The selection of administrators in public community colleges : guidelines from the research


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The selection of administrators in public community colleges : guidelines from the research
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ix, 222 leaves : ; 28 cm.
Eldridge, Betty-June Hauenstein, 1947-
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Subjects / Keywords:
College administrators -- Selection and appointment   ( lcsh )
Community colleges -- Personnel management   ( lcsh )
Personnel management -- Research -- Statistical methods   ( lcsh )
Educational Leadership thesis Ph. D
Dissertations, Academic -- Educational Leadership -- UF
bibliography   ( marcgt )
theses   ( marcgt )
non-fiction   ( marcgt )


Thesis (Ph. D.)--University of Florida, 1988.
Includes bibliographical references.
Additional Physical Form:
Also available online.
General Note:
General Note:
Statement of Responsibility:
by Betty-June Hauenstein Eldridge.

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University of Florida
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All applicable rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.
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aleph - 024825677
oclc - 20071228
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Full Text







This study is dedicated

to the memory of my first teacher --

my mother


I recognize with gratitude the support given by those

who contributed to this study. I wish to express my sincere

gratitude to Dr. Phillip Clark, Dr. James Wattenbarger, and

Dr. James Hensel, chairman and members of my doctoral

committee, whose guidance and encouragement made possible the

successful conduct of this study. A special thank you is

given to Dr. Michael Nunnery for helping me in the initial

stage of choosing a topic and for introducing me to meta-


I could not have completed this study without the

steadfast support of friends and family. Thanks go to Leila

Cantara for her proofreading and unending supply of red ink.

Appreciation goes to Judie Swan and Dora Proctor for

untangling my attempts at word processing. I thank my father

for his moral and financial support. Warmest regards go to

John, Everett, and Sara Eldridge, who "helped mommy study."

My greatest appreciation goes to my husband, Everett.

Without his continual encouragement and unflagging belief in

my ability this study could never have been accomplished.



ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS ...................................... iii

LIST OF TABLES ........................................ .. vi

ABSTRACT .............................................. vii


I INTRODUCTION ...................................... 1

Statement of the Problem ......................... 8
Justification for the Study ........................ 8
Delimitations ..................................... 10
Limitations .............................................12
Definition of Terms ........ ......................... 13
Assumptions ........................................... 14
Procedures ...................................... .. 14
Organization of the Dissertation ................. 16

II BACKGROUND LITERATURE ............................. 17

Introduction ... ................................. .... 17
History of Personnel Selection .................... 17
Objectivity, Reliability, and Validity
in Personnel Selection Research ............... 24
Review of the Research on Selection Methods
for Administrative Personnel ................... 33
Summary and Critique ............................. 95

III PROCEDURES ............................................ 97

Introduction ....................................... 97
Purpose of the Study ............................. 97
Procedures for the Meta-analysis ................. 108
Conclusion ......................................... 114


Introduction ...................................... 116
A General View of the Research ................... 118
Administrative Personnel Selection Methods ........ 122

Selection Methods Significantly Related to
Administrative Achievement: A Meta-analysis .... 132
Relationships Between Selection Methods
and Separate Measures of Administrative
Achievement .................................... 137
Prediction to Successively Higher Levels
of Administration .............................. 139
Validity of the Assessment Center Approach ....... 141
Correlation of Types of Interactions Within
Selection Methods and Measures of
Administrative Achievement ..................... 144
Analysis of the Research Methods Used in
Administrative Personnel Selection Research .... 144
Conclusions of the Meta-analysis of the
Content and Methodologies of Personnel
Selection Research ............................. 149


Introduction ..................................... 155
The Need for Valid Personnel Selection Methods .... 155
Guidelines for Selecting Community College
Administrators ................................. 160
Recommendations for Research ..................... 166
Summary and Conclusion ........................... 168

APPENDIX ............................................. 170

REFERENCES ........................................... 210

BIOGRAPHICAL SKETCH ................................... 222



1. Frequency of Independent Variable
Classifications of Correlations by
Reporting Year ................................ 119

2. Mean Correlations, Medians, Standard
Deviations, and Ranges of Uncorrected Data .... 122

3. Rankings of Validities of Selection Methods
With and Without Weighting for Sample Size .... 128

4. Selection Method Frequency of Use Compared
with Mean Effect Size ......................... 131

5. Selection Method Frequency of Use Compared
with Mean Effect Size Derived Through
Meta-analysis ................................. 133

6. Mean Correlations, Sample Size Weighted
Correlations, and Corrected Correlations of
Selection Methods ............................. 134

7. Selection Method Correlation to Outcome
Criteria ....................................... 139

8. Correlations of Selection Methods Measured Within
and Without Assessment Center Processes ....... 142

9. Effects of Range Restriction on Outcome
Measures of Administrative Achievement ........ 147

Abstract of Dissertation Presented to the Graduate School
of the University of Florida in Partial Fulfillment of the
Requirements for the Degree of Doctor of Philosophy



Betty-June Hauenstein Eldridge

December 1988

Chairman: Phillip A. Clark
Major Department: Educational Leadership

The purpose of this study was to develop a set of

guidelines for improving the selection of administrators of

public community colleges. Fifty-two research studies were

found which met the parameters of this study. Only those

studies which concerned selection of administrative personnel,

and were published in the United States from 1962 through

1985, inclusive, were used.

Predictor variables consisted of nine personnel

selection methods: (a) aptitude and intelligence measures,

(b) personal interviews, (c) job-related skills indicators,

(d) psychological attribute indicators, (e) value systems

assessments, (f) biographical information, (g) peer ratings,

(h) self-appraisals, and (i) assessment center processes.


Outcome criteria consisted of several specific measures of on-

the-job achievement in administrative positions.

The statistical procedure of meta-analysis was applied

to the 128 validity coefficients found in these studies. The

use of this procedure allowed an objective look into cross

sections of the research data. For each cross section of the

data, mean correlations, weighted by sample size, were

computed. Sampling error, the difference between the

population parameter and the sample statistic, was corrected

for in each of the resulting mean correlations. The

reliabilities of the independent and dependent variables were

computed according to reliability data reported in the

research. These data were used to adjust the mean

correlations for error of measurement. Thus, new

correlations, closer to the true score correlations, were


Major findings were that (a) all personnel selection

methods considered, with the exception of self-appraisals,

were valid predictors of administrative achievement, (b) the

methods which showed the highest validity, overall assessment

ratings and job-related skills indicators, were the least used

in personnel selection, and (c) those methods used in the

selection of community college administrators, biographical

information, personal interviews, and peer ratings, were

moderately valid. Ten guidelines for administrative

personnel selection in public community colleges were derived.


Legal constraints placed upon personnel selection in public

organizations were considered. These guidelines included (a)

establishing assessment centers for selection and training,

(b) increasing the job-relatedness of selection procedures,

and (c) using statistical methods to simulate overall

assessment ratings.


The purpose of this dissertation was to develop a set of

guidelines for improving the selection of administrators of

public community colleges. The research method used was a

meta-analysis of administrative personnel selection research

done in the United States in the past 24 years.

Administrators in our public community colleges must possess

both extensive knowledge and sound judgment to meet the

complex challenges of the years ahead. The extent to which

a community or junior college meets its challenges largely

depends upon the qualities of its future leaders. Thus, these

integral people must be chosen carefully if they are to be

properly matched to the demands of their positions. Those

concerned with the placement of administrators in higher

education can no longer afford the luxury of using arbitrary

selection methods. This is true in times of surplus, and even

more true in times of shortage, budget cuts, and retrenchment

(Mandell, 1964). Rapid change itself has mandated a

continuous reevaluation of personnel selection procedures.

Administrators, well-qualified in the past, may not be

prepared to face challenges of the job in the late 1980s or

1990s. According to Sharp (1984), community colleges grew so


rapidly in the years between 1960 and 1980 that education

writers spoke of the "community college movement" (p. 12).

During this time enrollments swelled from 400,000 to

4,000,000. These institutions called forth new and different

types of leaders. As Lynch, former member of the Wall Street

Journal news staff (in Sharp, 1984), stated, "gone are the

days when college presidents were tweedy, pipe-smoking types

who ran things at a leisurely pace as money rolled in and new

buildings were rising all over their campuses" (1983, p. 61).

These changes have impacted upon the levels of administrators

subordinate to the college president.

Initially, many community college administrators were

recruited from the ranks of secondary school administrators

(Sharp, 1984). A proven executive ability, rather than a

distinguished teaching career, became an increasingly

important qualification for appointment. Those candidates

possessing management training and experience or advanced

degrees in higher education became available in increasing

numbers. By the mid-1970s, the selection process, responding

to equal opportunity laws and affirmative action commitments,

acquired a public character and produced results quite

different from those of previous generations. Slowly, the

profile of the college administrator changed as women and

minorities took office. Sunshine laws further complicated

selection in several states and appeared to some observers to

be counterproductive in procuring effective leaders (Sharp,


Achievement in these administrative positions can be

influenced by complex factors beyond a candidate's basic

physical and mental qualifications for the job.

Administrators are called upon to carry out ministerial

actions which require skills that can be measured empirically.

But, they also must make decisions that involve judgment.

Successful administrative performance results from an

interaction of at least ability, personality, motivation, and

situational factors. Consequently, it would seem that these

factors should be included in the selection methods used to

determine managerial talent (Rawls & Rawls, 1974).

Researchers have tested the validity of personnel

selection methods since the turn of the century. Munsterberg,

a Harvard researcher in the field of applied psychology,

developed rudimentary tests for the selection of personnel in

various manual occupations. His research laid the basis for

the military and industrial personnel testing done during

World War I (Ghiselli, 1973). A post-war surge in personnel

selection studies focused upon the identification of the

essential characteristics people needed for success in

specific occupations requiring predominantly physical skills.

After World War II, increasing amounts of personnel

selection research were undertaken. This effort was put forth


mainly by private corporations. During this period, selection

methods were explored that would help employers hire people

for positions that required administrative skills. The

predominant researchers of this period, including Ghiselli

(1955), Halpin (1954), and Hemphill (1960), found that it was

insufficient to attempt to match a person's aptitudes and

personality traits to a generic administrative job

description. To them, defining the job specifically was an

important part of finding the right person for the job. Many

researchers agreed that one single test or examination method

probably did not yield sufficient information about a

candidate to ensure a proper person-job fit, especially for

an administrative position.

Determination of the predictive validity of a test or

selection method is fairly easy when the outcome criterion,

job performance, can be quantified. The presence or absence

of physical and some mental skills is easily seen. But the

ability of a person to lead others, to perform well under

stress, or even the quality of a person's judgment, often

eludes measurement.

Managerial performance came to be viewed as a product of

many interacting variables (Bray & Moses, 1972). Thus, a

movement away from the old model of single criterion measures

toward a systems view of selection was undertaken. As a

result, comprehensive systematic models which took into

account individual, job, and organization variables were


adopted. In so doing, the selection process encompassed the

personal characteristics, training needs, and organizational

climate factors that fostered managerial achievement.

Adoption of this more complicated view involving complex

interactions between ability, motivation, and opportunity

variables led to a number of changes that affected managerial

selection (Dunnette, 1963).

One of these changes was the development of the assessment

center approach. During the mid-1950s, American Telephone and

Telegraph (AT&T) began the Management Progress Study. For

years this longitudinal study remained the most valid and

scholarly research done in administrative personnel selection

(Crooks, 1973). The assessment center concept was developed

from this study and it gained rapid acceptance by the business

community. In the original assessment center approach, job

candidates were subjected to multiple tests of personality,

ability, and motivation. During each candidate's three-day

evaluation he was subjected to the traditional tests for

knowledge and experience, and also to newer methods such as

job simulations, role-playing, and leaderless group

discussions. Trained observers recorded their judgments of

each candidate's performance during the entire assessment

process. Hiring personnel hoped to select the most suitable

candidate for each position by studying the results of the

tests and the observer's judgments. In the final evaluation

of each candidate all observer's ratings were considered


collectively. A low score on one part of the examination

could be offset or disregarded due to adequate performance on

other parts. This approach replaced the previously used

"successive hurdles" method in which a failing score on any

one part of an selection procedure would disqualify a

candidate from further consideration (Shoop, 1974).

By the 1960s, many companies and public administration

organizations had implemented the assessment center approach.

The results of the AT&T study were so convincing that many

copied all or part of the original process. There was little

additional research done to test either the findings of the

original study or its validity in a new situation (Crooks,

1973). During this time, the selection of administrators in

public junior and community colleges has continued to follow

the traditional methods of reviewing a candidate's education,

experience, references, and conducting a personal interview.

The exercises completed in hiring college and university

administrators are frequently anything but a process. Too

often they are a set of actions which leave selection

committees dissatisfied with what they have done and

candidates dissatisfied with what they have undergone. No

universal process exists for improving what often is an inept

or discouraging attempt to fill an administrative vacancy with

the best available person.

