Social-collaborative complexity of work: Implications for ability test validities
Gehrlein, Thomas Mark
Dipboye, Robert L.
Doctor of Philosophy
The social, collaborative, interpersonal, and interdependence demands of jobs, referred to as social-collaborative complexity (SCC), are rapidly expanding in the work place. One implication for human resources research is that the criterion-related validities of basic ability tests might be affected. This possibility is provocative, because although much research has shown that basic ability tests generally are valid predictors of performance in a wide range of jobs, increased SCC might modify that conclusion. Thus, a field study and a laboratory experiment were concurrently conducted to explore whether SCC moderates ability test validities. In the field study, measures of SCC for a wide range of jobs were obtained from the Position Analysis Questionnaire and the Dictionary of Occupational Titles. For these same jobs, General Aptitude Test Battery validities were obtained from the United States Employment Service. Results suggested that several job-related measures of SCC significantly moderated GATB validities. Furthermore, the moderating effects of SCC were independent of the more predictable moderating effects of other job demands. The lab experiment was conducted to explore whether motivational aspects of SCC moderated test validities. Specifically, the effects of accountability on task performance and test validity were explored in individual and group contexts. Subjects in the 2 x 2 experiment completed, among other measures, a creative thinking ability test and a brainstorming task. Results suggested that ability, accountability, and social context interacted to affect performance, and accountability and social context both moderated test validity in a "moderated moderator" effect. Implications for the work place and suggestions for future research are discussed.
Industrial psychology; Psychology; Psychometrics