Further predictors of academic performance
In addition to prior academic performance and scores on standardized admission tests, predictors of academic performance include study habits, study skills, study attitudes, and study motivation, according to a meta-analysis by psychologists Marcus Crede and Nathan Kuncel. Study habits include the ability to manage time, and study attitudes refer to the use of sound study routines. Interest in academics falls under the umbrella term of study attitudes, and study motivation is both the intrinsic and extrinsic motivation to engage in studying instead of some other activity. The analysis examined the construct and predictive validity of 10 study-skill constructs among over 70,000 college students. Given the large amount of time and money people spend on education, it may be prudent to protect this investment by utilizing strategies and techniques that have previously shown to predict academic achievement.
Job Performance – The Value of an MBA Bay Be Bearish
An MBA – unless it’s from a prestigious institution – does not appear to increase the chances of career success, according to research by Pfeffer of the Graduate School of Business at Stanford University and Fong of the University of Washington School of Business. Through a review of the literature, it was found that an MBA was not consistently related to measures of career success, such as pay and promotions. Knowledge learned in a MBA program and the degree itself had little affect on career outcomes. Further, the impact of research generated by business schools on the practice of management is small. So, buyers beware.
Personality characteristics that make the grade
Conscientiousness, which refers to being goal-oriented and self-disciplined, and openness, which refers to being creative and curious, predict academic performance, according to University of California at Davis psychologists Erik E. Noftle & Richard W. Robins. Across four different samples that utilized four different measures of personality, openness was the strongest predictor of SAT verbal scores, and conscientiousness was the biggest predictor of high school and college GPA.
Further, conscientiousness was still able to predict college GPA regardless of high school GPA and SAT scores. These results have many applications, and for employers wanting to consider personality in their hiring decisions, GPA could serve as a proxy measure of self-discipline and SAT verbal scores could be considered a proxy measure of creativity and curiosity.
Thinking about Building the Box: Practical Intelligence & Entrepreneurs
Topic: Job Performance, Potential, Talent Management
Publication: Personnel Psychology (SUMMER 2011)
Article: The Practical Intelligence of Entrepreneurs: Antecedents and a Link With New Venture Growth
Authors: Baum, J. R., Bird, B. J., & Singh, S.
Reviewed By: Thaddeus Rada
Although general intelligence has been found to be a good predictor of potential success in a job, recent research suggests that other, more specific forms of intelligence may also be useful in predicting job success. One aspect of these other intelligence constructs that is particularly encouraging is that they can be developed. As such, if a particular type of intelligence were demonstrated to have an especially positive impact on individuals’ success in a given field, then education and training in this field could emphasize cultivating this form of intelligence in the people studying it. The current study, by J. Robert Baum and colleagues, examined one of these specific forms of intelligence, practical intelligence (PI), and its impact on the success of entrepreneurs. The authors focused on entrepreneurial success primarily because of the impact that entrepreneurs can have on business growth and job creation, qualities that are particularly important in light of current economic conditions.
PI emphasizes the application of knowledge to novel problems or situations. In this sense, PI, although it is a distinct construct, can be roughly equated to common sense. The authors proposed a model in which the positive relationship between PI and industry experience, and PI and venture experience, are enhanced by two modes of learning: concrete experience and active experimentation.
Trading Voice for Service: The Impact of Perceived Voice on Organizational Commitment During Periods of Change
Topic: Change Management, Organizational Commitment, Potential, Trust
Publication: Human Resource Management (JAN 2011)
Article: The influence of perceived employee voice on organizational commitment: An exchange perspective
Authors: E. Farndale, J. Van Ruiten, C. Kelliher, and V. Hope-Hailey
Reviewed By: Allison B. Siminovsky
Everyone likes to feel important on occasion, whether through achieving a major goal or being recognized for an accomplishment. The workplace is no exception to this rule, as employees like to feel as though their decisions impact the actions their organizations take. During major corporate change, leadership and culture can be shaken up dramatically and as a result, previous levels of perceived employee impact (“I make a difference”) might not remain intact. What benefits does an organization reap if employees feel they have a voice, and how is this impacted through the change process? This article attempts to answer these questions.
The researchers found that when employees perceive themselves as having impact on organizational decisions, they show higher levels of organizational commitment. This sense of voice is inferred through relationships with line managers and, to an even stronger extent, with senior management. Employees were found to react positively to organizational change when their perception of having voice was not compromised during this often tumultuous period.
The Waning Voices of Senior Employees: Does Tenure Reduce Impact Levels?