The problem is magnified by the increasing number of

searches underway in institutions of higher education. In


many colleges and universities more searches are underway for

administrators than for faculty. In addition, affirmative

action and equal opportunity require that administrative

searches be more public, more extensive, and more expensive

than ever before. All this expenditure of time and resources

demands that more attention be paid to the selection process

(Kelly & Nelson, 1978).

Much has been written about the problems of selecting

administrators in higher education, however, little research

has been done on the topic. A change in the procedures now

followed may be warranted. The results of many years of

research in personnel selection methods in other fields have

been usefully applied in this case. The conclusions of this

research helped to determine guidelines for improving the

selection of administrators for our public junior and

community colleges.

Research in administrative personnel selection methods has

been done in corporations, the military services, public

administrative agencies, and in education. The present study

was needed in order to synthesize this research and apply it

to the selection of community college administrators. The

conclusions of the research, when applied to this problem,

have indicated those selection methods which are useful in

predicting administrative achievement.

Statement of the Problem

The problem addressed in this study was to develop

guidelines for improving the selection of administrators of

public junior and community colleges.

The following questions were addressed:

1. What methods for the selection of administrative

personnel are commonly used by corporations, public

administration agencies, the military services, and

institutions of higher education?

2. What methods for the selection of administrative

personnel, derived from a meta-analysis of selection research,

are significantly related to achievement in administrative


3. What information, derived from a meta-analysis of the

methodologies of selection research, is useful in interpreting

the findings of this study?

4. What guidelines can be derived from this research for

improving personnel selection methods for administrators of

public community colleges?

Justification for the Study

Radical changes have occurred in the public workplace

in the last two decades. These changes have required

management to become more flexible in its thinking and to

reorient itself to new conditions. In higher education the

advancements in tenure, unionization, equal opportunity


legislation, and increased protection of individual rights

present community college administrators with more complex

situations than ever before. However, selection procedures

for these positions have rarely been reviewed to determine

their continued validity.

McIntyre (1966) stated that the process used in selecting

higher education administrators is less than optimal.

Of all the rituals encumbering the selection process,
interviewing is undoubtedly the hoariest--and the
sorriest. Nothing in the research on selection
methodology is so completely established and
repeatedly verified as is the unreliability of short
interviews as they are usually conducted.
Unfortunately, the record of letters of recommendation
is as dismal as that of interviewing. Although the
subject has not been researched to any great extent,
all available evidence indicates that the reading of
letters of recommendation is approximately as
enlightening as the reading of tea leaves. Rating
scales vary considerably in usefulness, but the usual
scale is little if any better than the usual letter
recommendation. The traits to be rated are often of
limited relevance, the points on the scale are seldom
clearly defined, and leniency is so rampant that only
the upper end of the scale is ordinarily used. (pp.

In seeking to improve selection methods, every phase of

the process should be investigated and reevaluated. Much can

be accomplished when those in control of an organization take

a broader view of the problem of selection of administrators

and allow new knowledge to influence their thinking.

Occasionally innovations in procedures occur serendipitously,

but more often they are the result of long hard thinking,

experimentation, and evaluation. Purposeful changes in


organizational methods usually grow out of an intensive

investigation of data. Sands (1963) stated that

further study is especially needed in the area of
predicting successful managerial functioning. The
forecast for success can be improved through
correlation studies using data already on hand. All
that is necessary is the willingness to search, the
ability to analyze, and the imagination to interpret
the relationships discovered. (p. 188)

The conclusions of research must be presented in a usable

form. Two decades of research in selection of administrative

personnel is not useful to those selecting administrators of

community colleges unless it is analyzed and aimed toward

solving that specific problem. Silvern (1971) examined 15

research studies by education systems from January 1965

through June 1967. He found that, although the published

material on education systems had been proliferate,

applications of this material were found in only 1% of all of

the literature. The present study attempts to fill a void by

presenting the results of 24 years of administrative selection

research in a usable format.


The delimitations set restrict the research used in this

study to a specific locale, time period, phase of the

selection process, and type of position considered.

1. The research reviewed in this study pertained to the

following areas: (a) corporations, (b) public administration,

(c) military services, and (d) education.


2. The study dealt with personnel selection methods rather

than with individual selection tests. When only one

particular test was administered, such as a Strong Vocational

Interest Blank, this test was recorded by the type of

selection method it represented.

3. The methods of personnel selection, the independent

variable, used in this study included (a) aptitude and

intelligence measures, (b) personal interviews, (c) job-

related skills indicators, (d) psychological attribute

indicators, (e) value systems assessments, (f) biographical

information, (g) peer ratings, (h) self-appraisals, and (i)

assessment center processes.

4. The outcome measures of administrative achievement, the

dependent variable, used in this study included (a)

administrative level achieved, (b) salary level attained, (c)

supervisor ratings, (d) number of years serving in an

administrative position within the same organization, (e)

achievement of tenure, (f) objective performance data, and (g)

promotion rate.

5. Research studies which defined administrative

achievement as measured by (a) admissions personnel ratings,

(b) success in being hired, or (c) performance success in

subsequent training programs, were not used in this study.

These criteria were judged to be too far removed from any

measurement of actual performance on the job.


6. The research studies analyzed were published in the

United States from January 1, 1962 through December 31, 1985.


The following confinements were observed in the


1. Performance ratings and promotions are based in part

upon subjective ratings given by an employee's supervisor.

As such, they may not be totally objective measures of job


2. A lack of independence between the predictor and the

criteria variables may occur when personnel selection

examination results are made available to an employee's

supervisor. The possible effects of this criterion

contamination, where it was identified, were addressed in this


3. Restriction of range occurred when the original

population or sample limited itself, or was limited by,

factors which related to the selection and subsequent

employment process. Thus, if 50% of those interviewed were

hired, and the dependent variable, administrative achievement,

was determined only for those hired, the effective sample

variance for the study was cut in half. This affects the

subsequent correlation between that selection method and any

measure of administrative achievement. For this reason, the


possible effects of range restriction, where they were

identified, were addressed in this study.

Definition of Terms

Administrator. An administrator is any person who manages

or directs the affairs of an institution or any major part

thereof. As pertains to higher education, anyone above the

level of professor, such as department chairman or

professional central administrative personnel, is considered

an administrator.

Community college. A community college is a two-year

college, offering academic, general education, vocational

training, terminal, and transfer programs. It can also be

known as a junior college.

Corporation. A corporation is any company or related

group of companies which produces goods and/or services for

profit. Usually this type of organization has a quantifiable

measure of success by which to judge the effectiveness of the

administrators and employees, such as number of units produced

or amount of profit made. Alternative terms for "corporation"

in this study include those such as the corporate world,

business and industry, or companies.

Higher education. Higher education consists of public and

private community colleges, four-year colleges, and

universities in the United States.


Meta-analysis. The statistical analysis of a large

collection of analysis results from individual studies for the

purpose of integrating the findings.

Military services. Military services are national-level

military organizations in the United States.

Public administration. Any agency which provides public

services at the federal, state, county, city, district, or

regional level is considered a public administrative agency.

Supervisor. A supervisor is a person who oversees,

directs, or manages work or workers.


The following assumptions have been made in this study:

1. It has been assumed that a meta-analysis of the

research on administrative personnel selection was an

appropriate methodology for determining those methods which

may, when properly implemented, improve the selection of

administrators of community colleges.

2. It has been assumed that the research included in this

study was guarded against restriction of range and criterion

contamination wherever possible.


The purpose of this study was to develop a set of

guidelines for improving the selection of administrators of

public community colleges. The research method used was a


meta-analysis of administrative personnel selection research

done in the United States in the past 24 years. Procedures

used in this study follow those described by Glass (1977) and

in Hunter, Schmidt, and Jackson (1982) for the meta-analysis

of a sample of independent correlational studies. The steps

involved included the following:

1. Identification of the research studies.

2. Classification of each study dependent variable,

administrative achievement, according to the Delimitations

section of this chapter.

3. Classification of each study independent variable,

selection method, according to the Delimitations section of

this chapter.

4. Calculation of frequencies of selection methods used

to answer the questions: (a) What were the most commonly used

selection methods across all types of organizations, and (b)

what were the most commonly used selection methods in each

type of organization.

5. Calculations of the means and standard deviations from

the means in selected cross-sections of the data were used to

determine which selection methods were significantly related

to achievement in administrative positions.

6. Determination of what information, derived from the

meta-analysis of the methodologies of the research studies

used, can be useful in interpreting the findings of the above

analysis of selection methods.


7. Analyzation of the findings of the above questions to

determine how the frequency of use of each selection method

related to its ability to predict administrative achievement.

8. Derivation of guidelines useful in improving personnel

selection methods for administrators of public community


9. Presention of the data in textual form supported by

frequency tables and figures, and supported by tables and

figures reporting means and standard deviations of the

correlational data.

Organization of the Dissertation

A review of the literature pertaining to administrative

personnel selection methods is provided in Chapter Two.

Chapter Three presents a detailed discussion of the meta-

analytic research procedures used in this study, such as

methodology, sources of data, data analysis techniques, and

presentation of the data. A presentation of the findings of

the meta-analysis of the research studies used is contained

in Chapter Four, thus answering the questions posed in the

Statement of the Problem. Chapter Five contains the

guidelines derived from the meta-analysis of the research

studies and the presentation of these guidelines for

application to the selection of community college




The responsibilities inherent in administrative positions

have undergone a complex evolution since the turn of the

century. In many organizations, however, the selection

process for administrative personnel has not seen appreciable

change. In this review, the focus is on the research

literature pertaining to the usefulness of various selection

procedures in the prediction of administrative success. The

review is organized into the following sections: the history

of personnel selection; a discussion of objectivity,

reliability, and validity in personnel selection research; a

review of the personnel selection methods used as independent

variables in personnel selection; introduction of the research

studies reviewed; and a summary and critique.

History of Personnel Selection

Traditionally, Munsterberg' s 1911 experiment with motormen

has been viewed as the beginning of research in the use of

examinations for personnel selection (Ghiselli, 1973).

Nevertheless, anecdotal evidence leads one to suggest that,

even before 1910, other psychologists conducted similar

studies with tests, but these were small in scope and went


unpublished. Under the impetus of the scientific management

movement of the early 1900s, some efficiency experts of that

time were using simple exams for evaluating applicants for

jobs. They reported fragmentary evidence of validity in the

attempt to justify their activities (Ghiselli, 1973). The

earliest review of an industrial application was in 1915 when

Scott (in Arvey & Campion, 1982, p. 283) reported low

reliability for evaluations given by six personnel managers

who had interviewed the same 36 sales applicants.

During World War I, the large-scale testing both of

soldiers and industrial workers provided stimulation,

methodology, and respectability to the examination of the

utility of examinations in the assessment of occupational

aptitude. In 1923, Freyd (in Guion, 1987) published a 10-step

outline for personnel selection. This outline was so complete

that it differs little from the procedures used in personnel

selection research today. This all led to a post-war surge

of systematic research in personnel testing.

Selection Processes in Business and Industry

Prior to World War I, most businesses were owner-managed

by the individuals who had founded them. But the growth of

the economy since the 1920s brought changes which have

replaced these colorful characters with impersonal

corporations. The function of the administrator had become

such that it required many skills and much knowledge, so that

it often took a number of administrative personnel to assist


in decision making. By the 1960s, corporate management

required a knowledge of a variety of fields and operations

rarely needed in business a few years earlier. Corporations

* were growing, combining, and expanding so fast that they

needed to hire competent executives at a pace which could not

be fulfilled by promotion from within the ranks (Sands, 1963,

p. 3).

One particular study was more comprehensive than much of

the personnel selection research of the 1950s and 1960s. This

was the American Telephone and Telegraph (AT&T) (Bray & Grant,

1966) study from which came the assessment center method for

the selection of administrative personnel. Called the

Management Progress Study, initiated in 1956, it is the first

known corporate research and application of the assessment

center method. The 422 men brought into the study were

followed up annually and reassessed at 7-year intervals in a

effort to keep track of their professional development. The

assessment center results were not revealed to the higher AT&T

management personnel, so that the progress of the men would

not be affected by the assessment findings. The results of

this study have been well documented. Between 1961 and 1967,

only this AT&T study and two studies done by the armed forces

on assessment centers were reported in the literature

(Crooks, 1973, p. 1).

Selection Processes in Public Administration

When public administration systems were initiated, it was

assumed that only people of the highest caliber would apply

for service. Once reality dashed this assumption, public

administrative personnel selection systems were built upon the

cornerstone of the competitive examination, a method of

deselecting inferior job candidates (Stahl, 1976, p. 129).

