Studies in Personnel and Industrial Psychology

By Edwin A. Fleishman | Go to book overview

and "importance" of incidents in a given category. The correlation for these 28 lessons was .65.11

An inspection was made of the content of these 28 lessons. It supports the view that of all his background, his skills in human relations will be those which a new officer will be most immediately and most frequently called upon to demonstrate. It appears that the first thing a junior officer has to learn is how to manage his relations with contemporaries and seniors. Leadership and management of subordinate personnel show up as next most "important" skills. Demands upon his technical skills and knowledges are not made until later.


Discussion

It has been pointed out that the general purpose of OCS training is to develop officers with general familiarity in subject matter areas containing technical problems and with ability to supervise technicians, not technical specialists. It would appear that officers responsible for operating destroyers are in general agreement with that emphasis. They are perhaps inclined to give greater emphasis to the requirement that he be able to take up quickly, and carry on satisfactorily, responsibilities requiring "know-how" in dealing with people rather than technical skill. Critical incidents involving such skills are also, by far, the kind most frequently reported about ensigns.

Other uses of the results are available. For example, we have concentrated comment on the curriculum areas or lessons most frequently the subject matter of relevant incidents and to which most "importance" is attributed. We have not spoken much of the lessons involving relevance with none of our pool of incidents or those of low "importance." Obviously, these would be examined first in terms of their contribution to the training program and for the possibility of using the time given them for instruction on some of the incident-behaviors which were highly concentrated in a few sessions of the program studied (e.g., leadership).


Summary

This research sought to identify those aspects of the Navy OCS curriculum which were most and least relevant to duties of newly commissioned ensigns aboard destroyers; thus to provide information useful in improvement of training.

More than 1,000 critical incidents of effective and ineffective performance by destroyer ensigns were available from earlier research. These were sorted according to the OCS curriculum area to which each was most relevant. The "relevant" incidents assigned to each area were

____________________
11
The sign of the coefficient has been reversed here, to account for the fact that the more "important" items have lower TESP's, and thus permit direct reading and interpretation.

-189-

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