Topic: Potential, Staffing, Training, Turnover
Publication: Human Resource Management (JAN 2011)
Article: Does voice go flat? How tenure diminishes the impact of voice
Authors: D. Avery, P. McKay, D. Wilson, S. Volpone, and E. Killham
Reviewed By: Allison B. Siminovsky
In this line of research, voice refers to the ability to provide suggestions to the organization and feel that one’s input has some sort of effect. When little control is perceived, the employee will work hard to gain control and the use of voice is one possible means of achieving this goal. However, if an employee has been around for many years and feels his sense of control is compromised, to what extent does he continue to use his voice to impact the organization?
This study addressed this issue utilizing results from surveys of conducted with a variety of workers regarding their perceived voice opportunities at their organizations, their tenure, and their intentions to remain with their organizations. They found that, while any employee, regardless of tenure, values the opportunity to have his or her voice heard, newer employees are more likely to see these opportunities as a means of gaining power and control over their work environments. As more tenured members of the workforce do not feel such a need for control and have higher self-esteem related to the workplace, they do not rely on voice as strongly as do newer employees to gain power.
Perspectives on Potential
Topic: Potential, Talent Management
Publication: Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice (DEC 2009)
Article: The Pearls and Perils of Identifying Potential
Authors: R. Silzer and A. Church
Selected Commentary Authors: Robinson, Fetters, Riester, & Bracco; Dalal & Nolan
Reviewed By: Samantha Paustian-Underdahl
Identifying and developing talented employees is a human resource strategy that can help many – if not all – companies achieve business success. However, with the multitude of theories and techniques currently being used by practitioners and academics, how do you know the best way to identify talent in your organization? Silzer and Church (2009) introduce a new integrated model of potential that includes theories from previous literature and trends from current practices regarding high potentials which can be applied to a variety of settings and talent pools.
Trends in talent management are shifting from using short-term strategies for selecting employees for positions here and now, to hiring employees who will grow with the organization and eventually become successful in a higher-level organizational role. The authors explain that there are generally two types of potential assessed within organizations—the stable traits and competencies that a person already has, and the ability a person has to develop and learn new competencies. Silzer and Church note that within these two broad categories are three components of potential that should be considered in any talent management strategy: 1) foundational dimensions, 2) growth dimensions and 3) career dimensions.
1. Foundational Dimensions – stable competencies that a person has throughout their adult career. They include cognitive ability, personality characteristics, and interpersonal abilities.
2. Growth Dimensions – components that facilitate or obstruct a person’s growth and development. These may include adaptability, flexibility and motivation. These traits may be fairly stable across situations, but if a person has the opportunity to learn more about a particular area of interest in a supportive environment, these components can become stronger.
3. Career Dimensions - early indicators of potential for a specific career area. These will be specific to different careers but may include supervisory skill (indicating potential in a management role) or design and implementation skills (indicating potential in project management).
The commentaries that Silzer and Church received expanded upon their model for identifying potential. Robinson, Fetters, Riester, and Bracco (2009) addressed an issue many organizations face – what is the difference between performance and potential? They suggest a model of potential in which performance is only one aspect. The first criterion in their model is for employees to exhibit behavior consistent with the organization’s culture and values. Second, employees must consistently exceed performance expectations. The third stage in the model is for employee’s behavior to align with high potential indicators. Finally, an employee should demonstrate a thirst for self-development and be resilient to adversity.
Dalal and Nolan (2009) offer an intriguing perspective on identifying potential—using “dark side” personality characteristics to identify potential failure. They argue that the majority of managers derail before they have the chance to reach their full potential. Achieving employee potential thus depends on the presence of the positive indicators of potential and the absence of the negative characteristics associated with derailment including arrogance, mischievousness, and rigidity.
So, how should you assess potential in your employees? Silzer and Church (2009) believe that building behavioral models of the skills, knowledge, and experiences needed at various stages of specific career paths may be beneficial. These models should include foundational, growth, and career dimensions. Organizations should keep in mind that many signs of potential might be latent because of the context and situation. Employees who are in a position that is a poor fit for them should be moved to a different job situation with more interesting tasks and challenges and supervisory support, before a conclusion is made about their potential. Finally, leaders may consider assessing signs of derailment in their employees as part of their strategy for identifying potential.
Silzer, R., & Church, A. H. (2009). The pearls and perils of identifying potential. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 2, 377–412.Si
Dalal, D.K. & Nolan, K.P. (2009). Using Dark Side Personality Traits to Identify Potential Failure Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 2, 434-436.
Robinson, C., Fetters, R. Riester, D. & Bracco, A. (2009). The Paradox of Potential: A Suggestion for Guiding Talent Management Discussions in Organizations. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 2, 413-415.