From the beginning, this system has placed special emphasis

upon formal selection procedures such as testing for specific

knowledge and skills related to the particular job the person

was applying for. The starting points for the selection

process are basically two: a determination of the objective

for selection, which may be a given position, occupation,

program, or service-wide career, and a setting of basic

standards for selection, the skills and knowledge that are

necessary to meet the preceding objective. During the early-

to mid-1960s, some public administration organizations

realized a need to ensure at least an adequate intake of high

caliber people at all levels so that there would be no

shortage of talent when movement upward or outward took place.

Thus, some services began to give more attention to the

selection of persons who possessed a capability of growth and

development. To this end, public administrative organizations

began to implement the assessment center approach.

However, most public administrative organizations select

a person to fill a particular job vacancy, and thus their


testing is for a specific competency in that area, not an

overall assessment of the applicant's potential. Most of

these agencies expect personnel to have learned their skills

previous to application and do not intend to take in an

inexperienced person of promise and then train him or her for

an administrative position.

Most of the background studies cited as a basis for

personnel selection in public administration were actually

conducted by private corporations. Many of the selection

practices have been borrowed and adapted from business

research. AT&T's original industrial development of the

assessment center method was so well grounded in research, it

was often casually implied that therefore any assessment

center would pick the "right" person (Ross, 1979, p. 41).

Selection Processes in the Military Services

Although many fields acquire administrators already

trained for the positions they are hired to fill, the military

services often must select people of officer quality and then

pay the additional cost of training them. Thus, the basic

objective in the selection process is to identify measures

which would result in officers entering the force with a high

probability of success. The services must select personnel

not only to fill a particular position as it becomes

available, but also to identify people who have the ability

to be trained repeatedly, sometimes every three years, for a


variety of different positions (Akman & Nordhauser, 1974, p.


Often, the services must select officer-quality personnel

to fill positions which have no equivalent in the nonmilitary

world. In these cases, either very global criteria must be

set to determine if the candidate has the intelligence or

aptitude to learn the job-required skills and then be

successful at it, or very specific abilities or natural

characteristics must be measured to ensure the candidate will

be well suited for an important aspect of the position.

Because a large number of people must be tested and screened

for placement, the military services have developed many

paper-and-pencil tests to measure both general and specific

aptitudes. They have relied heavily upon past achievement,

such as college degrees and the results of officer candidacy

tests. The importance of test scores and military class

standings is shown by the fact that often one's scores and

future attainment of rank are positively correlated.

Selection methods used in the military services and in

public administration are often classified as "successive

hurdles" techniques. A lower than acceptable score on any one

particular screening test, or part of a test, will either

disqualify the candidate from that service or from particular

jobs within the service (Shoop, 1974, p. 341).

Selection Processes in Higher Education

In higher education, search committees are often used for

recruiting administrative personnel. These committees provide

for maximum participation in the selection process by a

variety of constituencies within the institution. The

membership of the search committee depends upon the vacancy

to be filled. The committee may include faculty and staff

members, administrators, and, in some cases, students. A

member of the central personnel staff is often an ex-officio

committee member in order to orient the committee to the

proper and legal selection procedures (Sprunger & Bergquist,

1978, p. 116). Usually, the search committee recruits,

screens candidates, checks references, participates in

preliminary interviewing, and recommends a fixed number of

candidates to a designated administrator, who makes the final

selection (Fortunato & Waddell, 1981, p. 107).

The initial screening of candidates has usually been done

by a review of the vitae and job applications. Supplemental

information has usually been obtained by talking to references

and others who knew the individuals and their work. The on-

campus interview has been one of the most important steps in

the selection process. The manner in which this interview is

conducted has usually been critical to the success of the

recruitment-selection process (Sprunger & Berquist, 1978, p.

119). Webster (cited in Grove, 1981, p. 56) emphasized that

the interviewer must understand what behavior is required of


the person finally selected to fill the position. He stressed

such practices as reviewing the application form with the

applicant, giving the applicant an opportunity to talk about

himself or herself in a way that helps that individual to

present relevant evidence, making the interview more

systematic and probing, examining test scores and other

information, and weighting the various types of information

in order to reach an intelligent decision. Webster

recommended taking time following each interview to clarify

impressions and to formulate a judgment. He suggested making

use of multiple independent evaluations in which two or more

interviewers record decisions independently and subsequently

reconcile differences.

Objectivity. Reliability, and Validity in Personnel
Selection Research

These three primary considerations enter into the

effectiveness and propriety of examination processes for

employment selection: objectivity, reliability, and validity.

Objectivity is even more important in the 1980s than it was

previously due to the legal demand for testing to have a job-

specific relation. Reliability is important but is often not

reported in personnel selection research. Validity is the

major concern of this dissertation, and the research studies

reviewed here pertain to the validity of each selection method

in predicting administrative achievement.


According to Stahl (1976), one of the prime reasons for

professionalizing all steps in the selection process is to

ensure thoroughgoing objectivity (p. 131). Only those methods

which disregard extraneous factors such as race, religion,

politics, sex, residence, and age can be considered thoroughly

objective. An objective selection method should identify

those characteristics of mind and skill necessary, and only

those necessary, to the given purpose, whether the purpose is

to fill a particular position or to begin a career.

Objectivity is not only desirable but is mandated in

hiring for positions in the public sector. Throughout almost

all of American history, legislation has been enacted to

facilitate equal treatment in employment. An abundance of

case law has built up around civil rights legislation, and

rulings have occurred which have broadened the impact of such

legislation. This broadening has had the effect of placing

more and more constraints on what employers are and are not

allowed to do in terms of employee selection (Burrington,

1982, p. 55).

Two landmark cases have set the serious tone with which

violations of civil rights in hiring will be met. In the U.S.

Supreme Court case of Griggqqs vs. Duke Power (401 U.S. 424,

1971), an employer rejected black job applicants on the basis

of lack of completion of high school or on the results of a

general intelligence test. Evidence showed that employees who


had not completed high school or taken the tests had continued

to perform satisfactorily and made progress in departments for

which the high school and test criteria were not used

(Burrington, 1982). It was ruled that employment standards

and tests which are not significantly related to job

performance violate the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title VII

(Alexander, 1980, p. 515).

The second case, Edward L. Kirkland et al.. Plaintiffs v.

New York State Department of Correctional Services et al..

Defendants (73 LIV. 1548, 1974), was brought under the Fifth

and Fourteenth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution and under

the Civil Rights Acts of 1866 and 1871. The case concerned

a Correction Sergeant (male) written examination which had the

impact of allowing only 1.9% of blacks, and no Hispanics, to

be eligible for promotion. No recourse was made to the Civil

Rights Act of 1964, so the Equal Employment Opportunity

Commission (EEOC) Guidelines, required under that act, were

not binding. However, the U.S. District Court, Southern

District, New York, considered these Guidelines in evaluating

the job relatedness of the examination. A number of

implications can be deduced from this case for personnel

selection in general and the examination process in particular

(Wisner, 1975, pp. 266-267).

1. In rendering a decision, the court is likely to

follow the EEOC Guidelines even though the case may not have

been brought under the Guidelines.


2. A job analysis should be performed prior to the

development of each examination.

3. Those critical elements, or more important

characteristics of the job, which distinguish between those

likely to be successful and those less likely to be

successful, must be included in the examination.

4. Subject matter experts, to be considered qualified,

must be of an appropriate rank and sufficiently experienced

in the current skills, knowledge, and abilities required in

the job for which the test is developed.

5. Discriminatory test results cannot be refuted by

demonstrating that the results occurred because of certain

environmental conditions or cultural characteristics related

to the protected group population unless it can be shown that

the examination is job-related.

6. The fact that specific parts of the test are not

found to be discriminatory does not serve to support the use

of an examination whose overall results are found to be


7. All subtests included in the examination must be

weighted in accord with their importance to the job.

8. Data should be obtained concerning the examination

results immediately after administering the exam to determine

the examination's impact on protected groups.

9. Every effort should be made to set passing scores at

a point considered to separate the candidates most likely to


be successful from those considered to have the least chance

of success.

10. Be prepared to answer the question "why was this

method of measurement considered the best means to employ?"

11. In court, do not rely too heavily on your

professional witness to attest to the job relatedness of your


Thus, the public employer has but one choice--to validate

the employee selection procedures. Fortunately, the choice

is the best one to follow from the standpoint of good

personnel management.


The consistency with which a method measures what it is

expected to measure is called reliability (Ary, Jacobs, &

Razavieh, 1979, p. 206). In order to achieve consistency, a

selection test or method must leave little room for chance in

the subject's final score or rating. If a test is reliable,

a person taking it at two different times should make

substantially the same score or be ranked in approximately the

same position each time. Test reliability depends also on the

nature of the variable being measured. For example, the trait

of academic achievement can be measured more consistently than

that of personality. Although all measurements of human

qualities contain some error, no test or method of personnel

selection is of value unless it has a high degree of

reliability (Stahl, 1976, p. 133).

Reliability can be affected by varied administration of

a selection procedure and by the scoring or judging of an

applicant's performance. Inexperienced persons or committees

may deviate from standardized or prescribed procedures in

testing an applicant. Vague observational techniques or

scoring of an applicant's behavior or responses leads to an

unreliability which has nothing to do with the competency of

the candidate. The difficulty of any selection method or

examination affects its reliability. When a method is

difficult, the subjects guess on most of the questions and a

low reliability results. Conversely, if the type of

examination is easy, all subjects have correct responses on

most of the items and only a few more difficult items

discriminate among subjects. This again results in a low

reliability. Thus, any selection committee must keep in mind

the fact that they must adjust the substance of questions

asked in order to discriminate subtle differences between

similar candidates on traits that are difficult to measure.

The achievement of a high degree of reliability in

selection procedures for administrative positions in a

community college may be difficult. In addition to the

problems inherent in assessing traits which elude measurement

by persons who are often inexperienced in the task,

reliability can be affected by the lack of heterogeneity of

the group of applicants. The greater the homogeneity of the

group of subjects being considered, the lower the reliability


of any selection method in differentiating among those

subjects. Candidates for these administrative positions are

likely to be quite similar in the traits being measured.

Therefore, it is more difficult to rank them than it would be

to rank the same number of subjects chosen randomly from the

entire population. This restriction in range is a problem in

most personnel selection research as very seldom is the sample

drawn from the population at large.


Validity is defined as the extent to which an instrument

or method measures what it is intended to measure. Unlike the

physical sciences, where there is a direct means of measuring

the outcome variable, in personnel selection indirect means

must be used to measure complex attributes.

The type of validity addressed in this study is criterion-

related validity. Criterion-related validity refers to the

relationship between the scores on a measuring instrument and

an independent external variable (criterion) believed to

measure directly the behavior or characteristic in question

(Ary, Jacobs, & Razavieh, 1979). In this type of validity the

emphasis is on the criterion rather than on the instrument

itself. One is primarily interested in what the instrument

can predict rather than in the test content.

There are several characteristics that a criterion measure

should possess. One must judge whether the criterion chosen

as the dependent variable really represents successful


performance of the behavior in question. If the criterion

does not reflect the attribute under study, it would be

meaningless to use it as a basis for validating another

instrument. In the case of this study, the outcome criteria

of supervisor's ratings, longevity in a position, and

salary/position or rank attained were deemed to be adequate

indicators of success in an administrative position.

A second characteristic is that a criterion must be

reliable. The criterion must be a consistent measure of the

attribute over time or from situation to situation. The

criteria chosen for this study, rank, position, and salary

achieved, have generally been considered to be related to

success. Length of time in an administrative position within

one organization may have been a mark of high achievement in

the past more than it is today. Now many administrators look

upon great longevity as an indicator of stagnation rather than

of achievement. So this indicator may not be as relevant to

later studies as to earlier ones.

Finally, a valid criterion should be free from bias. The

scoring should not be influenced by any factors other than

actual performance. The main problem in relation to personnel

selection research is a form of bias called criterion

contamination. This occurs when an individual's score on the

criterion, such as supervisor rating, is influenced by the

scorer's knowledge of the subject's predictor score.

Contamination of the criterion can be prevented by not


permitting the person who grades or rates the criterion to see

the predictor scores.

Although perfect criterion-related predictive validity is

practically impossible to achieve, a reasonable amount of

validity is possible. Selection upon the basis of tests or

methods which have no known validity may be little different

from selection upon the basis of a turn of a card. Yet some

personnel agencies have chosen to use methods which have not

been subjected to validity study.

The process of determining the validity of a selection

method involves statistical correlation between the various

examination results and some criteria of performance on the

job. Where the worker is engaged in production activities in

which it is easy to measure output, the question of the

criterion presents no problem. But the simplicity of the

problem disappears when one tries to find adequate criteria

of performance for an administrator. In these cases, the

researcher must rely upon appraisals by those closely

acquainted with the work of the particular administrator

(Stahl, 1976, p. 132).

Kirchner and Reisberg (1962) pointed out the problem of

determining an adequate criteria of managerial performance (p.

