experts
(i.e. experts) who are informed about the job to identify the job elements (KSAOs) required for a given job
Position Analysis Questionnaire (PAQ)
is a job analysis technique that
uses a structured questionnaire
to analyse jobs according to 187 job statements, grouped into six categories.
Each of these job elements is individually rated on a scale of 1 to 5, on six rating categories
results produce a very detailed profile of a particular job that can be used to compare jobs within a company or similar positions in different organizations.
Job element categories
—The tasks the worker must perform and the tools or machines needed.
Relationships with other persons
—The kinds of relationships and contacts with others required to do the job.
—The kinds of thinking, reasoning, and decision making required to perform the job.
—The physical and/or social contexts in which the work is performed.
—Where and how the worker obtains the information needed to perform the job.
Other job characteristics
—Other relevant activities, conditions, or characteristics necessary to do the job.
Job rating categories
importance to the job
amount of time
miscellaneous job elements
Functional job analysis (FJA)
it is a structured job analysis technique that
examines the sequence of tasks
in a job and the processes by which they are completed.
It uses three broad categories representing the job’s typical interaction with:
i.e. information, knowledge, and conceptions.
i.e. the amount of contact with others that a job requires. These people can be coworkers, supervisors, customers, or others.
refers to the worker’s interaction with inanimate objects such as tools, machines, equipment, and tangible work products.
It was developed in part to assist the U.S. Department of Labor in the construction of a comprehensive job classification system and to help create the Dictionary of Occupational Titles (
The Dictionary of Occupational Titles (
) is a reference guide that classifies and describes over 40,000 jobs that is used in FJA.
DOT has been replaced by
- The U.S. Department of Labor’s Web site that provides comprehensive information about jobs and careers
General Job Analysis Techniques
Trained job analysts gather information about a particular job by observing the job for a period of time (time selected for observation should be representative of the worker’s routine).
They may also enlist the aid of CCTV.
Observational techniques usually work best with jobs involving manual operations, repetitive tasks, or other easily seen activities.
A job analyst may want to actually perform a particular job or job operation to get a first-hand understanding of how the job is performed.
Job analyst may want to get more than one perspective by interviewing the job incumbent, supervisors, and, subordinates.
They can be open-ended (“Tell me all about what you do on the job”), or they can involve structured or standardized questions
Involve the administration of a questionnaire that the respondent completes and returns to the job analyst.
Surveys can consist of
open-ended questions (“What abilities or skills are required to perform this job?”)
closed-ended questions (“Which of the following classifications best fits your position? (a) supervisory, (b) technical, (c) line, (d) clerical”)
checklists (“Check all of the following tasks that you perform in your job.”).
Another method for job analysis is to have records of daily activities in a diary.
One positive aspect is that it provides a detailed account of the worker’s job.
One difficulty of diary methods, however, is that it is quite time consuming
Employee recruitment is the means by which companies attract job applicants.
1. Alleviate potential misconceptions
An important factor in the recruitment process that may help alleviate potential misconceptions is the
realistic job preview (RJP).
A realistic job preview (RJP) is
an accurate presentation
made to applicants of the
prospective job and organisation.
2. Employee screening
It is the process of
reviewing information about job applicants
used to select workers.
A wide variety of data sources can be used in screening and selecting potential employees (i.e. job applications, letters of recommendation and hiring interviews).
3. Employee selection
It is the actual
process of choosing people
for employment from a pool of applicants.
All the information gained from screening procedures (interviews, resumes, etc) is combined in some manner to make actual selection decisions.
A MODEL FOR EMPLOYEE SELECTION
Hiring effective and productive employees consists of two categories of variables
Criteria (Singular: Criterion)
measures of job success
typically related to performance.
about applicants that are
related to the criteria.
EMPLOYEE SELECTION DECISIONS AND MODELS
Once employers have gathered information about job applicants, they can combine that information in various ways to make selection decisions.
in this process are to
the probability of
selecting job applicants
of decision errors in employee selection.
errors refer to erroneously accepting applicants who would have been unsuccessful.
errors refer to erroneously rejecting applicants who would have been successful
often employee selection
, using what is often referred to as the clinical approach.
In this approach, a decision maker
combines sources of information
in a subjective ( even unstructured manner) to
obtain some general impression
Multiple regression model
The multiple regression model is an employee selection method that
of job success
in a statistical procedure
The multiple regression model is a
compensatory type of model
, which means that high scores on one predictor can compensate for low scores on another. This is
both a strength and a weakness
of the regression approach.
Multiple cut-off model
The multiple cut-off model is an employee selection method that uses a
minimum cut-off score on
each of the various
of job performance.
