Personality Testing, Yes or No?

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The following is a case study from an Executive Master of Business Administration "EMBA" program syllabus, Alexandria University, Egypt, in collaboration with Georgia State university, USA. The case is related to the Organizational Behavior study from the reference book "Organizational Behavior and Management", ninth edition, Ivancevich, konopaske & Matteson. ISBN 978-0-07-122089-7

Case 3.1: Personality Testing, Yes or No?

Mark, a project leader in Austin, Texas, needed a new software engineer for his eight-person team. He used his network, reviewed resumes, and invited 15 candidates for interviews. In addition he had the top three candidates complete the 16-personality factors test. This was a general test that he believed would reveal personality characteristics that were important to know before making a job offer. Personality testing is a relatively inexpensive method that helps managers make important hiring decisions. Tom, a member of Mark's team, warned everyone about putting too much confidence into personality test results, however. Tom had read that personality tests were not reliable and could be faked. Another team member, Mary, believed Tom to be correct and incorrect at the same time. Some tests are poor, while others have helped employers make good selection decisions, she said. She emphasized "helped". Tests by themselves shouldn't be the sole factor in hiring top performers. They are just one tool, she said. She had heard about other firms using different kinds of tests to assess emotions, intelligence, and interpersonal style. In fact, studies do indicate that good personality tests are more reliable predictions of performance than interviews and resumes. However, they are still controversial. Some employers have had to face law-suits because personality tests were used inappropriately. Court rulings on and controversy about personality testing has not stopped employers from using such tests. In an effort to match the best-qualified...
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