Workforce Readiness: Competencies and Assessment

By Harold F. O'Neil Jr. | Go to book overview

Chapter 9
Use of Computer Simulation for Assessing the Interpersonal Skill of Negotiation

Harold F. O'Neil Jr. CRESST/University of Southern California

Keith Allred Robert A. Dennis CRESST/University of California, Los Angeles

In this chapter we describe one computer-based prototype measure of the negotiating subskill of interpersonal competency. Such skills are important in the workplace. For example, management now recognizes a need to have workers take on more responsibility at the points of production, of sales, and of service rendered, if the United States is to compete in rapidly changing world markets. In order to adapt to the need to introduce new products and services quickly with high quality, managers are increasingly emphasizing employee involvement in management decision making, flatter organizational structure, just-in-time management, total quality management, and team work ( Blinder, 1990; Cappelli & Singh, 1992; Gerhart, Milkovich, & Murray, 1992; Huselid, 1995; Kochan, Dyer, & Batt, 1992; Pfeffer, 1994; Stasz, Ramsey, Eden, Melamid, & Kaganoff, 1996).

These developments mean that much more is expected of even entrylevel members of the American workforce. Beyond generally greater responsibilities, these developments also mean that workers must carry out those responsibilities to greater degrees in cooperation with other workers. Consequently, interpersonal skills are becoming increasingly important to successful performance in the American workforce. All five major studies examining workforce skills that we reviewed in an earlier report ( O'Neil, Allred, & Baker, 1992b; O'Neil, Allred, & Baker, chapter 1, this volume) identified interpersonal skills as a major category of job skills critical in today's workforce. Although the studies varied considerably in the particular interpersonal skills they found to be important, most identified nego

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