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GWU / Psychology / PSYC 2544 / What defines performance management?

What defines performance management?

What defines performance management?


School: George Washington University
Department: Psychology
Course: Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Professor: N blacksmith
Term: Fall 2015
Tags: Industrial/Organizational Psychology
Cost: 50
Name: Midterm Study Guide
Description: This detailed study guide contains everything on the midterm topics list
Uploaded: 02/25/2016
20 Pages 120 Views 6 Unlocks

I-O Psychology Midterm Study Guide 2/25/16 3:12 AM

What is performance management?

General I-O Psychology Notes 

Industrial/Organizational Psychology is the application of psychological  principles, theory, and research to the work setting

• Concerned with behavior in work situations

Basis of I-O psychology  

• Two sides of I-O psychology: science and practice

• The science side is based on actual empirical research – I-O  psychologists pose questions to guide their investigation and then  use scientific methods to obtain answers

• The other side, the professional side, is concerned with the  application of knowledge to solve real problems in the work world • The scientist-practitioner gap is the difference between scientific  research findings on organizations and their management versus  how organizations are actually managed

What is organizational effectiveness?

o The gap may exist because while theory may guide scientific  research, how organizations run is not by theory.  

Organizations are run by leaders who make decisions in the  

best interests of maintaining and improving the organization

• A scientist-practitioner is someone who tries to understand real  world phenomena using all of the tools of science, most notably by  applying scientific theories and the scientific method

Fields of I-O Psychology

• 1) Selection and placement – concerned with developing  We also discuss several other topics like What is the law of definite proportions about?
If you want to learn more check out How does child neglect affect child development?

assessment methods for the selection, placement, and promotion of  employees

• 2) Training and development – concerned with identifying employee  skills that need to be enhanced to improve job performance

What is the quality of work-life?

• 3) Performance management – involves designing ways to assess  employee work behavior and provide helpful feedback to improve  performance  

• 4) Organizational effectiveness – concerned with maintaining or  improving the quality of the workforce, but also the quality of  

relationships with customers and suppliers the organization needs  for its continued success

• 5) Quality of work life – concerned with factors that contribute to a  healthy and productive workforce Don't forget about the age old question of What are the types of culture?

Evidence-based consulting

• I-O psychologists are focused on making evidence-based  decisions in their work in organizations

• This includes using a decision-making process that combines critical  thinking with use of the best available scientific evidence

Importance of I-O Psychology

• I-O psychology emphasizes the importance of work in people’s lives History of I-O Psychology If you want to learn more check out What are the three sites of stimuli to regulate gastric secretion?

Walter Dill Scott

• Considered one of the founders of I-O Psychology

• Gave a talk on the need for applying psychology to advertising  • Published books that dealt with suggestion and argument as a  means of influencing people, and improving human efficiency with  such tactics as imitation, competition, loyalty, and concentration • Scott was instrumental in the application of personnel procedures in  the army during World War I

o Conducted research on the best placement of soldiers in the  army

o Classified and placed enlisted soldiers, conducted  

performance ratings of officers, and developed and prepared  job duties and qualifications for 500+ jobs

• Had a substantial influence on increasing public awareness and the  credibility of I-O psychology

Frederick Taylor

• Engineer by profession

• Went on to obtain many patents through experience and self training

• Worked himself up through one company as a worker, supervisor,  and finally, plant manager, and realized the value of redesigning  work to achieve both higher output for the company and a higher  wage for the worker

• Wrote book The Principles of Scientific Management with rules such  as: 1) science over rule of thumb, 2) scientific selection and  training, 3) cooperation over individualism, and 4) equal division of  work best suited to management and employeesWe also discuss several other topics like What is the function of this sexual chandella imagery?

• An example of his work: showed that workers who handles heavy  iron could be more productive if they had work rests; training  employees when to work and when to rest increased worker  productivity, which in turn resulted in increased wages for the  workers Don't forget about the age old question of Hypothesis testing means what?