301). Supervisors' ratings of the performance of

administrative personnel were found to be subjective and

widely varied. Successful supervisors preferred subordinate

administrators who showed initiative toward organizational


goals, whereas supervisors considered to be less successful

rated their subordinate administrators more highly who

followed orders and got along with others.

There are two main procedures by which the validity of an

examination or method for selection is best determined. Each

is supplementary to the other. In the first instance,

concurrent validity, the exam may be given to administrators

of known ability already on the job. If those administrators

who have been predetermined to be most successful score

highest in the evaluation, while the least successful ones

score the lowest, the evaluation method is said to have

evidence of validity. The second procedure consists of long-

term follow-up studies of the performance of those employees

who have been selected for administrative positions (Stahl,

1976, p. 132).

Review of the Research on Selection Methods
for Administrative Personnel

Methods for personnel evaluation have been described in

as many different ways as there have been researchers to

describe them. According to Northcott (1960, p. 289), the

procedures in standard use have fallen into three groups:

questionnaires, tests, and interviews. Stahl (1976, p. 136)

stated that the forms which examination can take may be

classified into five categories: (a) a systematic evaluation

of education and experience, (b) oral tests, (c) standardized

qualification inquiries, (d) written tests, and (e) tests of


personality traits. According to the "Uniform Guidelines on

Employee Selection Procedures," issued by the Equal Employment

Opportunity Commission, the United States Department of

Justice, the United States Civil Service Commission, and the

United States Department of Labor in 1978, selection

procedures are defined as including "the full range of

assessment techniques from traditional paper and pencil tests,

performance tests, training programs, or probationary periods

and physical, educational, and work experience requirements

through informal or casual interviews and unscored application

forms" (Quaintance, 1980, p. 126).

The selection methods reviewed in this study have been

delineated into the following types: (a) aptitude and

intelligence measures, (b) personal interviews, (c) job-

related skills indicators, (d) psychological attribute

indicators, (e) value systems assessments, (f) biographical

information, (g) peer ratings, (h) self appraisals, and (i)

assessment center processes. These methods are the

independent, or predictor variables of the administrative

personnel selection research studies used in this meta-

analysis. Statistical data and methodological details of each

of the research studies reviewed for this dissertation are

found listed alphabetically by researcher's name(s) in the


Aptitude and Intelligence Measures as a Selection Method

In a large proportion of the research, at least one type

of intelligence or mental aptitude test has been used. Most

of the tests utilized measured verbal abilities, but some

measured critical thinking, or mathematical or mechanical


In a review of 12 research studies aimed at relating a

measure of aptitude or I.Q. to later measures of

administrative achievement, Korman (1968) found that the

"typical managerial applicant population is already highly

preselected on abilities and is relatively homogeneous on

these variables" (p. 301). Thus, the tests of ability do not

tend to discriminate finely among such a population in which

preselection has already taken place. Korman states that

"verbal ability tests seem to show little usefulness for

predicting managerial performance above the first-line

supervisory level" (p. 297).

Dating back into the 1940s, cognitive ability research

showed mixed results. Williams and Leavitt (1947), using

Marine Corps officers as subjects, showed no significant

relationship with supervisor ratings. However, Knauft (1949)

found a significant relationship with later ratings. In the

1950's Handyside and Duncan (1954) and Meyer (1956), each

using supervisors as subjects, found significant relationships

with ratings, but Comrey and High (1955), Ricciuti (1955), and

Thorndike and Hagen (1959) did not.


Research used in this study. A total of 15 research

studies were found which used aptitude and intelligence

measures as a predictor variable and met the other

delimitations of this dissertation. These studies yielded 21

correlation coefficients which ranged in strength from r = .01

to r = .41. Samples ranged in size from 26 to 8,885 persons.

Hicks and Stone (1962), while working for Aerojet-General

Corporation and California State Polytechnic College,

respectively, evaluated the effectiveness of a test battery

in discriminating between successful and unsuccessful

managers. One part of this concurrent study related the

mental ability of managers, supervisors, shop foremen, and

engineering supervisors, to the outcome measure, supervisor

rating. Results were not significant. The researchers

concluded that mental abilities did not show a large

relationship to managerial success probably as the result of

sample attenuation through preselection on education and

career achievement.

Williams and Harrell (1964), while at San Francisco State

College and Stanford University, respectively, did a follow-

up study of Stanford MBA graduates. The purpose was to find

predictors which were significantly correlated with on-the-

job achievement. While the grade point averages for

undergraduate courses and for required graduate courses fell

short of significant correlations with the success criterion,

there was a significant correlation between grades on elective


graduate courses and salary. The researchers suggested that

research attention might be directed at some figure which

would concentrate on the elective course area.

Dicken and Black (1965), while at Stanford University,

explored the validity of clinical interpretations of an

objective test battery in two different corporate settings.

Subjects were first-level supervisors in a manufacturing

organization and in an insurance company. Only the highest

of the derived correlations was significant. The researchers

acknowledged the restricted range of their samples and its

effect on predictability, stating that "measures of ability

and interest cannot be expected to make fine discrimination"

(p. 46).

In 1965, Tenopyr and Ruch (in Campbell, Dunnette, Lawler,

& Weick, 1970) studied the relationship between intelligence

test results and the salary level attained by corporate

production managers. The resulting correlation coefficient

in this concurrent study was significant.

Bray and Grant (1966), while with American Telephone and

Telegraph Company, sought to study the assessment center

process. This study has become the landmark study, to date,

in assessment center development. A sample of low-level

management employees of AT&T were tested in this carefully

designed assessment center. This was one of the few studies

in personnel selection research where no criterion

contamination was allowed. A follow-up of the subjects eight


years after testing showed a significant correlation between

three measures of mental aptitude and the outcome variable of

salary level achieved.

In favor of situational tests over mental ability tests,

the researchers stated that when mental ability as measured

by a paper-and-pencil test was partialed out of judged

ability, reliable variance still remained. They found that

overall and combined assessment ratings did tend to be higher

than the correlations for any individual technique (Bray &

Grant, 1966).

In 1967, Bentz (in Campbell et al., 1970) summarized the

results of the Sears, Roebuck Company psychological testing

program. In relating aptitude and intelligence measures to

the prediction of executive effectiveness, a significant

correlation was found. Bentz stated that the successful

administrators were superior in intellectual endowment.

Kraut (1969), while working for IBM Corporation, sought

to determine the relationship between high level managers'

promotional success and measures of their intellectual

ability. No significant relationships were found. The

researcher cited problems with the predictor tests and range

restriction of the sample as possible reasons for the results


Wollowick and McNamara (1969), while with IBM Corporation,

sought to determine the validity of an assessment center

approach in predicting management potential and to determine


the relative value of the components of the program. Within

this study, they found that two measures of aptitude and

intelligence were not significantly related to the outcome

variable. The researchers suggested that "it may be possible

to consider eliminating the paper-and-pencil tests not

contributing to the predictive validity" (p. 352).

Campbell et al. (1970), in a study involving the Standard

Oil Company of New Jersey, attempted to discover how employees

who possess the potential to be successful in management could

be identified early in their careers. Although the

intelligence and aptitude measures used were not significantly

related to the outcome criterion, Laurent (in Campbell et al.,

1970) concluded that successful managers "have shown a total

life pattern of successful endeavors" (p. 169).

Moses (1972) studied the relationship between assessment

and subsequent progress in management for personnel in the

Bell Telephone System. This study was part of the AT&T

assessment center process, but not a part of the original

study (Bray & Grant, 1966). A significant relationship was

found between aptitude and intelligence measures. The study

involved a large sample of nonmanagement personnel.

Moses and Boehm (1975) replicated the study done by Moses

in 1972, but the sample consisted of nonmanagement females.

A significant relationship was found in this study. The

researchers stated that "the assessment process predicts the


future performance of women as accurately as it does that of

men" (p. 529).

Grimsley and Jarrett (1975), while with the University of

Southern California and California State University,

respectively, studied the relationship between past

achievement test scores and criterion measures obtained in

administrative positions. The significant results found in

this concurrent validity study led the researchers to conclude

that "the differences in test scores of more or less

successful managers result from fundamental differences in

mental ability and personality rather than the influence of

on-the-job experience" (p. 226).

Huck and Bray (1976) studied a sample of non-management

females derived from the AT&T assessment center process.

Their purpose was to test the validity of an assessment center

process on a population different from the population of the

Management Progress Study (Bray & Grant, 1966). Although the

relationship between aptitude and intelligence measures and

the criterion variable did not prove to be significant, the

researchers found that "judgments made by assessment center

staffs are good predictors of later performance" (p. 27).

Gantz, Erickson, and Stephenson (1977) sought to determine

why some persons in a research and development population

achieve promotion, particularly into supervisory or managerial

positions, and other persons do not. Measures of aptitude and

intelligence were not significantly related to either


promotion rate or to supervisor ratings in this concurrent


Hinrichs (1978) evaluated the predictive validity of the

AT&T assessment center process and compared the predictive

accuracy of the assessment center with the naturalistic

management evaluation. No significant findings were obtained

between aptitude and intelligence measures and administrative

level achieved. The researchers found that "prediction based

upon managerial review of the personnel files did as well as

the assessment center after 8 years" (p. 600).

Conclusions. Restriction of range was acknowledged as the

biggest drawback to the predictive ability of aptitude and

intelligence measures. Preselection of the samples by

management tended to reduce predictability (Dicken & Black,

1965). Intelligence, as measured typically by verbal ability

tests, is a fair predictor of first-line supervisory

performance but not of higher-level managerial performance

(Korman, 1968). The conclusions drawn by most researchers in

explaining the general lack of a significant relationship

between aptitude and intelligence measures and measures of

administrative achievement would support the statement that

"measures of ability and interest cannot be expected to make

fine discrimination" (Dicken & Black, 1965, p. 46).

Personal Interviews as a Selection Method

"The use of the interview as a device for appraising

applicants for a job is generally regarded with a good deal


of suspicion and distrust by industrial psychologists"

(Ghiselli, 1966, p. 389). A factor that very likely has

produced disaffection with the employment interview is its

nebulous and intangible character. The interview involves a

social interaction between the interviewer and the applicant,

thus it varies substantially in form and content from one

applicant to another for one and the same interviewer.

In attempting to improve the selection interview,
industrial psychologists have sought to develop sets
of rules to follow in order to improve the reliability
and validity of the interview. To some extent these
rules are based upon scattered empirical evidence, but
because research on the interview is so very limited
they are more commonly based upon professional
judgment or sheer common sense. Mayfield's (1964)
attempt to integrate the pertinent research can only
be described as heroic. Yet the conclusions and
generalizations he arrives at are but weakly founded.
(Ghiselli, 1966, p. 390)

Early studies done on the personal interview method by

Binet and Scott (in Arvey & Campion, 1982) showed low

interrater reliabilities. Wagner (1949), in a summary of

interview research, noted low validities in most cases. In

1964, Mayfield reviewed all interview research done since

Wagner (1949) and found a median validity correlation

coefficient of r = .27. He stated that this value was not

"particularly high" (Arvey & Campion, 1982, p. 284).

Research used in this study. A total of 6 research

studies were found that used personal interviews as a

predictor variable and met the other delimitations of this

dissertation. These studies yielded 7 correlation


coefficients which ranged in strength from r = .03 to r = .35.

Samples ranged in size from 122 to 8,885 persons.

Ghiselli (1966), while at the University of California,

attempted to evaluate the validity of data gathered during

personal interviews in predicting administrative job

proficiency. The independent variable was the personnel

interview used in a corporation over a 17-year period in

hiring account executives. The outcome criterion was survival

with the company for a 3-year period. The interview was

relatively unstructured and included no questions that were

of a highly personal nature. However, some questions that

would not be legal today in a public employment interview were

used. A significant correlation was found between the two

variables in this highly range-restricted sample. Ghiselli

thus found the interview to have "at least a moderately

substantial validity" (p. 394).

Grant and Bray (1969) studied the contributions made by

the interview to the assessment center process, and also, the

relationships between interview variables and the progress

criterion of salary level attained after 9 years. These

relatively unstructured interviews covered job-related and

personal topics. The interviewers were professional

psychologists. For the purpose of the study, the researchers

divided the interview into 18 different personality variables

and related each variable to the outcome criterion. The

significant relationship found showed that "the interview did


produce reliable ratings of managerial qualities which related

significantly with ratings made on the basis of several other

techniques and with advancement" (p. 34).

Carleton (1970), while with the Standard Oil Company, Ohio

(SOHIO) assessment program, studied the relationships of

several personnel selection methods to the outcome criterion

of supervisor rating. A period of 2.5 to 5 years elapsed

between measurement of variables. The researcher concluded

that "results of the interview report appeared particularly

impressive in light of the usual criticism of the interview

as an assessment technique" (p. 566).

Campbell et al. (1970), while at the University of

Minnesota and Yale University (Lawler), in the Standard Oil

Company of New Jersey assessment center study, reviewed the

relationship between the personal interview and later measures

of administrative achievement. The outcome criterion

consisted of a combination of performance ratings to include

salary level attained, supervisor ratings, and administrative

level achieved.

