Employee selection : Mechanisms behind practitioners’ preference for hiring practices

University dissertation from Stockholm : Department of Psychology, Stockholm University

Abstract: Despite the great advances science has made in developing selection decision aids practitioners’ generally remain reluctant to adopt them. This phenomenon is considered today one of the greatest gaps in industrial, work and organizational psychology. This thesis adopts a psychological approach to practitioners’ resistance toward hiring procedures with high predictive validity of work performance. Consequently, three specific research questions were examined, two of which highlighted aspects of self-regulation, and one focused on agency relation in order to study outcomes in terms of actual use of hiring procedures and intention to change hiring procedures. The present thesis comprises three studies. Questionnaire data is used in two studies (Study I and II) to study how 1) prototype beliefs and ability to evaluate the quality of own performance is related to use of selection decision methods; and also how 2) behavioral intention to change hiring practice is related to self-efficacy beliefs, causal attribution and past behavior. Data collected with semi-structured interviews is used in Study III in order to study practitioners’ experiences in collaborative contexts in employee selection. Study I found that prototype beliefs and task quality ambiguity perceptions varied across various hiring practices. The results from Study II showed that self-efficacy beliefs, external attributions of success and internal attributions of failure were related to intention to change hiring practices. Study III highlighted the prevalence of separate self-interests over more general organizational interests in the agentic relation between practitioners. In conclusion, the present thesis has implication for theory as well as practice when it concludes that conscious steered cognitive mechanisms are important for understanding practitioners’ resistance towards high standardized hiring practices.

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