Hugo Munsterberg

• Interested in applying traditional psychological methods to practical  industrial problems

• His book, Psychology and Industrial Efficiency, discussed selecting  workers, designing work, and psychology in sales

• His most renowned study involved determining what makes a safe  trolley car operator – he systematically studied all aspects of the  job, developed a lab simulation of a trolley car, and concluded that  a good operator could comprehend all of the influences that bear on  the car’s progress

World War I

• Caused a shift in the direction of industrial psychological research • Psychologists believed they could provide a valuable service to the  nation, and some saw the war as a means of accelerating the  profession’s progress

• The APA made many proposals to maneuver the profession into  assignments in the war effort, including ways of screening recruits  for mental deficiency and of assigning selected recruits  

• Army Alpha – an intelligence test developed during WWI by I-O  psychologists for the selection and placement of military personnel • Army Beta – a nonverbal intelligence test developed during WWI by  I-O psychologists to assess illiterate recruits  

• After the war, there was an increase in the number of psychological  consulting firms and research bureaus  

Hawthorne Studies

• A series of research studies that began in the late 1920s at the  Western Electric Company and ultimately refocused the interests of  I-O psychologists on how work behavior manifests itself in an  organizational context

• Represent the most significant research program undertaken to  show the enormous complexity of the problem of production in  relation to efficiency

• Original study attempted to find the relationship between lighting  and efficiency – some workrooms had bright lights and some had  dim lights, but the workers’ productivity seemed to have no  relationship to the level of illumination

o Productivity increased whether the illumination was increased,  decreased, or held constant, so the researchers hypothesized  that some other factors must be responsible for the increased  productivity

• The precise reason for the change in behavior was not clear but an  important finding emerged, known as the Hawthorne effect:  sometimes behavior change is due to just a change in the  environment (e.g., the presence of the researchers) and not to the  effect of an experimentally manipulated variable (e.g., the level of  illumination)  

• The Hawthorne studies also revealed the existence of informal  employee work groups and their controls on production

• Also showed the importance of employee attitudes, the value of  having a sympathetic and understanding supervisor, and the need  to treat workers as people instead of merely human capital Government Intervention/Civil Rights Movement

• One component of the Civil Rights Act, Title VII, (legislation to  reduce unfair discrimination) addressed the issue of discrimination  in employment. Title VII specified demographic groups to be  protected from employment discrimination  

• Because I-O psychologists were given free rein to make a lot of  employment decisions, the result of these decisions was the  disproportionately small representation of minorities in the  workplace

• Under Title VII, companies were legally mandated to demonstrate  that their employment tests did not uniformly discriminate against  any minority group

• I-O psychologists now had to accept the consequences of being  legally accountable for their actions


• I-O psychology also made a major contribution to the military  during this era

• I-O psychologists made efforts to develop a test for the selection  and classification of military personnel

• This involved developing the Armed Services Vocational  Aptitude Battery (ASVAB): a test developed in the 1980s by I-O  psychologists for the selection and placement of military personnel  

• Every year the ASVAB is administered; individuals are selected to  join the military; the selected personnel are then assigned to the  many military jobs within the various branches of the Armed  Services

Information Age

• In 1994, the internet expanded considerably – a major shift has  occurred in the way society functions, primarily revolving around  the explosion in available information and how that information  changes our lives

• Social media is powerful  

• The turbulent changes faced by organizations (such as the need to  change products or services frequently in response to changing  market conditions) have led to the need for frequent changes in  workers’ responsibilities, tasks, and work relationships

• Electronic communication like the internet has revolutionized  business and customer-oriented service

• In the Information Age, there is a new critical standard: speed of  delivery

• In the Information Age, tasks and duties are constantly changing,  as are the skills needed to perform them

• With the innovations of telecommuting (doing work at home and  communicating it electronically to the office), virtual work teams  and offices, and wireless communication, work is no longer a  physical place

