Studies in Personnel and Industrial Psychology

By Edwin A. Fleishman | Go to book overview

8. Selecting Supervisors with Peer Ratings*

Joseph Weitz

ONE PROBLEM constantly facing industry is the selection of supervisory personnel. This has been true for two reasons. One is the development of selection tests or procedures which are valid and secondly, perhaps even more important, is the determination of appropriate criteria for the evaluation of successful or unsuccessful supervisors. Usually the criteria consist of some kind of rating since in many instances production criteria are not meaningful.

The test procedures have ranged all the way from very short "personality" paper and pencil devises to a thorough clinical diagnosis. Frequently, a stereotype is set up of what good supervisory or managerial personnel should be with no relation to reality. Then the candidate is interviewed, Rorschached, Thematicappercepted, and generally analyzed until the selector comes out with a personality description of the candidate. Sometimes the selector even says whether or not this candidate would make a good supervisor. Very frequently, however, the paper picture is presented and top management is left to make up its own mind whether or not they want this kind of a man. Now, there is some question as to whether this paper picture itself is accurate and a further question as to whether the description is pertinent to the job that is to be done.

If any testing is done, it is rare indeed to have people selected without regard to the test results, put in a managerial position, subsequently rated in some way on their performance, and then their test results related to the performance ratings. While ratings are by no means perfect and we know considerable about their unreliability at the present time, this is one of the few criteria that is available to workers in this area. They do have the value of meaningfulness to top management.

The purpose of this study was to investigate the use of peer nominations (buddy ratings) in predicting supervisory competence.


PROCEDURE

This study developed from two different angles. One developed from the question as to whether or not there are identifiable characteristics of

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*
From Personnel Psychology, Vol. 11, 1958, pp. 25-35.

-52-

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