Organizational testing and assessment is done throughout companies and organizations of all kinds for the purpose of screening and selecting the best employees as part of their staff. Companies need to select tools and materials that are effective and reliable in screening employees. In addition they need to know how to properly administer and interpret the results. In the sections below, performance appraisal, behavioral observation scales, the Big Five Personality Theory, meta-analysis, and Carroll’s three stratum theory will be all described and what their purpose is as to being used in organizational testing and assessment. A performance appraisal is basically the same things as a performance of one’s work, a review, an evaluation, development discussion or way of measuring an employee’s work. Performance appraisals are conducted in order to measure career development and many companies have them regularly. Another way at looking at performance appraisals is as a way of measuring productivity.
They are conducted to see organizational citizenship behavior, accomplishments, potential for future improvement, strengths and weaknesses, etc. (Manasa & Reddy, 2009). Performance appraisal data are collected in the three following ways: objective production, personnel, and judgmental evaluation. After conducting performance appraisal with employee/employees, the feedback is then given to them and factors such as career advancement, compensation, or demotion can be mentioned. This is very important in order to determine how companies are doing themselves, and whether they will continue to grow successfully or possibly fail. Behavioral observation scales, on the other hand, are rating systems used in determining how often employees or trainees are exerting the expected behavior of them by their employer. It is a process that measures the employee’s behavior and value because it cannot be measured on productivity alone (WiseGeek, 2011). All employees are usually observed in a comparable manner.
This also is a way of knowing whether an employee is engaging in a certain behavior or not. The results are than compared to determine whether the employee/employees are meeting the required company expectations or whether some type of action needs to be taken for improvement. Behavioral observation scales should not be mistaken for productivity measures. Productivity scales measure how much an employee is or is not contributing to the company’s profits. Behavioral observation scales are often used in white-collar jobs because these types of jobs do not produce anything tangible; therefore, another type of measurement, such as behavior needs to be used (WiseGeek, 2011). The Big Five Theory of Personality is a measurement of personality test that has been gathered through the result of years in psychology research. This test helps to better understand and a get a closer look into people’s general components of personality, since personality is such an important aspect of everyone’s social lives. The five main dimensions of personality are: Extraversion (your level of sociability and enthusiasm), Agreeableness (your level of friendliness and kindness), Conscientiousness (your level of organization and work ethic), Emotional Stability (your level of calmness and tranquility), and Intellect (your level of creativity and curiosity) (Rentfrow, 2009).
A person’s personality is than made up of a combination of all five of these dimensions. A person can than said to be for instance, not friendly, but sociable, hard working and highly creative, etc. Research by psychologist also point out that a person can go on through life with a pretty much stable personality that will determine their outcome for success (Rentfrow, 2009). The Big Five Personality dimensions should not be used solely to determine who a person truly is, for there are far more aspects to a person and their personality than that. Meta-analysis is a technique used in statistics. It involves the results of two or more studies being mathematically combined in order to improve the reliability of the given results. The studies that are chosen in the technique need to be similar in characteristics so that the results are accurately combined. When the treatment effect (or effect size) is consistent from one study to the next, meta-analysis can be used to identify this common effect.
When the effect varies from one study to the next, meta-analysis may be used to identify the reason for the variation (Statistical Solutions, 2011). The advantages of meta-analysis include: 1) derivation and statistical testing of overall factors / effect size parameters in related studies, 2) generalization to the population of studies, 3) ability to control for between-study variation, 4) including moderators to explain variation, 5) higher statistical power to detect an effect than in ‘n=1 sized study sample’ (Statistical Solutions, 2011). The weaknesses of meta-analysis on the other hand include: 1) sources of bias are not controlled by the method, 2) a good meta-analysis of badly designed studies will still result in bad statistics, 3) heavy reliance on published studies, which may create exaggerated outcomes, as it is very hard to publish studies that show no significant results, and 4) Simpson’s Paradox (two smaller studies may point in one direction, and the combination study in the opposite direction) (Statistical Solutions, 2011).
The three stratum theory was invented by John Carroll in 1993. It is taken from his survey of human cognitive abilities. The theory is based on a study of comparing individual differences variables from psychological tests, school marks, and competence ratings (Carroll, 1997). The factor analysis is based on the notion of three layers or strata, with each layer representing variation in factor loadings at the next lower level. The layers go in the order of narrow, broad, and general cognitive abilities. The three layers are broken down into eight more categories. The very top of the model starts with G or general intelligence. G is then split into eight categories as follows: fluid intelligence (Gf) (spatial and logical on-the-spot reasoning), crystallized intelligence (Gc) (vocabulary knowledge, reading comprehension and the like), general memory and learning (Gy), broad visual perception (Gv), broad auditory perception (Gu), broad retrieval ability (Gr), broad cognitive speediness (Gs), and processing speed (Gt) (Carroll, 1997).
Carroll, J.B. (1997). The three-stratum theory of cognitive abilities. In Contemporary intellectual assessment: Theories, tests, and issues. D. P. Flanagan, J. L. Genshaft and et al., New York, NY, USA, Guilford Press122-130] Cohen, R. & Swerdlick, M. (2010). Psychological testing and assessment (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Companies. Manasa, K. & Reddy, N. (2009). Role of Training in Improving Performance. The IUP Journal of Soft Skills, 3, 72-80 Rentfrow, J. (2009). The Big 5 Model of Personality. Psych Central. Retrieved on December 21, 2012, from http://psychcentral.com/blog/archives/2009/11/10/the-big-5-model-of-personality/ Statistical Solutions. (2011). What is meta analysis? Statistical Solutions. Retrieved December 20, 2012, from http://www.statistical-solutions-software.com/what-is-meta-analysis/ WiseGeek. (2011). What is a behavioral observation scale? WiseGeek.