The Future of the Workplace

• Today I-O psychology is multidisciplinary in both its content and its  methods of inquiry

• As we enter the “global era” of civilization, where national and  cultural boundaries are less confining, I-O psychology has expanded  its domains of interest and involvement – entrance into the global  era has compelled I-O psychology to become more knowledgeable  about cultures other than Western civilization

• We have learned that there are broad cultural differences in the  importance placed on work in life

Cross-Cultural I-O Psychology 

• An area of research that examines the degree to which  psychological concepts and findings generalize to people in other  cultures and societies

• Studies similarities and differences in individual psychological and  social functioning in various cultures and ethnic groups  

• The globalization of business has compelled I-O psychology to  examine how its theories and practices apply in cultures other than  North America and Western Europe  

Humanitarian Work Psychology 

• I-O Psychology has been regarded as an agent for helping  organizations to be more effective, and I-O psychologists who work  as practitioners are hired by organizations to achieve that very  result

• Humanitarian work psychology is the practice of I-O psychology  directed to the societal goal of improving employment for all  mankind  

• “Humanitarian” typically refers to the giving of resources (e.g. food,  clothing, shelter) to people who have an urgent need for them • In the case of humanitarian work psychology, it is directing the  resources of I-O psychology to relieving global poverty, promoting  social justice in organizations, protecting the rights of workers, etc. The Mandate of I-O Psychology 

• The mandate of I-O psychology is to increase the fit between the  workforce and the workplace when the composition of both is  rapidly changing

• As work assumes a more central role in our lives, the need for I-O  psychology to balance work and family issues continue to grow

Construct: a concept or characteristic that a predictor is intended to  measure; examples include intelligence, extraversion, and integrity Academic-based and practitioner-based research 

There is the fact that managers are not typically scientists – unlike medicine,  management is not a profession; that is, they are not licensed the way  physicians are.  

• Most scientific writing is very technical, and there is a lack of  publications that serve to “translate” complex scientific findings into  more readily understandable terms that could be understood by  non-scientists (i.e. managers)

• While academic-based research may have only a modest impact in  some areas of management practice, many I-O psychologists in  non-academic roles also conduct research

• Some of the finest contributions of I-O psychology attained such a  legacy precisely because they did have a very large impact on  practice, i.e. the ASVAB test

• Many large organizations that employ I-O psychologists have their  own research divisions, and research conducted in these settings is  often more focused on addressing particular organizational  problems than is research conducted by academic scientists (this is  largely the difference between academic-based and practitioner based research)

• For example, a scientist would be interested in knowing if there is a  relationship between employee job performance and voluntary  turnover (i.e. are good or poor employees more likely to quit their  jobs). A manager, on the other hand, would be more interested in  learning how to prevent his or her top-performing employees from  quitting

• While the objectives of academic-based and practitioner-based  research are different, academic scientists and practitioners who  work in business and for consulting firms are often engaged in the  conduct of I-O research

Research Methods and Statistics 

Goals of Science

• Scientists set out to disprove theories or hypotheses

o Goal: eliminate all plausible explanations except one

o Can never “prove” a theory

o Publicize their findings

• Scientists are objective

o Expectation that researchers will be objective and not  

influenced by biases or prejudices

Primary Research Methods (provides an original or principle source of data  that bears on a particular research question)

Research designs:

• Experimental

o Random assignment of participants to conditions

o Conducted in a laboratory or the workplace

• Non-experimental

o Does not include manipulation or assignment to different  conditions

o 2 common designs:

???? Observational design: observes and records behavior

???? Survey/questionnaire design (most common)

• Quasi-experimental

o Non-random assignment of participants to conditions  

o Resembles an experiment but actually provides less control  over the variables under investigation

o Independent variables are manipulated in a field setting (that  is, the people in the study do not perceive the setting as  

having been created to conduct the research)

Secondary Research Methods (looks at existing information from studies that  used primary methods)