Moses (1972) conducted a study of 8,885 nonmanagement

males. These men, while employed by the Bell System, were

interviewed as part of the assessment center process. A

significant correlation was found with the criterion of

administrative level achieved.

Turnage and Muchinsky (1984) conducted a study based upon

data from a one-day supervisory selection program (assessment


center) developed by a large manufacturing firm. The subjects

were 799 nonmanagement employees who were subsequently

promoted to supervisory positions. The individual interview

was based largely on the candidate's questionnaire responses,

in which the candidate was required to play the role of a

supervisor faced with discharging an employee. In this

respect, this interview method overlaps the method of job-

related skills indicators. The predictor variable, interview,

was correlated separately with three criteria: salary level

attained, supervisor ratings, and promotion rate. Only one

resulting coefficient was significant. Based on these, and

other findings in the study, the researchers concluded that

there appeared to be no appreciable relationship between how

one is evaluated in an assessment center and how one performs

on the job.

A number of reasons were surmised by the researchers for

the lack of correlation. Methodological factors such as low

criterion reliability, low predictor reliability, severe

restriction of range, marked skew in the data, procedural

inconsistencies, lack of comparability across assessment

groups, and errors in data collection, were cited as possible

problems within this concurrent study.

Conclusions. The structured personal interview, in which

the interviewer, or interviewers, follow a set schedule of

questions, has consistently shown higher reliabilities than

the unstructured interview (Wright, 1969). In addition,

interviews conducted by a board or panel appear to be

promising as a means of enhancing reliability and validity

(Arvey & Campion, 1982). Greater validities may be found if

researchers first decide the purpose the interview is intended

to serve. It has been suggested that the personal interview

is useful in determining interpersonal skills and motivation

(Schmitt, 1976), and in imparting job information from the

interviewer to the applicant (Arvey & Campion, 1982).

The employment interview continues to be used although

organizational psychologists are aware of the findings

concerning the method's limited reliability and validity.

Arvey and Campion stated that "interviewers ignore base rate

information, do not pay attention to disconfirming evidence,

and over-depend on case specific information in making their

judgments" (Arvey & Campion, 1982, p. 316).

Job-related Skills Indicators as a Selection Method

Situational methods offer the potential of adding to the

scope of human characteristics that can be evaluated. The

rationale behind using situational exercises is that they

simulate the type of work to which the candidate will be

exposed and allow his or her performance to be observed under

somewhat realistic conditions. Situational tests measure more

complex or dynamic behavior rather than aptitudes or traits

isolated by more traditional psychometric tests. The whole

personality is observed in interaction with simulations of the

future job environment (Howard, 1974).


The most commonly used situational tests of job-related

skills for administrative positions are examined here. The

in-basket exercise is one of those most frequently used in

assessment centers. The candidate is faced with an

accumulation of memos, reports, notes of incoming telephone

calls, letters, and other materials supposedly collected in

the in-basket of the job he or she is to take over. The

candidate is asked to dispose of these materials in the most

appropriate manner by writing letters, notes, self-reminders,

agenda for meetings, etc. Ratings of performance range from

subjective evaluations to highly standardized checklists.

In the leaderless group discussion, the participants are

given a discussion question and are instructed to arrive at

a group decision. Topics may include such things as promotion

decisions, disciplinary actions, or business expansion

problems. Sometimes participants are given a particular point

of view to defend. Personality dimensions such as

interpersonal skills, acceptance by the group, individual

influence, and leadership abilities can be evaluated in this


Management games, such as stock market tasks,

manufacturing exercises, and merger negotiations are common

job-related selection exercises. Participants are asked to

solve problems, either cooperatively or competitively. These

games often bring out leadership, organizational abilities,

and interpersonal skills. Some games also permit observations


under stress, especially when conditions suddenly change or

when competition stiffens.

Research used in this study. A total of 10 research

studies were found that used job-related skills indicators as

a predictor variable and met the other delimitations of this

dissertation. These 10 studies yielded 12 correlation

coefficients which ranged in strength from r = .02 to r = .49.

Samples ranged in size from 31 to 8,885 persons.

In 1965, Tenopyr and Ruch (in Campbell et al., 1970)

studied the relationship between job-related skills and salary

level attained in a concurrent validity study. Subjects were

production managers at North American Aviation. They were

given a test designed to assess a supervisor's ability to

handle human relations problems. Although a significant

finding resulted, the researchers concluded that this

correlation was "useful" but not "overwhelming" (Campbell et

al., 1970, p. 193).

Dicken and Black (1965) studied the validity of clinical

interpretations of an objective test battery in an industrial

setting. A sample of first-line supervisors in a

manufacturing company was given tests of job-related skills.

These tests were administered to the participants individually

and in groups. A significant correlation was found between

job-related skills indicators and salary level attained after

3.5 years.


Bray and Grant (1966) found that job-related, or

situational, selection methods had considerable influence on

the judgments of the assessor. Job-related skills indicators

of a sample of managers were related to salary level attained

8 years later. A significant correlation was found. The

situational exercises used consisted of an in-basket exercise,

a simulated manufacturing problem, and a leaderless group

discussion. The researchers concluded that the job-related

situational exercises contributed enough to predictivity to

warrant their relatively high costs in time and money.

Wollowick and McNamara (1969) studied the validity of an

assessment center approach in predicting management potential

and to determine the relative values of the components of the

program. One component of the assessment center consisted of

both written and performance tests of job-related skills.

These tests were administered, individually and in groups, to

a sample of low- and mid-management men. The results of these

tests were significantly related, approximately three years

later, to administrative level achieved.

Meyer (1970), while at General Electric Company, studied

the relationship between a job-related skills indicator, the

in-basket exercise, and an outcome criterion of supervisor

ratings. A demonstrated inability of a general aptitude test

to determine which employees would become successful unit

managers led to the use of this method. This exercise was

developed by John Hemphill, then of the Educational Testing

Service. A comparison of overall score on the skills

indicator test and the outcome variable yielded a significant

correlation in this concurrent study. Meyer concluded that

the "performance style one exhibits in handling carefully

selected, but true-to-life 'in-basket' items does correlate

with demonstrated on-the-job performance of a managerial

position, especially the ability to handle the planning and

administrative aspects of the job" (p. 307).

Campbell et al. (1970) studied the relationship between

job-related skills indicators and a criterion measure of

administrative achievement. The outcome criterion was a

combination of performance ratings, to include salary level

attained, supervisor ratings, and administrative level

achieved. This concurrent validity study was a component of

the Early Identification of Management Potential (EIMP)

assessment program of the Standard Oil Company of New Jersey.

A subject group of mid- to high-level managers showed a

significant correlation between written measures of job-

related skills indicators and the outcome criterion.

The researchers found that job-related skills indicators,

in the form of a management judgment test, were among the four

best measures of achievement. However, they surmised that the

high correlation was, in part, attributable to possible

criterion contamination due to the managers' perceptions of

their own career success.


Moses (1972) studied the relationship between job-related

skills indicators and administrative level achieved seven

years later. The job-related skills indicators were

performance-type tests by which assessors determined a

subject's organizing, planning, decision-making, and

leadership skills. A large sample of nonmanagement men showed

a significant correlation coefficient between the two


Moses and Boehm (1975) studied the relationship between

several aspects of performance at an assessment center and

subsequent administrative level achieved. A large sample of

nonmanagement women was assessed between 1963 and 1971. A

significant correlation was found in this predictive study.

This study was not part of the landmark AT&T study by Bray and

Grant (1966) and some criterion contamination may have

occurred. The researchers concluded that the job-related

skills indicators of leadership, decisionmaking, organizing,

and planning related highly with the outcome criterion.

Huck and Bray (1976), while with the Wickes Corporation

and AT&T, respectively, studied the power of the AT&T

assessment center to predict future job performance of female

employees. Subjects were non-management personnel of Michigan

Bell Telephone. The independent variable of job-related

skills indicators consisted of performance tests of

leadership, decision-making, planning, and organizing. Some

criterion contamination was acknowledged. The researchers

concluded that the assessment center process was as valid a

selection method for women as for men.

Turnage and Muchinsky (1984), while at Iowa State

University, conducted a predictive study based upon data from

a one-day supervisory selection program (assessment center)

developed by a large manufacturing firm. The subjects were

employees who were subsequently promoted to supervisory

positions. An overall significant correlation was found

between job-related skills indicators and these methods of

measuring subsequent job performance combined. This was one

of the few significant results of this study.

Conclusions. Though much more expensive and time

consuming to administer than paper-and-pencil tests and

questionnaires, the need to find ways of evaluating

characteristics not covered by the latter is sufficient to

warrant extensive experimentation with relatively elaborate

techniques (Bray & Grant, 1966). There has been relatively

little research on the relationship between how a manager

behaves in a game and his behavior in an actual decision

situation. The behavior of a manager in a business game may

be quite different from his behavior on the job where the

rewards and punishments are much larger. Further, business

games tend to de-emphasize the interpersonal dimension in

managerial performance, whereas many management jobs appear

to emphasize it heavily (Lawler, 1967, p. 370).

Psychological Attribute Indicators as a Selection Method

McGregor (1960) reported that the greatest single factor

that apparently influences superior and inferior performance

by supervisory people was to be found in the area of

personality variables. According to Nash (1966),

it is reasonable to expect that the vocational
interests of a manager might be related to the
effectiveness of his job performance. His enthusiasm,
effort, and level of job satisfaction may be largely
determined by how interested he is in his work and
associates. (p. 250)

According to Edel (1968), for executive and managerial

positions, personality characteristics may well be more

important to success than skill or technical know-how (p.

231). To point up this importance, Micherson (in Edel, 1968)

surveyed 79 large and small business corporations and reported

that, of those executives who failed, over 70% did so because

of some flaw in their personality rather than from a lack of


A wide variety of research on personality tests of various

types has been conducted. This work has been successful in

defining problems and has contributed to the overall

understanding of personality adjustment. Three problems in

the use of personality tests in occupational prediction

deserve special mention: (a) the ease with which test scores

can be distorted by a test-wise applicant to portray the type

of personality desired, (b) the lack of reliability displayed

by many personality measures, and (c) the failure to design


the tests specifically for purposes of occupational prediction

(Edel, 1968).

Early studies gave mixed validity results. Knauft (1949)

studied a sample of 33 bakery shop managers and a correlation

of r = .39 was found, but the personality test used was later

withdrawn from the market (Korman, 1968). Comrey and High

(1955) tested the validity of some ability and interest

scores. Using a sample of over 200 production supervisors,

scores on several preference records and vocational scales

were compared to objective performance data. All correlations

except one were insignificant. La Gaipa (1960) studied the

validity of certain personality traits of over 400 naval

officer candidates compared to later supervisor ratings. Only

one of several correlations was significant. MacKinney and

Wolins (1960) studied the relationship between two interest

measures and several later measures of performance using three

overlapping samples of supervisors. Results were inconsistent

random patterns of significant and insignificant correlations.

Mixed results were also found by Robbins and King (1961) in

four samples of sales managers.

Research used in this study. A total of 22 research

studies were found which used psychological attribute

indicators as a predictor variable and met the other

delimitations of this dissertation. These studies yielded 37

correlation coefficients which ranged in strength from r = .01

to r = .47. Samples ranged in size from 20 to 1,375 persons.

Fleishman and Peters (1962), while at Yale University,

studied the relationships between psychological attribute

indicators and managerial achievement. The resulting

correlation was not significant. A small sample was used in

this concurrent study. The researchers found that (a)

managers who rated highly on "conformity" were less valued by

senior raters, (b) the leadership attitudes of consideration

and structure were not mutually exclusive, and (c) top

management tended to identify the effectiveness of subordinate

managers with the effectiveness of their superiors.

Hicks and Stone (1962) explored the relationship between

psychological attribute indicators and supervisors' ratings

in this concurrent study. A nonsignificant correlation was

found for the sample of shop foremen and engineering

supervisors. The researchers concluded that there may be

certain basic characteristics which the successful managers

possess regardless of their areas of specialization. They

described the personality of the successful manager as one of

emotional strength in a person who views things from a broad,

theoretical point of view, avoiding over involvement in


Goodstein and Schrader (1963), while with the University

of Iowa and the Civilian Personnel Field Agency, Ordnance

Field Activity, United States Army, respectively, studied the

validity of a personality inventory in identifying those

personality characteristics associated with managerial and


supervisory success in a large military industrial

organization. In their concurrent study of male civilian

managers working for the Army, the variable of psychological

attribute indicators was compared to the criterion of

administrative level achieved. A significant relationship was


The researchers stated that the results suggested there

may be significant differences in personality characteristics

not only between managers and nonmanagers but also among

managers at different levels of responsibility. They

purported that success in first-line supervision may be

determined mainly by technical skill and knowledge which is

relatively independent of personality factors whereas, at the

upper levels of management, such personality-related variables

as organizing, directing, planning, and decision making become


Williams & Harrell (1964) attempted to discover which

personality factors were related to business success. In

their predictive study they used the salary level attained

and administrative level achieved of Stanford MBA graduates

15 to 31 years after graduation. The overall comparison of

psychological attributes to later achievement was

insignificant. However, there was a significant positive

relationship between "success and the score on the

Masculinity-Femininity scale {of the Strong Vocational

Interest Blank), indicating that those individuals with the


stronger masculine interests have a somewhat better chance of

success" (Williams & Harrell, 1964, p. 167).

