The great eight competencies bartram

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Journal of Applied Psychology 2005, Vol. 90, No. 6, 1185–1203

Copyright 2005 by the American Psychological Association 0021-9010/05/$12.00 DOI: 10.1037/0021-9010.90.6.1185

The Great Eight Competencies: A Criterion-Centric Approach to Validation
Dave Bartram
SHL Group
The author presents results of a meta-analysis of 29 validation studies (N 4,861) that uses the Great Eight competencyfactors (Kurz & Bartram, 2002) as the criterion measurement framework. Predictors of the Great Eight competencies based only on personality scales show moderate to good correlations with line-manager ratings for all 8 of the competencies. On their own, ability tests correlate with 4 of the 8 competencies, and together ability and personality data yield operational validities ranging from 0.20 to 0.44for the 8 competencies. Operational validities for aggregated predictors with aggregated criteria were estimated to be 0.53. The value of differentiating the criterion space and of relating predictor variables to criterion variables in a one-to-one fashion is discussed. Keywords: validation, personality, competency models, meta-analysis

This study presents a model of performance in theworkplace that defines eight broad competency factors, which we refer to as the Great Eight (Bartram, Robertson, & Callinan, 2002; Kurz & Bartram, 2002). The Great Eight have emerged from factor analyses and multidimensional scaling analyses of self- and manager ratings of workplace performance, not from the predictor domain (i.e., ability tests, motivation or personality questionnaires). Thus, theyprovide a criterion-centric model from which to explore the validity of various potential predictors of workplace performance. This model and its associated predictor– outcome relationships are explored through a meta-analysis of 29 validity studies. The intention behind this research is not just to add to the body of data relating to the validity of personality and ability tests as predictors ofworkplace behavior but also to demonstrate the value of an approach that uses a model of the criterion domain as the organizing framework for meta-analysis rather than the more usual predictor domain models (e.g., the Big Five personality factors model).

academic literature has begun to support the view that personality measures also predict performance at work. Studies concentrating on the BigFive personality factors have shown that Conscientiousness and Emotional Stability have broadly generalizable relationships with overall job performance (OJP; Barrick & Mount, 1991; Hough, 1992; Salgado, 1997, 1998). Barrick and Mount (1991) report corrected mean validities of r .22 for Conscientiousness and r .13 for Extraversion. Tett, Jackson, and Rothstein (1991) quote corrected mean validitiesranging from r .16 for Extraversion to r .33 for Agreeableness. Salgado (1997, 1998) replicated Barrick and Mount’s results with European data sets and also found evidence for the validity of Emotional Stability (corrected r .19). More recently, Hurtz and Donovan (2000) have reported corrected correlations of r .22 for Conscientiousness, r .14 for Emotional Stability, and r .09 for Extraversion.Thus, the current evidence is generally supportive of some of the Big Five in providing moderate predictions of relatively gross job performance measures.

Ability and Personality as Predictors of Job Performance
Ability measures have been acknowledged as good predictors of job performance and even better predictors of training performance. The early meta-analyses (e.g., Hunter & Hunter, 1984)showed the generalizability of this finding. More recently, the

Predictor- Versus Criterion-Centric Approaches
The traditional approach to validation has been predictor centric. Researchers have asked questions like “What does instrument X predict?,” “How well does personality predict job performance?,” and “What do ability tests predict?” As a consequence, we have seen separate literatures...
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