• Meta-analysis

o A quantitative secondary research method for summarizing  and integrating the findings from original empirical research  studies

o Statistical procedure designed to combine the results of many  individual, independently conducted empirical studies into a  single result or outcome

• Data mining

o An emerging secondary research method that looks for  patterns of association among the measured items in very  large data sets

o The process of analyzing a large amount of data from  

different perspectives and summarizing it into useful  

information, and to discover patterns or relationships  

Qualitative vs. Quantitative

• Qualitative methods

o Include procedures like observation, interviews, case studies,  and analysis of written documents

o Generally produce flow diagrams and narrative descriptions of  events/processes

• Quantitative methods

o Rely on tests, rating scales, and physiological measures o Yield numerical results

What is Theory?

Theory = ideas intended to explain something, based on general principles  independent of the thing to be explained

• Describes and explains relationships between psychological  constructs (variables)

• Helpful or not helpful (not good or bad)

• A good theory offers novel insights, is focused, is relevant to  important topics, provides explanations, is practical

How to form and write a research question

Research Design Questions

• Where will the research be conducted (e.g. lab)?

• Who will participate?

• How will participants be recruited and assigned to conditions? • What variables will be measured?

• How will data be collected (e.g. survey)?

• How will data be analyzed?

How to form and write a hypothesis

Developing Hypotheses

• Direction and strength of relationship between variables

o Example: the number of hours an individual watches college football is related to an increase in amount of cheeseburgers  eaten

• Prediction of an outcome

o Example: decreased hours of sleep leads to increase in life  satisfaction

• Differences across groups

o Example: the number of parties attended in the last 6 months  is higher for students who watch True Blood compared to  

students who watch The Walking Dead

Research Design

• A plan for conducting scientific research for the purpose of learning  about a phenomenon of interest

Generalizability in Research

• Application of results from one study or sample to other participants  or situations

• The more areas a study includes, the greater its generalizability • Every time a compromise is made, the generalizability of results is  reduced

Control Variables and Statistical Control

Control in Research:

• Experimental control

o Eliminates influences that could make results less reliable or  harder to interpret

• Statistical control

o Statistical techniques used to control for the influence of  certain variables  

Concept of Correlations

• Correlation does not equal causation

• Positive correlation ✂ as one variable increases, other variable also  increases and vice versa

• Negative correlation ✂ as one variable increases, other variable  decreases and vice versa  

Non-linear correlations

• Any correlation in which the rates of change of the variables is not  constant (curvilinear)

Determining Causality

• Causality can be determined in a lab experiment where a single  variable can be isolated and other possible determinants of  behavior are removed in the experiment  

• Only in such a controlled environment can causality be determined 5 rights specified in code of ethics

• 1) Right to informed consent

• 2) Right to privacy

• 3) Right to confidentiality

• 4) Right to protection from deception

• 5) Right to debriefing  

Validity & Reliability 


• Refers to the consistency, stability, or equivalence of a measure Test-retest reliability

• A type of reliability that reveals the stability of test scores upon  repeated applications of the test

• Calculated by correlating measurements taken at Time 1 with  measurements taken at Time 2

Inter-rater reliability

• A type of reliability that reveals the degree of agreement among the  assessments provided by two or more raters

• The degree of correspondence between judgments or scores  assigned by different raters

• Two different raters may observe the same behavior but evaluate it  differently

Equivalent-form reliability

• A type of reliability that reveals the equivalence of test scores  between two versions or forms of the test

• Calculated by correlating measurements from a sample of  individuals who complete 2 different forms of the same test Internal consistency

• Assesses how consistently items of a test measure a single  construct

Validity Evidence

Validity: the degree to which evidence and theory support the  interpretations of test scores for proposed uses of tests

Validity is how accurate your assessment is – is it measuring what it is  supposed to be measuring? Is it covering everything it needs to cover? • Validity: Whether measurements taken accurately and completely  represent what is to be measured