Dicken and Black (1965) studied the predictive validity

of psychometric evaluation for the selection of supervisors.

Predictor variables were two well-known personality

inventories. Two criteria, salary level attained and

promotion rate, both measured 3.5 to 7 years after testing,

were used. Insignificant correlation coefficients were found

for each of the two samples. The researchers cited

restriction of range as a problem in studies of this type by

preselection of the samples by management. They stated that

"measures of ability and interest cannot be expected to make

fine discrimination" (p. 46).

Bray and Grant (1966) explored the relationship between

psychological attribute indicators and salary level attained

8 years later. Subjects were low-level managers. Although

an overall nonsignificant correlation was found between the

variables, several personality traits such as lack of

passivity and control of feelings were positively correlated

with success in management.

Nash (1966), while at the University of Maryland, sought

to discover the relationships between a manager's vocational

interests and the effectiveness of his job performance. This

concurrent validity study used corporation managers as

subjects. The correlation coefficient between psychological

attribute indicators and supervisor ratings was found to be


significant. Nash concluded that "effectiveness is

significantly related to the vocational interest patterns of

managers" (p. 254).

In 1967, Bentz (in Campbell et al., 1970) summarized a

series of studies which he had conducted within the

Psychological Research and Services Section of Sears, Roebuck

Company. In this study a significant relationship was found

between psychological attribute indicators and promotion rate

within Sears. Bentz's conclusion was that the Sears managers

accomplish their goals because they are superior "in

intellectual endowment, social competence, and emotional

stamina" (Campbell, et al. 1970, p. 187). Campbell et al.

(1970) stated that there was truth to Bentz's statement, but

that it was not strongly supported by the findings of his

concurrent validity study.

Cummin (1967), while at Harvard, sought to discover if the

"more successful" executives would display motivation toward

achievement, power, and autonomy, and the "less successful"

executives would show motivation toward affiliation,

aggression, and deference in a personality inventory. His

concurrent validity study of business persons compared

psychological attribute indicators to current salary level

attained. He found a significant correlation. Cummin

concluded that "the successful executive is one who is

determined to maintain a high standard of excellence in his

work, and to assume greater responsibilities and more control


over his environment as he advances within the organization"

(p. 81).

Grant, Katkovsky, and Bray (1967), while at AT&T and

Fordham University (Katkovsky), studied the contributions of

projective techniques to the assessment of management

potential. The study used data collected in the Bell System

Management Progress Study (Bray, 1964). A comparison of

psychological attribute indicators to salary level attained

eight years later showed a nonsignificant correlation. The

researchers found that within this method several of the

projective variables were reliably related to salary progress.

Those variables were dependence and subordinate roles (with

negative relationships), achievement motivation, and

leadership role.

In a concurrent validity study, Ghiselli (1968) evaluated

motivational factors in the success of managers. He

administered a personality inventory to several samples of

corporation middle management personnel. Psychological

attribute indicators related significantly with supervisor


As compared with the employed population as a whole,

Ghiselli found that persons in middle management positions

appeared to have a substantially lower desire for security and

for financial reward and a higher desire for self-

actualization. They did not differ from the employed

population in the desire for power over others.


Edel (1968), while working for the Department of Defense,

studied the relationship between a psychological "need for

success" and managerial performance. He found a significant

correlation in this concurrent study. Edel's study used one

test to measure need for success. Reliability data had not

yet been provided for this test.

In 1968, Miner (in Miner, 1977), while at Georgia State

University, studied the relationship between measures of

psychological attributes of school administrators and

separate, concurrent, outcome criteria of supervisor ratings

and salary level attained. He found no significant

correlations. He concluded that managerial motivation was not

rewarded in that school system.

Campbell et al., (1970) conducted the Early Identification

of Management Potential study for Standard Oil Company of New

Jersey. Within this study they compared measures of

psychological attributes to a combination of concurrent

outcome criteria to include salary level attained, supervisor

ratings, and administrative level achieved. Subjects were

mid- to high-level corporation managers. An insignificant

correlation was found. The researchers concluded that these

indicators of temperament showed no useful relationship with

any of the effectiveness measures.

Harrell and Harrell (1974) conducted a predictive study

in order to determine predictors of administrative

achievement. While working for the Office of Naval Research,


they found a significant correlation between psychological

attribute indicators and salary level attained 10 years later.

Subjects were former MBA graduates who had achieved management

positions in corporations.

Grimsley and Jarrett (1975) studied the relationship

between managerial achievement and test measures obtained in

the employment situation. This concurrent study used two

samples of mid- and top-level corporation managers. The

results of several measures of psychological attributes were

compared to the outcome criteria of administrative level

achieved. Insignificant correlation coefficients were found

with each of the two samples. The researchers concluded that

"the differences in test scores of more or less successful

managers result from fundamental differences in mental ability

and personality rather than the influence of on-the-job

experience" (p. 226).

Gantz, Erickson, and Stephenson (in Miner, 1977) sought

to determine if certain psychological attributes could be

causes of managerial success. Using a sample of research

scientists and engineers in a federally funded laboratory,

several measures of psychological attributes were

administered. These proved to be insignificantly related to

both supervisors' ratings and promotion rate. The researchers

concluded that perceived creativity was rewarded by promotion

into leadership roles, including formal managerial roles where

managerial skill was needed, and actual or potential

leadership ability was not rewarded.

Two consequent studies by Gantz, Erickson, and Stephenson,

were also reported in Miner (1977). In the first, a sample

of former research scientists was followed up 5.3 years after

testing and showed a significant correlation between measures

of psychological attributes related to motivation to manage

and promotion rate. As some of the subjects may have

experienced grade level changes based in part on research

competence, the success index, promotion rate, may not have

been based entirely on managerial competence. The researchers

concluded that the borderline level of the correlation

indicated that further analyses dealing with the predictive

power of the role-motivation theory ought to be conducted.

Using a second sample consisting of top sales persons and

marketing managers, the researchers conducted a similar study

with four years intervening between variables. The

correlation was significant. The researchers stated that,

within this department of the same company, "promotion into

the higher grade levels was based entirely on managerial

competence" (Miner, 1977, p. 31). The conclusion drawn was

that the motives measured by the particular psychological

attributes indicator used did serve as a cause of subsequent

managerial accomplishment (Miner, 1977).

Miner (1977), in a concurrent validity study, sought to

discover the relationships between different measures of


psychological attributes and two measures of administrative

achievement. Using a sample of business personnel managers,

he found insignificant relationships with both administrative

level achieved and with salary level attained. Although

neither correlation was significant, Miner stated that "the

overall measures of motivation to manage are quite

consistently related to the occupational success indexes" (p.


In a separate study by Miner (1977), faculty members and

administrators in three different business schools were given

an inventory of psychological attributes. Concurrently, each

subject's score was compared with his or her administrative

level attained. Miner reported no significant relationship,

and "if anything, the administrators have less motivation to

manage than the regular faculty, although the difference does

not approach significance" (p. 51).

McClelland and Boyatzis (1982), while at Harvard

University and McBer & Company, respectively, studied the

relationship between psychological attribute indicators and

long-term achievement in management. Subjects were entry-

level managers who were part of the AT&T assessment center

study. A significant correlation was found between the

predictor variable and administrative level achieved after 16

intervening years. The researchers concluded that a high need

for achievement was associated with managerial success at

lower levels of management, while at higher levels of


management persons with a need for influencing others


Stahl (1983), while at Clemson University, used a measure

of psychological attributes to test the hypothesis that high

managerial motivation consisted of high personal needs for

achievement and power. He found a significant correlation

with each of two outcome criterion variables, supervisor

ratings and administrative level achieved. The researcher's

conclusions were drawn from this and other data collected from

other samples using the same methodology. He concluded that

"there was a higher proportion of subjects with high

managerial motivation among the managers than among the non-

managers," and that "there was a higher proportion of managers

with high managerial motivation among the promoted managers

than among the non-promoted managers" (p. 786). Stahl

stressed the need for researchers to implement longitudinal

validation studies to confirm these results.

Turnage and Muchinsky (1984) compared the predictive

validity of assessment center evaluations versus traditional

measures in forecasting supervisory job performance. A sample

of employees who were subsequently promoted to supervisory

positions within a large manufacturing firm was used.

Correlation coefficients between findings of psychological

attribute indicators and three separate outcome variables

yielded no significant relationships. The researchers cited

many possible methodological shortcomings of the study that


could have contributed to the general lack of significant


Conclusions. Results obtained by the studies reviewed

herein suggest that there is evidence supporting the

proposition that effective managers have identifiable

interests which distinguish them from less effective managers.

However, most motivation studies have used concurrent validity

as the research method. Predictive validity studies that

assess the dynamic nature of personality may be needed.

According to Miner (1978), "the greatest research needs seem

to be for additional longitudinal studies of the relationships

between motivation to manage...and success" (p. 751).

Another limitation of interest measures is that they have

been demonstrated to be fakeable. Nash suggested that future

research should focus on the impact of fakability on the

actual use of measured interests in selection programs (1965,


Campbell et al. (1970) addressed achievement and power for

managers. Concerning job/task analysis of what effective

managers actually do, they listed the frequency of behavior

aimed at influencing others (power) and the frequency of

behavior concerned with setting and accomplishing goals

(achievement). They remarked that "better managers tend to

show a lifetime pattern of high achievement, power, and

economic motivation" (p. 361).


One of the most recent and extensive treatments of the

relationships of achievement to power is presented in Veroff's

book of readings in honor of McClelland.

Achievement motivation directs people to meeting
socialized standards of excellent performance and thus
to highly efficient task-centered strivings, whereas
power motivation directs people to doing whatever
draws most attention to their own effect on the world.
The two motives seem to be fused in instances where
the standard of excellence is to win in a social
competitive activity or to solve a problem that will
be given a great deal of recognition. (Veroff, 1982,
p. 100)

Value Systems Assessments as a Selection Method

The selection method of values systems assessments

measures the strength of a person's economic, aesthetic,

social, political, and religious concerns (Hinrichs, 1978).

According to England and Lee (1974),

a personal value system is viewed as a relatively
permanent perceptual framework which shapes and
influences the general nature of an individual's
behavior. Values are similar to attitudes but are
more ingrained, permanent, and stable in nature; they
are also more general and less tied to any specific
referent than is the case with many attitudes.
(p. 412)

Most personnel selection research studies which dealt with

the independent variable of psychological attribute indicators

verged on or overlapped the selection methods using values as

an indicator. The studies used in this section were those

that this researcher determined were predominantly concerned

with values as defined above.

Research used in this study. A total of 4 research

studies were found which used value systems assessments as a


predictor variable and met the other delimitations of this

dissertation. These studies yielded 5 correlation

coefficients which ranged in strength from r = 10 to r = .32.

Samples ranged in size from 30 to 1,375 persons.

In 1944, the Psychological Research and Services Section

of Sears, Roebuck Company established a psychological testing

program. Over a number of years researchers Within this

program conducted a series of investigations into the

prediction of executive effectiveness in the Sears

organization. A predictive study was accomplished by Bentz

in 1967 (in Campbell et al., 1970). A span of 11 to 17 years

elapsed between the measurement of values and collection of

the criterion variable, promotion rate. A significant

correlation was found.

England and Lee (1974), while at the University of

Minnesota, studied the relationship between managerial values

and managerial success in several countries. The portion of

their study that dealt with managers in the United States was

used in this dissertation. Managerial success was defined as

a measure of salary level attained in this concurrent study.

The correlation of this measure with a written survey of

values was significant for a sample of corporation directors

and high level executives. The researchers concluded that the

value patterns were predictive of managerial success and could

be used in selection and placement decisions. The general

pattern that emerged from the study indicated that more


successful managers appeared to have pragmatic, dynamic,

achievement oriented values, whereas less successful managers

had more static and passive values, corresponding to a desire

for organizational stasis rather than an organization in flux

(England & Lee, 1974).

Grimsley and Jarrett (1975) studied the "effectiveness of

a particular methodological approach which can be used in

analyzing data gathered in the process of assessing managerial

applicants in the employment situation" (p. 215). Two sample

groups of mid- and top-level corporate managers were used in

this concurrent study. These managers came from more than 100

different companies and many industries in various parts of

the United States. All were administered a "study of values"

test and test scores were compared with administrative level

achieved. The results were not significant. The findings of

this study led the researchers to conclude that the

"differences in test scores of more or less successful

managers result from fundamental differences in mental ability

and personality rather than the influence of on-the-job

experience" (p. 226).

