Workforce Readiness: Competencies and Assessment

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

Chapter 10
Validation of a Computer Simulation for Assessment of Interpersonal Skills

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 the results of two validation studies of our negotiation skill measure. We begin with a description of our prior work in negotiation skills assessment to provide the context and rationale for the present research.

In creating our computer-based measure, we adopted the methodology for the assessment of workforce readiness that we developed in an earlier report ( O'Neil, Allred, & Baker, 1992; chapter 8, this volume). As shown in Fig. 10.1, that methodology dictates that in developing measures of workforce readiness skills competencies, one begins in the work environment. First, a job and task analysis should be conducted (see O'Neil et al., chapter 8, this volume, for logic). The creation of indicators for subcompetencies is a critical next step. The use of cognitive science taxonomies allows for generalization of the findings. Then a set of empirical studies are conducted. Finally, the results are documented.

Based on the assessment of the performance criteria by the Secretary's Commission on Achieving Necessary Skills (SCANS; U.S. Department of Labor, 1991, 1992) and the cognitive indicators of those performance criteria, we developed a rapid prototype of negotiation simulation. With regard to the SCANS performance criteria, we needed to simulate the activities of proposing and examining options and making reasonable compromises. Accordingly, the negotiation task is the exchange of proposals and counterproposals. With regard to the cognitive indicators identified in the negotiation literature (e.g., Kelley, 1979; Kelley & Thibaut, 1978; Lax &

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