• The most fundamental consideration in developing and evaluating  tests

Content-Related Validity

• The degree to which subject matter experts agree that the items in  a test are a representative sample of the domain of knowledge the  test purports to measure

• Demonstrates that content of selection procedure represents  adequate sample of important work behaviors and activities or  worker KSAOs defined by job analysis

• I-O psychologists can use incumbents/SMEs to gather content validity evidence

Criterion-Related Validity

• The degree to which a test forecasts or is statistically related to a  criterion

• Refers to how much a predictor relates to a criterion

• Predictive validity design

o In measuring predictive criterion-related validity, we collect  predictor information and use it to forecast future criterion  performance

o Time lag between collection of test data and criterion data o Test often administered to job applicants

• Concurrent validity design

o In measuring concurrent criterion-related validity, we are  concerned with how well a predictor can predict a criterion at  the same time (concurrently)

o No time lag between collection of test data and criterion data o Test administered to current employees, performance  

measures collected at same time

o Disadvantage: no data about those not employed by the  organization

• Convergent

o Convergent validity coefficients reflect the degree to which  test scores converge (come together) in assessing a common  concept, like intelligence

o Should be related to similar constructs

o Example: verbal and quantitative ability (these both fall under  cognitive ability)

• Divergent (aka discriminant)

o Divergent validity coefficients reflect the degree to which test  scores diverge from each other in assessing unrelated  


o Should not be related to different constructs

o Example: quantitative ability and extraversion (these are not  related to one another)

Predictors vs. criterion variables

-When scores on one variable are used to predict scores on a second, the  variables are called predictor and criterion variables, respectively  • Predictor variable

o A variable used to predict or forecast a criterion variable o The presumed “cause” in a study. Often used in correlational  studies. For example, SAT scores predict first semester GPA.  The SAT score is the predictor variable.

• Criterion variable

o A variable that is a primary object of a research study; it is  forecasted by a predictor variable

o The presumed effect in a study

Challenges of doing research in organizations

• Organizations are messy entities

• Just looking at people in organizations is challenging

• Looking at the information flow in organizations is challenging, as is  power in organizations and the impact that external forces have on  any phenomena in an organization

Job/Work Analysis 

Job analysis: process that determines essence of a collection of tasks  falling within the scope of a particular job title

• A formal procedure by which the content of work is defined in terms  of activities performed and attributes needed to perform the work 3 Components of Job Analysis

• 1) Organizational-oriented job analysis  

o Determines needs and goals of organization; context

• 2) Task-oriented job analysis

o Begins with statement of actual tasks and what is  

accomplished by those tasks

• 3) Worker-oriented job analysis

o Focuses on attributes of the worker necessary to accomplish  tasks

KSAOs: Worker Attributes

• Knowledge

o Collection of discrete, related facts and information about a  particular domain

• Skill (e.g. computer or interpersonal skills)

o Practiced act

• Ability

o Stable capacity to engage in a specific behavior

• Other characteristics: interests, personality, etc.

How Job Analysis is Done

• 1) Observation

• 2) Interviews: Incumbent, supervisor

• 3) Critical incidents and work diaries

• 4) Questionnaires/surveys

• 5) Performing the job

Critical incidents

• Specific behaviors that result in good or bad job performance • Supervisors record behaviors of employees that greatly influence  their job performance

Cognitive task analysis

• Methods for decomposing job and task performance into discrete,  measurable units with special emphasis on eliciting mental  processes and knowledge content

• Time consuming and requires a great deal of expertise to do well Competency modeling

• A process for determining the human characteristics (i.e.  competencies) needed to perform successfully within an  


• Identifies characteristics desired across all individuals and jobs  within an organization

• Connects individuals with organizational viability and profitability O*NET

• An online computer-based source of information about jobs • National database of worker attributes and job characteristics • Contains info such as experience requirements, occupation  characteristics, etc.  