Hinrichs (1978), while with Management Decision Systems,

Inc., conducted an 8-year followup study of the IBM

Corporation assessment center. Within this study, the results

of a study of values were correlated to the outcome variable

of administrative level achieved. The resulting correlation

coefficient of r = .26 was not significant. High scores on


political and economic subsets of the study of values were

positively related to progression in formal business

hierarchy, while scores on the religious and social scales

related negatively.

Conclusions. The few research findings available on

values as a selection method consistently show that certain

economic and political beliefs correlate positively, and

strong social and religious beliefs correlate negatively, with

high administrative achievement (Grimsley & Jarrett, 1975).

England and Lee (1974) found that "more successful" managers

favored an achievement orientation and preferred an active

role in interaction with other individuals instrumental to

achievement of the manager's organizational goals, while "less

successful" managers had values associated with a static and

protected environment in which they took relatively passive

roles (pp. 418-419). According to Hinrichs (1978), those

traits or characteristics that seem to reflect a degree of

social awareness tend to be detrimental to success in

administration. "The flavor is one of the 'hard charging,'

perhaps somewhat socially insensitive and upward mobile

individual" (p. 600).

Biographical Information as a Selection Method

Biographical information, personal history data about an

employee, is most often furnished an employer in the form of

an application blank or a resume. According to Levine and

Flory (1975), the most widely used selection technique is the


evaluation of the job application blank or the resume. These

are used to determine whether an individual meets minimum

qualifications for a position. If these qualifications are

not met, the applicant is no longer considered. In some cases

this is the only information an employer receives about a

prospective employee, but in most cases the application is

followed by an interview, written test, or some additional

means of assessment.

To provide some idea of the frequency of use of

applications, Carlson (in Levine & Flory, 1975) posited that

if an arbitrary assumption were made that 50% of those filing

applications or resumes are ultimately interviewed, then over

1,000,000,000 applications and resumes per year are prepared

and screened in the United States. Yet, despite its

universality, the evaluation of the validity of biographical

information for personnel selection and placement has not been

researched in a systematic fashion to any great extent.

Research has been done on the empirically weighted

application, usually for predicting turnover. More recent

research on application evaluation has focused on the factors

affecting the rater's quality of evaluation of the information

rather than the quality of the method of evaluation per se.

According to Spencer and Worthington (1952) and Peck and

Parsons (1956), the few studies dealing with method of

evaluation other than empirical weighing have demonstrated


that projective evaluation of application blank information

could validly predict performance and tenure.

A trend in selection research in recent years has been the

increasing use of personal background variables in the

prediction of occupational success. Such variables are

considered to have several advantages for this purpose. The

most frequently cited advantages in utilizing these kinds of

variables are that (a) they are less threatening than the

items on typical personality inventories and thus are less

subject to "facade" effects, and (b) the behaviors described

by these items are often reflections of attitudinal and

personality variables.

Results of past studies of the relationship between

biographical information and administrative achievement have

been mixed. Vernon (1950), using civil service managers, and

La Gaipa (1960), using Naval officer candidates, found no

significant relationships. The findings of Riccuiti (1955),

with U.S. Naval officers, Meyer (1956), with firstline

supervisors, and MacKinney and Wolins (1960) with supervisors,

found no consistent relationships. Significant relationships

were found by Haggerty (1953), at the U.S. Military Academy,

Soar (1956), using service station managers, and Scollay

(1957), with promotion managers.

Childs and Klimoski (1986), in a study which involved

employees in both management and nonmanagement positions

investigated the validity of a biographical inventory in the


prediction of occupational success. They found that positive

social orientation, interpersonal confidence, and educational

achievement were positively related to their outcome measures

of "job and career success" (p. 7).

Research used in this study. A total of 8 research

studies were found which used biographical information as a

predictor variable and met the other delimitations of this

dissertation. These studies yielded 11 correlation

coefficients which ranged in strength from r = .05 to r = .57.

Samples ranged in size from 30 to 799 persons.

ln 1963, Haggerty (in Mayfield, 1970) studied the

relationships between certain predictor variables and

achievement of U.S. Army officers. In this predictive study

using a sample of officer cadets, the researchers found a

nonsignificant correlation between biographical information

and a combination of achievement measures.

Williams and Harrell (1964) sought to determine which, if

any, of a number of factors were related to business success.

The independent variable in this predictive study was that of

biographical information available to an employer at the time

of a student's graduation from business school. Salary level

attained, and administrative level achieved, measured many

years after graduation, were the criteria of success.

Insignificant correlations were found for this sample of

Stanford MBA graduates. A subset of this information that was

significantly and positively related to later achievement was


a person's previous participation as a leader in organizations

on campus.

Kotula and Haggerty in 1966 (in Korman, 1968) studied the

relationship between biographical information given on written

personal history blanks and supervisor ratings. Two groups

of Army officers were studied. Only one coefficient was

reported, r = .17, which was significant at the .05 level.

Campbell et al. (1970) attempted to discover how to

identify, early in their careers, those employees who possess

the potential to be successful in management. The assessment

procedure in this concurrent study contained a background

biographical survey the scores from which were correlated to

an "Overall Success Index", a combination of dependent

variables. A sample of mid- to high-level corporation

managers was used. A significant correlation was found

between biographical information and the outcome criterion of

achievement. Laurent, one of the researchers involved with

this study, concluded that "successful executives in the

Standard Oil of New Jersey organization have shown a total

life pattern of successful endeavors. They were good in

college, are active in taking advantage of leadership

opportunities, and see themselves as forceful, dominant,

assertive, and confident" (Campbell et al., 1970).

Harrell and Harrell (1974) conducted a predictive study

of MBA graduates in order to determine predictors of


management success. They found a significant relationship

between biographical information and salary level attained 10

years later.

Gantz, Erickson, and Stephenson (in Miner, 1977) conducted

a concurrent study of research scientists and engineers for

the purpose of gaining "more theoretical understanding of why

some persons in a research and development population achieve

promotion, particularly into formally designated supervisory

or managerial positions, and other persons do not" (p. 18).

The organization was a federally funded public laboratory.

The independent variable, the selection method of biographical

information, was found to be not related to either promotion

rate or supervisor ratings.

Hinrichs (1978) found a significant relationship between

biographical information and administrative level achieved

eight years later for a sample of 30 managers. The resulting

correlation coefficient was slightly higher than that for the

Overall Assessment Rating.

Turnage and Muchinsky (1984) sought to examine the

predictability of assessment center evaluation versus

traditional measures in forecasting job success. As part of

the study, they separately compared biographical information

with supervisor ratings and salary level attained up to

several years later. These variables were insignificantly

related for the mostly nonmanagement personnel tested. The


researchers concluded that certain background data predict

criteria as well as assessment center data.

Conclusions. Compared to the interview method, Levine and

Flory (1975) found the application blank information to be

superior in accuracy of information. However, they noted that

"sizable inaccuracies" had been found in each method (p. 384).

Childs and Klimoski (1986) found that an outgoing and self-

confident personality preordains success in both job- and non-

job-related situation. They also found that success in one's

educational history may aid the attainment of success in one's

career, regardless of whether that job is personally

satisfying. Most studies that showed significant positive

correlations between biographical information and

administrative achievement attributed the relationship to

personality characteristics which were also positive

attributes of leadership ability.

Peer Ratings as a Selection Method

Peer ratings of supervisory potential achievement consist

of impressions gained from interactions in an equal, non-

supervisor-subordinate, nature. They are predictions of how

well a peer will do in a supervisory position, should he or

she be placed in one (Korman, 1968).

Among the more consistent findings concerning peer ratings

is the significant validity these afford in predicting later

performance. Many studies conducted in military settings

indicated that peer evaluations during officer training


successfully predicted later criteria of performance.

Williams and Leavitt (1947) found that peer ratings were

better predictors of long-term success in the Marine Corps

than were superiors' ratings. Much military research was

contributed by Hollander (1954, 1956, 1957, 1964, 1965) and

the evidence was consistently favorable. La Gaipa (1960), in

the Development of the Officer Candidate Biographical

Information Blank, sampled Naval officers in both shore duty

and fleet duty. He found a significant correlation between

peer ratings and later performance criterion.

There has also been evidence of the utility of peer

ratings from other spheres of activity, as Weitz found a

relationship of r = .40 between peer nominations and later

ratings of life insurance agents in a supervisory position

(1958). As Hollander has stated, "when employed with

discrimination, it [the peer rating method] can provide a

unique contribution to evaluation" (1965, p. 434).

Research used in this study. A total of 8 research

studies were found which used peer ratings as a predictor

variable and met the other delimitations of this dissertation.

These studies yielded 10 correlation coefficients which ranged

in strength from r = .04 to r = .53. Samples ranged in size

from 40 to 799 persons.

Haggerty (1963), in two separate predictive studies,

explored the predictive ability of peer ratings obtained on

Military Academy Cadets. The first group of men showed a


significant correlation with the outcome variable of

supervisors' ratings. The second group of cadets showed a

significant correlation with a later combination of overall


Roadman's (1964) predictive study compared peer ratings,

taken in a management school setting at IBM, to promotion

rates of a sample of graduates who had received promotions at

least two years later. A significant correlation was found.

He concluded that a careful and comprehensive peer rating

administered in a middle manager training program can identify

those who later move into senior executive positions.

Hollander (1965), while at the State University of New

York at Buffalo, did a predictive study comparing the

relationship between peer assessments and supervisor ratings.

The study was begun in 1955 at the Naval Officer Candidate

School (OCS) in Newport, Rhode Island. An entire OCS class

was made available for this investigation. Four forms, each

setting out different qualities to be rated, were utilized;

these dealt with leadership, motivation for naval service,

probability of success in OCS training, and success as a

future officer. Results of part of the study were reported

by Hollander (1956) and showed that very early in the training

program, students were able to accurately determine which of

their peers would do well after training.

In the follow-up study (Hollander, 1965), supervisor

ratings of former trainees, who had become officers, were used


to test the validity of peer prediction of future success.

This follow-up of officers at least 3 years after graduation

showed a significant correlation. Hollander concluded that

peer nominations used early in training can make a distinctive

contribution to the prediction of a long-range criterion of

performance after training.

Lawler (1967), while working for the Department of

Administrative Sciences of Yale University, explored the

relationship between peer ratings and supervisors' ratings.

In this concurrent validity study, a sample of mid-and top-

level managers in a manufacturing company were rated by

several peer raters on three traits. Lawler found that

personnel selection "decisions (which include peer ratings)

will be of a higher quality than if just superiors' ratings

are relied upon" (p. 378).

Mayfield (1970), while employed with the Life Insurance

Agency Management Association, studied the relationship

between peer ratings and supervisors' ratings 2.5 years later.

The purpose of this predictive study was to investigate the

value of the buddy nomination procedure in the selection of

assistant managers for life insurance companies. The scores

were not used in promotion decisions to prevent criterion


Two of the three samples showed significant correlations

between peer and supervisor ratings. Mayfield concluded that


peer ratings can be made in a "realistic" administrative

setting and retain their predictiveness.

Mitchel (1975), while at Bowling Green State University,

studied the predictive abilities of parts of the Standard Oil

Company of Ohio's assessment center program. The relationship

between peer ratings and a later measure of salary level

attained proved significant. He concluded that "peer and

assessor ratings, as well as combinations of variables, were

predictive of a salary criterion of managerial success"

(Mitchel, 1975, p. 578).

Gantz, Erickson, and Stephenson (in Miner, 1977) sought

to determine why some persons in a research and development

population achieve promotion into formally designated

supervisory or managerial positions and whether those who were

promoted were the ones who should have been promoted. A study

of research scientists and engineers in a large, federally-

funded laboratory showed a significant correlation between

peer ratings and promotion rate. These peer ratings of

overall ability and perceived creativity were statistically

significant at the .01 level.

Turnage and Muchinsky (1984), examined the ability of

assessment center evaluations to predict actual job

performance criteria, and to compare the predictability of

assessment center evaluations versus traditional measures in

forecasting job success. Their data came from a one-day

supervisory selection program developed by a large


manufacturing firm. The outcome data were gathered from 1

month to several years after assessment from a sample of

previous assessees. None of the peer ratings was significant.

Several possible explanations for the low validity

coefficients were given. These included poor experimental

control, insufficiently trained assessors, aggregation of data

over a 4-year period, and the effects of intervening


Conclusions. There appears to be a reasonable basis to

contend that peer nominations do provide distinctive

prediction of performance at a considerably later time. Peer

evaluations are relevant because peers are situated to

evaluate how a person performs in terms of the lateral

relationships in working toward organizational goals.

