Like its first five editions, this book is an interdisciplinary-oriented, research-based HR text. Perhaps the most significant change in the current edition is the addition of a new coauthor, Herman Aguinis. Herman brings considerable content and methodological expertise, and this edition of the text reflects those strengths. As in the past, our subject matter is personnel psychologythe application of psychological research and theory to human resource management (HRM) in organizations. As an applied area of psychology, personnel psychology seeks to make, organizations more effective and more satisfying as places to work.
Personnel psychology represents the overlap between psychology and HRM. It is a subfield within HRM, excluding, for example, such topics as labor law, compensation and benefits, safety, and industrial relations. Personnel psychology is also a subfield with in industrial and organizational (I/O) psychology-the study of the behavior of men and women in work settings. Today, with the tremendous growth of I/O psychology in many directions, HRM is appropriately considered only one of many areas to which I/O psychologists have turned their attention.
As in the first five editions, we have included material of a decidedly theoretical, statistical, or psychometric nature. No doubt some readers will criticize the book on these grounds and charge that "things just aren't done that way in the real world." Perhaps not, for we agree that some of the ideas in the book are used by very few organizations. However, many topics in earlier editions that may have seemed "far out" are now considered "mainstream"for example, validity generalization, statistical power analysis, and situational interviews. The book is designed to be forward-looking and progressive, and, even though some of the material is presented in a conventional manner, with a dose of statistical, psychometric, or psychological theory thrown in, we believe that in the last analysis nothing is more practical.
In writing this book, we make two assumptions about our readers: (1) They are familiar with the general problems of HRM or I/O psychology, and (2) they have some background in fundamental statisticsat least enough to understand statistical procedures on a conceptual level, and preferably enough to compute and interpret tests of statistical significance. As in earlier editions, our goals are (1) to challenge the field to advance rather than simply to document past practice, (2) to present a model toward which professionals should aim, and (3) to present scientific procedure and fundamental theory so that the serious student can develop a solid foundation on which to build a broad base of knowledge.
Our overall objective is to integrate psychological theory with tools and methods that will enable the student or professional to translate theory into practice effectively. We are well aware that in the complex and dynamic environment in which we live and work, scientific and technological advances are occurring faster than ever before. Hence, education must be a lifelong effort if one is to avoid what Armer (1970) calls the "Paul Principle": Over time, people become uneducated and therefore incompetent to perform at a level at which they once performed adequately. If the book projects this one message, then the HR profession will be enriched immeasurably.
The response to the first five editions of this book in psychology departments and in business and professional schools has been particularly gratifying. However, new ideas and research findings in all the areas covered by the book made a sixth edition necessary in order to reflect the state of the art in personnel psychology. We have tried to do just that, as reflected in the fact that more than 500 of the references in this sixth edition are new! Year by year, the field continues to advance rapidly. Here is sample of what is new in the sixth edition:
- At a general level, we have interwoven four themes throughout the book: technology, strategy, globalization, and social responsibility. As in earlier editions, each chapter includes updated discussion questions to help students reflect on what they have read.
- Chapter 1 provides extensive treatment of the impact of globalization, technology, and demographic changes on markets, jobs, people, the structure of organizations, and the very nature of work itself.
- We have updated Chapter 2, on legal issues in HRM, extensively, based on new developments in case law in the areas of age and national origin discrimination, disabilities, family and medical leave, leave for military service, testing, sexual harassment, "English only" rules, and preferential selection. In all instances, we offer preventive actions and practical tips.
- Chapter 3 retains its emphasis on utility or decision theory as a way of thinking, along with a view of organizations as open systems. We then present a model of the employment process as a network of sequential, interdependent decisions that serves as a roadmap for the remainder of the book.
- Chapter 4 has a more detailed discussion of criteria as multidimensional and dynamic, including the topics of typical versus maximum performance, counterproductive behaviors, and contextual-versus-task performance. There is a discussion of how various conceptualizations of criteria affect resulting validity coefficients.
- The emphasis in Chapter 5 has changed from the previous performance-appraisal to a broader performance-management approach. Although there is an extension and thorough update of such topics as sources of performance information, agreement across sources, and rating biases, there is much new material, including a discussion of the interpersonal/social-interaction dimensions of performance management, acceptance of feedback, and perceptions of (un)fairness, as well as the consequences of such perceptions. There is also a new section on the assessment of team performance.
- Chapter 6 has a more detailed discussion of modern measurement theories, including generalizability and item response. Also, there is a discussion of the various sources of error considered by each reliability estimate and the relative appropriateness of various measurement-error corrections. In addition, there are new sections on the steps involved in the development of new measurement instruments.
- Chapter 7 includes new material regarding the effects of range restriction on the validity coefficient, as well as validity generalization and cross-validation, and the implications of recent findings in these areas for HR research and practice. Also, there is a new section on how to gather validity evidence when local validation studies are not feasible, as well as various strategies available for content validation.
- Chapter 8 provides a more in-depth treatment of differential prediction. We offer specific suggestions to improve the accuracy of the differential prediction test, and we link explicitly the discussion of differential validity and differential prediction to adverse impact. We offer suggestions on how to minimize adverse impact, including various forms of test-score banding, which we discuss from legal, technical, and societal points of view. We also discuss the concept of fairness from both interpersonal and public policy points of view.
- Chapter 9 includes extensive discussion of changes in the organization of work and their implications for job analysis. We present eight choices that confront job analysts, plus new methods for establishing minimum qualifications, collecting work-related information (including Internet-based methods), incorporating personality dimensions into job analysis, conducNng strategic or future-oriented job analysis, and using competency modeling. The chapter concludes with a discussion of the newest approach to occupational informationthe O*Net.
- Chapter 10 focuses on strategic workforce planning. There is considerable new material on business strategy, alternative approaches to strategic planning, and the relationship between strategic business and workforce plans. In addition to our traditional discussion of methods to forecast workforce supply and demand, we include new sections on management succession plans and CEO succession.
- We discuss the revolutionary impact of the Web on the recruitment practices of employers and job seekers in Chapter 11. We also discuss research-based findings on the effects on recruitment of organizational image, characteristics of recruiters, sources, and downsizing. New sections consider the impact of hiring-management systems and intelligent software that processes resumes, plus the process of job searching from the applicant's perspective.
- Chapter 12 discusses the extent of response distortion in application blanks and biodata and how to minimize it; there is also more detail on differences between overt and personality-based honesty tests and an entirely new section on computer-based screening, including virtual reality screening. We have revised our treatment of employment interviews substantially, including social/interpersonal factors, individual differences, the effects of structure, and the use of alternative media.
- Chapter 13 emphasizes that the utility of a selection system includes more than the validity coefficient. It discusses recent technical refinements in the computation of utility estimates and includes a new section on managers' perceptions of utility analysis and how such information affects their decisions regarding the implementation of new selection systems. Finally, the chapter includes an entirely new section on multiattribute utility analysis as a means to incorporate stakeholder input in estimating the usefulness of a selection system.
- Chapter 14 discusses the trade-offs involved in using general cognitive ability tests as a primary tool in selection. It also examines the impact of faking on validity and decision making. There is an entirely new section on situational-jud...
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