Job Performance 

Conceptual vs. Actual Criteria

• Conceptual = theoretical construct, abstract idea

• Actual criteria = observed measures of criteria

o Objective criteria (e.g. records, sales numbers)

o Subjective criteria (e.g. manager ratings)

Types of Actual Performance Criteria

• Production (e.g. units per day)

• Sales

• Turnover

• Absenteeism

• Accidents

• Manager ratings

• Counterproductive Workplace Behavior (CWB) actual criteria o Voluntary behavior violating significant organizational norms  and threatening organization, its members, or both

o E.g. theft, interpersonal deviance, organizational deviance • Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCB) actual criteria o Employee behavior that transcends job performance, supports  organizational environment, and is directed to the overall  

welfare of the organization

o E.g. # of hours helping another employee

Campbell’s 8 Dimensions of Job Performance

• Job-specific task proficiency

• Non-job-specific task proficiency

• Written and oral communication

• Demonstrating effort

• Facilitating peer and team performance

• Supervision/leadership

• Management/administration

• Maintaining personal discipline

Adaptive behavior

• A range of behaviors that enable employees to increase their  capacity to cope with organizational change (examples include  handling emergencies or crisis situations, handling work stress,  solving problems creatively, etc.)

Criterion deficiency

• When actual criterion is missing information that is part of behavior  one is trying to measure

Criterion contamination

• When actual criterion includes information unrelated to the behavior  one is trying to measure

Criterion relevance

• The degree of overlap or similarity between the actual criterion and  the conceptual criterion

• The greater the match between the conceptual and the actual  criteria, the greater the criterion relevance

Individual Differences 

• Having employees with difference and diverse aspects of  themselves is important

• Individual differences comes into play when we think about  management; it is important for managers to understand their  employees

• Adults have a variety of attributes that are relatively stable over a  period of time

• People differ with respect to those attributes

• Relative differences among people on these attributes remain even  after training

• Different jobs require different attributes

• These attributes can be measured (KSAOs)

General Mental Ability

• (cognitive ability) A basis for all actions – it matters for every single  job

Definitional Issues in Intelligence

• Many people consider the terms intelligence, IQ, cognitive ability,  and mental ability to be synonyms for one another. We will make  some distinctions:

o IQ is a historical term that stands for “intelligence quotient”;  term is popular with laypersons but is generally not used by  scientists

o Mental ability and cognitive ability are current terms that  scientists often use interchangeably. Refers to general  

intellectual capacity (often called “g” for GMA)

o Cognitive ability and mental ability are comprised of specific  abilities such as memory or reasoning  

Cognitive Abilities

• g

o Involves the ability to reason, plan, solve problems,  

comprehend complex ideas, and learn from experience

• Is g important at work? ✂ yes

o Intelligence (or “g”): broad general capability – describes  person’s ability to learn from experience

o Higher job complexity = higher predictive value


The Five Factor Model (FFM) (The Big Five) 

Factor: 1) Conscientiousness

Characteristics: responsible, prudent, persistent, planful, achievement  oriented

Factor: 2) Extraversion

Characteristics: sociable, assertive, talkative, ambitious, energetic Factor: 3) Agreeableness

Characteristics: good-natured, cooperative, trusting, likable, friendly Factor: 4) Emotional stability

Characteristics: secure, calm, poised, relaxed

Factor: 5) Openness to experience

Characteristics: curious, imaginative, independent, creative

• The Big Five is valuable in research, but not the best in practice  (when hiring, company should design test specific to the job) Dark Triad

• A cluster of three personality disorders associated with  

counterproductive work behavior: Machiavellianism, narcissism, and  psychopathy

Integrity Testing 

Overt Integrity Test

Ask questions directly about past honesty behavior (stealing, etc.) as well as  attitudes toward various behaviors (employee theft, etc.)

Personality Based Integrity Test

Test that infers honesty and integrity from questions dealing with broad  personality constructs (conscientiousness, reliability, social responsibility) Examples of Overt and Covert Integrity Test Items 

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