PSYC 241 - Chapter 13 - Business

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Queen's University
PSYC 241
Roderick C L Lindsay

Chapter 13: Business - A majority of people would continue to work if they won $10 million in a lottery Industrial/Organization (I/O) psychology: the study of human behaviour in the workplace - In changing the lights, coffee breaks, number of work days, etc. increased productivity in the workplace, no matter what the change was - The Hawthorne project Hawthorne Effect: the finding that workers who were given special attention increased their productivity regardless of what actual changes were made in the work setting Personnel Selection The Typical Job Interview - Black and Hispanic applicants receive interview ratings only slightly lower on average than their white counterparts - Perhaps interviews humanize applicants - Subjective ratings are similar - There is a slight tendency to favour attractive applicants over non-attractive - The quality of an applicant’s handshake and whether it is accompanied by eye contact predicts how highly he or she will be rated by a real interviewer - The higher their expectations, the more time they spent ‘recruiting’ rather than ‘evaluating’ and the more likely they were to make a favourable hiring decision “Scientific” Alternatives to Traditional Interviews Polygraph: easily misused, invades privacy, and results are not sufficiently accurate - Passed a law in 1988 that prohibits the use of the lie-detector test except in matters involving large sums of money, public safety, and national security Standardized tests: - Intelligence is not fully captured - Some jobs require different cognitive abilities - Tests need to not rely on the motivated applicant’s self-report – can be easily faked Integrity tests: questionnaires designed specifically to assess an applicant’s honesty and character by asking direct questions concerning illicit drug use, shoplifting, petty theft, etc. - May be faked with the help of coaching or on their own Overt tests (a type of integrity test): purpose is obvious to the test taker Covert tests (a type of integrity test): measures broad personality characteristics that are not clearly related to the workplace - Scores unaffected by faking good or coaching Structured Interviews: each job applicant is asked a standard set of questions and evaluated on the same criteria - More difficult to fake - More predictive than paper-and-pencil tests Assessment centers: job applicants are exhaustively tested and judged by multiple evaluators - Written tests, situational tests, and role-playing exercises - In-person interviews are seen as more fair, the outcome as more favourable, and were more likely to accept the job if offered Affirmative Action - Gives special consideration to women and members of underrepresented minority groups in recruitment, hiring, admissions, and promotion decisions - Opponents believe in equal opportunity + rewards are matched to contributions - Strong belief in merit, not measures of racial prejudice - People are favourable toward softer forms of affirmative action and least favourable toward quotas and other hard policies that favour some applicants over others regardless of qualifications - Can make people feel stigmatized and undervalued as a result of preferential selection policies Cultural and Organizational Diversity - Every individual has a multidimensional identity that can be characterize within a cultural mosaic consisting of the geographical background, ‘titles’ of his/her demographic groups (age, gender, race, ethnic heritage), and personal associations (religion, profession, political affiliation) - The more multicultural the dominant white employees were in their diversity beliefs (endorsing that employees should recognize and celebrate racial and ethnic differences), the more engaged their minority workers felt Performance Appraisals Performance appraisal: the process of evaluating an employee’s work and communicating the results to that person Supervisor Ratings - Supervisors are influenced more by a worker’s job knowledge, ability, proficiency, and dependability than by less relevant factors such as friendliness Halo effect: a failure to discriminate among different and distinct aspects of a worker’s performance - By believing that someone is warm, we also assume that he or she is also generous and good natured Contrast effect: supervisors who do multiple performance appraisals may judge an employee’s work in light of all previous observations - One performance sets a standard for another Restriction of range problem: fail to make adequate distinctions, may be influenced by rater’s personality, considerable difference between raters, etc. Self-Evaluations - When workers are asked to evaluate their managers, these evaluations provide valuable ‘upward feedback’ – may influence tenure + promotion decisions - Most people see themselves in overly flattering terms, deny blame of failure, inflated sense of control, unrealistic future optimism - Men> women in overestimating their own performance – more boastful New and Improved Methods of Appraisal - Evaluations are less prone to error when made right after performance than given a time delay - Evaluators should take notes of their observations – behavioural checklists - Teach raters some of the necessary skills for making accurate appraisals - 360-performance appraisal – multi-rater system in which a final evaluation represents the average of ratings made by independent sources with diff. perspectives - There is some debate over how to combine, compare, and contrast different sources Due-Process Considerations - Accuracy as well as perception of fairness are primary concerns in performance appraisal - Performance ratings may be biased and distorted by those motivated by political and self-serving agendas - 3 principles of the due-process consideration: 1. Adequate notice – clear performance standards that employees can understand and ask questions about 2. Fair hearing – evaluated by a supervisor who knows their work and in which they receive timely feedback as well as an opportunity to present their own case 3. Evidence of job performance – not based on prejudice, corruption, or external considerations - Procedural fairness (how decisions are made) can be just as important as a favourable outcome (what decisions are made) Leadership - Someone who can move a group of people toward a common goal - Some leaders succeed by winning supporters, mendi
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