Further, peers often see the worker at times when his superior

is not viewing his behavior and, therefore, they may see

aspects of his behavior of which the superior is not aware

(Lawler, 1967). However, attention must be paid to the

question of the willingness of participants to rate each other

accurately if they know full use will be made of peer ratings

for administrative purposes (Roadman, 1964). A problem Lawler

(1967) acknowledged was that if the peer rater knew that his

or her opinion was "going to count" in an employment setting,

ratings may lose their validity, "particularly if a situation

exists where an individual's self-interests might be best

served by distortion of the peer ratings" (p. 379). According


to Korman (1968) there is a need for the initiation of

research on the selection method of peer ratings concerning

both its predictive validity and the general characteristics

that correlate with peer ratings.

Self-Appraisals as a Selection Method

Self-ratings of administrative ability are relevant in

selection because the individual has more information about

his own behavior than anyone else and because self-perceptions

are important determinants of an individual's future behavior

(Lawler, 1967, p. 371). A negative view of self-selection for

administrative positions has apparently been shared by those

behavioral scientists who study, develop, and validate

personnel selection procedures. The reason for this appears

to be rooted in a Theory X view of people as they are expected

to behave in a personnel selection setting. In these settings

people are assumed to lack objectivity in assessing their own

performance or personal attributes. They can be expected to

overestimate their performance, skills, knowledge, and

abilities to improve their chances for appointment (Levine,


Published studies on self-assessment of skills, abilities,

knowledge, and other applicant attributes as predictors of

administrative job performance have been virtually nonexistent

until recently (Levine, 1978, p. 230). Studies on self-

selection, done before 1962, have dealt mainly with

objectively measurable traits (Nickels & Renzaglia, 1958).


Research used in this study. A total of 8 research

studies were found which used self-appraisals as a predictor

variable and met the other delimitations of this dissertation.

These studies yielded 9 correlation coefficients which ranged

in strength from r = .01 to r = .26. Samples ranged in size

from 30 to 799 persons.

Prien and Liske (1962), while at Case-Western Reserve

University, explored the relationship between supervisor

ratings of job performance and incumbent self-ratings of job

performance on tasks which were intangible in nature. In

their concurrent validity study of employees of various

corporations, significant correlations were found between

self-ratings and first-level supervisor ratings, and

insignificant correlations were found between self-ratings and

second-level supervisor ratings. The preponderance of studies

showed, as this one did, that individuals rate themselves

higher than they are rated by comparison groups.

Lawler (1967) while with the Department of Administrative

Sciences of Yale University, studied mid- and top-level

managers in a manufacturing organization. Four coefficients

of the relationship between self-appraisal and supervisory

job performance ratings showed an average nonsignificant

correlation. This concurrent validity study also showed

evidence of self over-estimation of perceived administrative



Thornton (1968), while a summer associate at the firm of

Rohrer, Hibler and Replogle in Chicago, investigated the

relationship between supervisory perceptions and incumbent

self-perceptions of the performance of executive personnel.

A sample of high-level managers in a large corporation were

included in this study. An average of coefficients of 27

traits, or behavioral characteristics, studied showed a

significant correlation between self-ratings and supervisor

perceptions of performance ratings. The tendency was for

self-evaluations of performance to be higher than supervisory

perception and, in this study, those executives who overrated

themselves were considered least promotable.

Campbell et al. (1970), in a long-term staff study,

reviewed the relationship between self-assessment and a

combination of performance ratings to include salary,

supervisory ratings, and administrative level attained. This

was part of the Early Identification of Management Potential

(EIMP) study carried out by the Standard Oil Company of New

Jersey (SONJ). A sample of managers of SONJ was used. The

resulting correlation coefficient was significant.

Contrary to previous evidence, Heneman (1974) found a

tendency for self-ratings to be less lenient than supervisory

ratings, with a significant correlation. His concurrent study

compared self- and supervisor ratings of job performance of

former MBA graduates of Indiana University, 7 to 10 years

after graduation. He suggested that future research on


managerial performance should include self-ratings where it

is made clear that these ratings will be used for research

purposes only.

Hinrichs (1978) completed one of the few predictive

validity studies of self-assessment of administrative

performance. The predictions of the assessment center were

not used administratively to prevent criterion contamination.

This study is included in an 8-year followup of a management

assessment center at International Business Machines (IBM).

Self-ratings of marketing personnel correlated significantly

with the outcome variable of administrative level achieved.

Steel and Ovalle (1984), while at the Air Force Institute

of Technology, sought to compare the relative validity of

self-ratings for predicting objective criteria of managerial

job performance. A concurrent validity study at a large

lending institution revealed an insignificant correlation

between self-rating and supervisor rating.

Turnage and Muchinsky (1984) conducted a predictive study

in a large manufacturing firm. The subjects were employees

who were subsequently promoted to supervisory positions.

Self-evaluations of job-related personal characteristics, such

as ability to withstand stress, intellectual abilities, and

interpersonal skill, made up the independent variable. Self-

evaluations related insignificantly and negatively with both

the outcome variables of salary level attained and supervisor

ratings. The problem of criterion contamination (i.e., the


availability of assessment scores to superiors) may have been

a factor in this study.

Conclusions. It has been suggested by Levine (1978) that,

as predictors of job performance, self-assessments should at

least supplement other information. Self-assessments may

replace more traditional selection methods, especially in

measuring psychological attributes that may be relatively

inaccessible by other means. He suggested that self-

assessments might have a motivational impact on those

applicants who are hired, as these people will strive to be

consistent with their self-perceived competencies. Levine

admits that research is needed to determine what applicant

attributes are most validly, or least validly, self-assessed.

Assessment Center Processes as a Selection Method

A highlighting feature of the assessment center is that

candidates are evaluated not on what they have done in present

or past jobs but on how they are likely to cope with a new

type of position. This involves using various situational

tests as well as incorporating some of the more classic

selection procedures, such as aptitude tests and interviews.

Assessments are conducted at least partially in groups, which

permits observing group interactions as well as obtaining peer

ratings (Howard, 1974).

The following dimensions are most often assessed: (a)

leadership, (b) organizing and planning, (c) decision making,

(d) oral and written communications skills, (e) initiative,


(f) energy, (g) analytical ability, (h) resistance to stress,

(i) use of delegation, (j) behavior flexibility, (k) human

relations competence, (1) originality, (m) controlling, (n)

self-direction, and (o) overall potential (Howard, 1974).

The origin of the use of multiple assessment procedures

on a large scale is credited to German military psychologists.

The British adapted the procedures to the screening of officer

candidates, and the United States Office of Strategic Services

(OSS) took over the approach from the British during World War

II (Bray & Grant, 1966). Howard (1974) stated that the first

industrial use of an assessment center has been generally

attributed to AT&T beginning in 1956.

Research used in this study. A total of 14 research

studies were found that used Overall Assessment Ratings (OAR)

of an assessment center process as a predictor variable and

met the other delimitations of this dissertation. These

studies yielded 16 correlation coefficients which ranged in

strength from r = .00 to r = .65. Samples ranged in size from

25 to 5,943 persons.

The first industrial use of an assessment center is

generally attributed to the American Telephone and Telegraph

Company. Other centers have been variations on AT&T's theme.

The AT&T experimentation was research-oriented and designed

to follow the development of managerial personnel for many

years after assessment (Howard, 1974).


Bray and Grant (1966) measured personal characteristics

hypothesized to be of importance either in developmental

change in early adulthood or success in business management.

The overall assessment rating was significantly correlated

with both salary level attained and administrative level

achieved 8 years after assessment. This was one of few

studies in which criterion contamination was eliminated. The

researchers concluded that "no single characteristic

determines progress in management" (Bray & Grant, 1966).

Moses (1972) studied the relationship between assessment

center processes and managerial achievement. Using a large

sample of assessees of an AT&T one-day assessment center,

Moses found a significant relationship between overall

assessment rating and administrative level achieved.

Moses and Boehm (1975) studied the relationship between

the assessment center process and subsequent progress in

management for women in the Bell System. Assessment center

data were obtained on 4,846 nonmanagement women from 1963

until 1971. The conclusion the researchers drew in this study

was that the assessment center process predicted the future

performance of women as accurately as it did that of men.

Huck and Bray (1976) tested the validity of an assessment

center process on a population different from the population

of the original Management Progress Study. Using a relatively

small sample of females who had been assessed previously, the


researchers found a significant correlation between overall

assessment rating and later administrative achievement.

The International Business Machines (IBM) Corporation

assessment center was patterned after the AT&T model and

included 2.5 days of assessment activity followed by 2 days

of developmental activity. Several studies have reported

results of the IBM assessment center (Hinrichs, 1978; Kraut

& Scott, 1972; Roadman, 1964; and Wollowick & McNamara, 1969).

Wollowick and McNamara (1969) studied the progress of low-

and mid-management males as subjects. The purpose of the

study was to determine the validity of an assessment center

approach in predicting management potential and to determine

the relative value of each of the assessment center

components. An overall assessment rating was determined for

each subject at the conclusion of the two-day assessment

session. The four observers who formed the assessment staff,

and who were operating management personnel at least two

levels above the participants, assigned each subject an

overall assessment rating taking into consideration all of the

variables in the program. According to the overall assessment

rating, each subject was ranked on a 5-point scale rating

potential for advancement within the company (Wollowick &

McNamara, 1969).

These overall assessment ratings were compared, 2.5 to 3.2

years later, to the subjects' administrative levels achieved.

This resulted in a significant correlation. It was evident


to the researchers that the subjectively derived overall

assessment rating utilized in this assessment program was a

valid predictor of management success.

Kraut and Scott (1972) studied the data provided by the

IBM assessment center on the progress of non-management males

into administrative positions. The purpose of the study was

to examine the validity of the assessment program in

predicting administrative achievement. Overall assessment

ratings were correlated with administrative level achieved

from 1 to 5 years later using the same 5-point rating system

that was used in the Wollowick and McNamara (1969) study. The

correlation between overall assessment rating and later

achievement was significant. This assessment program was one

of the few selection methods which showed validity in

predicting success beyond the first-level promotion after


Hinrichs (1978) completed a predictive study using a small

sample of IBM managers. A significant relationship was found

between assessment center overall assessment ratings and

administrative level achieved eight years later. However,

Hinrichs also found that the relatively simple prediction

based upon managerial review of the personnel files did as

well in prediction as the assessment center.

Researchers in the IBM studies reviewed here concluded

that large-scale assessment programs appear useful in making

discrimination of management potential which are later


confirmed by the rate of promotions, as well as demotions

(Kraut & Scott, 1972). The studies contained criterion

contamination as the subjects' results were provided to their

supervisors. However, it was observed that the "relationship

of ratings to first promotions is moderate enough to reduce

fears of 'crown prince' or 'kiss of death' effects" (p. 124).

According to Kraut & Scott (1972),

compared to the normal promotional system in most
companies, the program typically has some obvious
advantages in reliability and validly measuring
management potential. Instead of judgments by one's
immediate manager which may be more or less
subjective, evaluations in the program are made by
several managers (raters) who are likely to be much
more objective. Further, they are not making
judgments about the individual's management potential
from his performance in a non-management job; instead
they evaluate all candidates against a common
yardstick comprised of standardized management-type
tasks. (p.124)

The Standard Oil Company, Ohio (SOHIO), created an

assessment center in 1963. This Formal Assessment of

Corporate Talents (FACT) Program was modeled after the AT&T

assessment process (Carleton, 1970). Most data from the SOHIO

program pointed to the superiority of the overall assessment

ratings but did not eliminate any single category of

assessment components (Howard, 1974).

Carleton (1970) sought to determine the relationships

between test and rating data and later measures of

administrative achievement. A significant correlation was

found between the overall assessment rating and subsequent

supervisor ratings. Carleton concluded that both test and


rating data generated in a multiple technique assessment

center held up well as predictors of behavioral ratings made

several years later.

Finley (1970) studied the predictive validity of

projective tests in the SOHIO management assessment center.

Using a sample derived from the FACT Program, he found a

significant relationship between overall assessment ratings

and subsequent supervisor ratings.

Mitchel (1975) studied a sample of managers from SOHIO's

FACT Program. An insignificant correlation was found between

overall assessment ratings, minus assessor's ratings of

potential, and salary level attained 5 years after assessment.

The overall rating was not the most valid predictor in this

study, nor did it appear in any of the stepwise equations done

by the researcher.

The SOHIO studies involved both trained and untrained

assessors. Evidence for discriminant validity was found for

the two trained assessor groups, but not for the group in

which assessors consisted of untrained supervisors. It was

concluded that the assessment center method was able to

predict multiple criteria fairly well, but that the poor

quality of criterion measures probably reduced the convergent

validity coefficients (Howard, 1974).

One of the most extensive validations of the assessment

center method against measures of management effectiveness was

the Early Identification of Management Potential (EIMP) study