An applicant must obtain a score above the cut-off on each of the predictors to be hired.
below the cut-off
on any one predictor
the applicant, regardless of the scores on the other screening variables.
of the multiple cut-off strategy is that it ensures that
all eligible applicants
some minimal amount of ability
on all dimensions
Multiple hurdle model.
The multiple hurdle model is an employee selection strategy that requires that an
acceptance or rejection
decision be made
at each of several stages
in a screening process.
uses an ordered sequence of screening devices.
One advantage is that unqualified persons do not have to go through the entire evaluation program before they are rejected.
Costly and Time-consuming.
Interview as an employment screening and selection process
typical hiring interviews, although widely used, are not always effective predictors of job performance. There are, however, ways to improve their reliability and validity, some of which are outlined here
Use structured interviews
helps prevent the interview from digressing.
allows for comparisons among applicants
Interview questions are job related
Interview questions must be developed from a detailed job analysis to ensure that they are job related.
May include situational interview question.
Provide for some rating or scoring of applicant responses
To interpret the applicant responses objectively, it is important to develop some scoring system
Limit prompting and follow-up questioning
These are prone to bias.
Use trained interviewers
Interviewer training improves the quality of hiring interview decisions
Using panel or multiple interviews
Because of personal idiosyncrasies, any one interviewer’s judgment of an applicant may be inaccurate.
Use the interview time efficiently.
Many times, interviewers waste much of the time asking for information that was already obtained from the application form and resume.
Monitor the effectiveness of interviews.
A hiring interview needs to meet the same standards as any screening instrument, such as an employment test.
Therefore, it is very important to collect data on the effectiveness of hiring interview procedures
4. Employee placement
It is the process of assigning workers to jobs.
typically only takes place when there are two or more openings that a newly hired worker could fill.
Also vital during organisational restructuring.
The main difference is that in placement the worker has already been hired. Therefore, the personnel specialist’s job is to
find the best possible “fit”
between the worker’s attributes (KSAOs) and the requirements of the job openings
Opportunity Commission (EEOC)
A federal agency created to
protect against discrimination
are important for understanding the Guidelines and their impact on employee selection procedures.
when members of a protected group are treated unfairly by an employer’s personnel action
the voluntary development of policies that try to ensure that jobs are made available to qualified individuals regardless of sex, age, or ethnic background
Groups including women and certain ethnic and racial minorities that have been identified as previous targets of employment discrimination.
Selecting Employees and Evaluating Their Performance
1. Weighted application forms
The first step in the screening process
involves the evaluation of written materials.
The main purpose of the application and resume is to collect biographical information. background information can be translated into numerical values to compare the qualifications of applicants through the use of weighted application forms.
Weighted application forms are
forms that assign different weights to
the various pieces of i
on a job application
2. Employee testing
The second step in selection is employee testing, which typically uses
standardised instruments to measure characteristics
that are predictive of job performance.
Any test must demonstrate that it has reliability or consistency as well as validity or accuracy as a selection instrument.
refers to the
of a measurement instrument or its stability over time.
3 methods for establishing reliability
is a method of establishing the reliability of a measurement instrument by correlating scores on two different but equivalent versions of the same instrument.
is a common method of establishing a measurement instrument’s
reliability by examining how the various items of the instrument intercorrelate.
Two specific methods are used to determine internal consistency.
This method divides the test items into two equal parts and correlates the summed score on the first half of the items with that on the second half.
The second method involves numerous calculations (and which is more commonly used)to determine the average intercorrelation among all items of the test.
The resulting coefficient (i.e. Cronbach’s alpha), is an estimate of the test’s internal consistency.
is a method of determining the reliability of a measurement instrument by administering the same measure to the same people at two different times and then correlating the scores.
refers to the
of a measurement instrument
(whether it measures
what it says it does).
3 validity evidence
is another validity evidence and is empirically demonstrated by the
relationship between test scores and some measurable criterion
of job success, such as a measure of work output or quality.
2 common ways that predictor–criterion correlations can be empirically generated.
Follow-up method/Predictive validity
Here, the screening test is administered to applicants without interpreting the scores and without using them to select among applicants. Once the applicants become employees, criterion measures such as job performance assessments are collected.
If the test instrument is valid, the test scores should correlate with the criterion measure.
Predictive validity method demonstrates how scores on the screening instrument actually relate to future job performance.
Present-employee method/ Concurrent validity
The test is given to current employees and their scores are correlated with some criterion of their current performance. Again, a relationship between test scores and criterion scores supports highlights the measure’s validity.
refers to the ability of test items to measure the
of job performance based on the said construct.
i.e. Construct validity of the SAT (Scholastic Aptitude test) deals with whether this test does indeed measure a person’s aptitude for schoolwork, and whether it allows accurate inferences about future academic success.
the ability of the items in a measurement instrument to
measure adequately the various characteristics
needed to perform a job
3. selection tests
Often two or more selection tests are combined together in a test battery to help select the best qualified candidates
are measures of honest or dishonest attitudes and/or behaviours.
4. The effectiveness of selection test
3 issues to note
refers to the ability of a screening instrument to predict performance in a job or setting different from the one in which the test was validated.
refers to the value of a screening test in determining important outcomes, such as dollars gained by the company through its use.
refers to purposely distorting one’s response to a test to present one’s self in a positive, socially-desirable way.
To hire a candidate for a high-level managerial position, organizations frequently use the assessment centre.
involve a detailed, structured evaluation of job applicants
using a variety of instruments and techniques.
evaluated on a number of job-related variables
using a variety of techniques, such as personality and ability tests that are considered to be valid predictors of managerial success.
They are also subjected to
i.e. assessment tools that require the performance of tasks that approximate actual work tasks
An Example of Workforce Planning: CEO Succession at Corporate Giants
Begin planning early. Mulcahy CEO of Xerox was replaced in 2008, but the succession planning began in 2001.
Clear guidelines and timelines need to be developed.
Avoid pitting candidates against one another, and search broadly.
The front-running candidate should have contact with the sitting CEO, who can help orient and develop him or her.
Limit CEO terms to no more than a decade, so that the CEO does not become too entrenched in the position.
The Use of Assessment Center Methodology for Assessing Employability of College Graduates.
In one university’s masters-level program in industrial/organizational psychology, first-year master’s students are put through an assessment centre evaluation, with second-year master’s students serving as evaluators
This not only
allows for an assessment of student skills
provides students with
Why the surge of interest in assessment centres?
There are several reasons.
First, the assessment centre methodology makes sense. It offers a
multimodal assessment of a wide range of knowledge, skills, abilities, and psychological characteristics
Second, much of the measurement in assessment centres is “
,” and there is a trend in assessment away from pencil-and-paper assessment and toward more behavioural performance-based assessment.
Third, assessment centres are
easier to conduct
today. With computer and video technology, it is easy to conduct an assessment centre and store the participants’ performance data for later, more convenient, evaluation
Finally, evidence indicates that assessment canters
serve a dual purpose by assessing participants and also helping them to develop managerial skills
by undergoing the assessment centre exercises (Englebrecht & Fischer, 1995; Howard, 1997).
Selection test types and selection formats
Cognitive Ability Tests
Tests of cognitive ability range from tests of general intellectual ability to tests of specific cognitive skills.
One criticism of using general intelligence tests for employee selection is that they measure cognitive abilities that are
to be effective predictors of specific job-related cognitive skills. However, it has been argued that general intelligence is the
form of predictor.
Example.: Comprehensive Ability Battery
(Hakstian & Cattell, 1975–82): Features 20 tests, each designed to measure a single primary cognitive ability, many of which are important in industrial settings.
Among the tests are those assessing verbal ability, numerical ability, clerical speed and accuracy, and ability to organize and produce ideas, as well as several memory scales.
Mechanical Ability Tests
measure abilities in identifying, recognizing, and applying mechanical principles.
effective in screening applicants for positions that require operating or repairing machinery, for construction jobs, and for certain engineering positions.
Example.: Bennett Mechanical Comprehension Test
(Bennett, 1980): A 68-item, pencil-and-paper test of ability to understand the physical and mechanical principles in practical situations.
Can be group administered; comes in two equivalent forms
Job Skills and Knowledge Tests
assess specific job skills or domains of job knowledge.
A special sort of job skill test involves the use of
work sample tests
, which measure applicants’ abilities to perform brief examples of some of the critical tasks that the job requires.
Example.: Minnesota Clerical Assessment Battery or MCAB
(Vale & Prestwood, 1987): A self-administered battery of six subtests measuring the skills and knowledge necessary for clerical and secretarial work. Testing is completely computer-administered. Included are tests of typing, proofreading, filing, business vocabulary, business math, and clerical knowledge
Motor and Sensory Ability Tests
measure specific motor skills or sensory abilities.
Require the manipulation of small parts to measure the fine motor dexterity (i.e. assembling electronic parts)
Example.: Hand-Tool Dexterity Test
(Bennett, 1981): Using a wooden frame, wrenches, and screwdrivers, the test-taker takes apart 12 bolts in a prescribed sequence and reassembles them in another position. This speed test measures manipulative skills important in factory jobs and in jobs servicing mechanical equipment and automobiles
measure certain psychological characteristics of workers.
A wide variety of these tests are used in employee screening and selection in an attempt to match the personality characteristics of job applicants with those of workers who have performed the job successfully in the past
Example.: California Psychological Inventory or CPI
(Gough, 1987): A 480-item, pencil-and-paper inventory of 20 personality dimensions. Has been used in selecting managers, sales personnel, and leadership positions.
Speed VS power test
Speed tests have a fixed time limit. An important focus of a speed test is the number of items completed in the time period provided. (I.e. Typing competency tests).
A power test allows the test-taker sufficient time to complete all items. Typically, power tests have difficult items, with a focus on the percentage of items answered correctly.
Paper-and-pencil VS performance tests
Refers to both paper versions of tests and online tests, which require some form of written reply, in either a MCQ or essay format.
Individual VS group test
Individual tests are administered to only one person at a time (i.e. simulator)
Group tests are designed to be given simultaneously to more than one person, with the administrator usually serving as only a test monitor (i.e. situational table-exercise).
The obvious advantage to group tests is the reduced cost for administrator time.
Evaluating Employee Performance
THE MEASUREMENT OF JOB PERFORMANCE
Involve the assessment of worker performance on the basis of predetermined organizational standards.
Performance appraisals are the
formalised means of assessing
in comparison to certain established organisational standards/criteria.
are the means of determining successful or unsuccessful
Objective performance criteria
are measures of job performance that are easily quantified (also called
For example, an objective
criterion for an assembly-line worker might be the number of products assembled.
Subjective performance criteria
are measures of job performance that typically consist of ratings or judgements of performance (also called
For example, when it is difficult to specify the exact behaviors that indicate successful managerial performance, subjective criteria such as subordinate or superior ratings, are used.
refers to the degree to which a
criterion falls short
of measuring job performance.
refers to the extent to which the means of appraising performance are
to job success.
refers to the extent to which a performance
criterion is usable
in appraising a particular job.
refers to the extent to which performance appraisals contain
elements that detract
from the accurate assessment of job effectiveness.
Sources of rating appraisals.
There are several sources of appraisals including:
are ratings or evaluations made by the workers themselves.
involve co-workers rating one another's performance.
involves getting multiple performance evaluations from supervisors, peers, subordinates, and customers.
METHODS OF RATING PERFORMANCE
are performance appraisal methods involving comparisons of one worker’s performance against that of other workers;
Paired comparison methods
are performance appraisal methods in which the rater compares each worker with each other worker in the group.
are performance appraisal methods that involve assigning workers to established categories of poor to good performance with fixed limitations on how many employees can be assigned to each category
are performance appraisal methods involving rank ordering of employees from best to worst.
are performance appraisal methods that evaluate an employee by himself or herself, without explicit reference to other workers.
Behaviourally anchored rating scales (BARS)
are performance appraisal techniques using rating scales with labels reflecting examples of poor, average, and good behavioural incidents.
BARS uses examples of good and poor behavioural incidents as substitutes for the scale anchors found in traditional rating instruments.
Behavioural observation scales (BOS)
are performance appraisal methods that require appraisers to recall how often a worker has been observed performing
key work behaviours.
Graphic rating scales
are performance appraisal methods using a predetermined scale to rate the worker on important job dimensions/traits.
PROBLEMS AND PITFALLS IN PERFORMANCE APPRAISALS
A major problem in rating job performance is caused by systematic biases and errors.
Researchers defined rating errors as stemming from
biases, subjective perceptions or influences
which results in the flawed evaluation of employee performance
central tendency error
is the tendency to give all workers the midpoint rating in performance appraisals.
refers to the overall positive evaluation of a worker based on one known positive characteristic or action.
is the tendency to give all workers very negative performance appraisals.
bias refers to the tendency for observers to over-attribute cause to characteristics of the actor and the tendency for the actor to over-attribute cause to situational characteristics.
Combating the Actor–Observer Bias in Performance Appraisals
One way to try to combat this problem is to create performance rating forms that require the evaluator to take into account the various situational factors that may have hampered the employee’s performance
A common misconception is that the actor–observer bias will be overcome if both supervisor performance appraisals and workers’ self-appraisals are obtained.
However, if the actor–observer bias is operating, all this will produce is two very discrepant performance appraisals: one from the supervisor, blaming the worker for poor performance, and one from the worker, blaming the situation.
Peer evaluations likewise will not be of much help, because coworkers are also subject to the actor–observer bias.
is the tendency to give all workers very positive performance appraisals.
refers to the tendency to give greater weight to recent performance and lesser weight to earlier performance.