Scholars have not fully theorized the multifaceted, interdependent dimensions within the work-family "black box." Taking an ecology of the life course approach, we theorize common work-family and adequacy constructs as capturing different components of employees' cognitive appraisals of fit between their demands and resources at the interface between home and work. Employees' appraisals of their work-family linkages and of their relative resource adequacy are not made independently but, rather, co-occur as identifiable constellations of fit. The life course approach hypothesizes that shifts in objective demands/ resources at work and at home over the life course result in employees experiencing cycles of control, that is, corresponding shifts in their cognitive assessments of fit. We further theorize patterned appraisals of fit are key mediators between objective work-family conditions and employees' health, well-being and strategic adaptations. As a case example, we examine whether employees' assessments on ten dimensions cluster together as patterned fit constellations, using data from a middle-class sample of 753 employees working at Best Buy's corporate headquarters. We find no single linear construct of fit that captures the complexity within the work-family black box. Instead, respondents experience six distinctive constellations of fit: one optimal, two poor, and three moderate fit constellations.
It is generally believed that job satisfaction increases linearly with age. However, there are persuasive arguments, and some empirical evidence, that the relationship is U-shaped, declining from a moderate level in the early years of employment and then increasing steadily up to retirement. This paper investigates that relationship, using survey responses from a large sample of British employees. For overall job satisfaction, satisfaction with pay, and satisfaction with the work itself, a strongly significant U-shape is observed. Ordered probit techniques, which take account of the ordinality of satisfaction data, are used to analyse the relationship between these forms of satisfaction and a large set of individual and job characteristics. Despite the inclusion of 80 control variables, significant coefficients persist for the age and age-squared variables (the latter representing the non-linear component). The paper thus provides strong evidence for a U-shaped relationship between age and job satisfaction. Furthermore, it is shown that a similar age pattern occurs for employees' context-free mental health, suggesting that both job satisfaction and context-free mental health are affected by non-job factors of life-stage and personal circumstances. The importance of changes in expectations with increasing age is emphasized.
The study examined the relationship of challenge and challenge-skill balance to the positive subjective states of enjoyment, interest, happiness and relaxation in the daily life of 57 students in the Youth Training Scheme using the innovative ‘experience sampling method’. Respondents answered questions in a diary on the receipt of a signal from a pre-programmed watch or radio pager eight times a day for one week. The study showed a significant association between the mean level of challenge experienced by individuals over the seven-day period and the mean level of enjoyment and interest, but not happiness and relaxation. When incidences of high challenge were matched by high skills, enjoyment and interest both tended to be high in line with ‘flow’ model predictions. Contrary to ‘flow’ theory the study found that situations of low challenge which were exceeded by skill were associated with enjoyment, happiness and relaxation. Implications are highlighted for research into training and quality of life.
The study was carried out to assess the validity of the Eysenck Personality Inventory (EPI) and Cattell's 16 Personality Factor Questionnaire (16PF) as predictors of flying training outcome. In addition, it examines differences in profile between self-selected applicants for flying training and the general population; the effects of test-taking conditions on scale scores; incidental selection effects related to personality differences and the reliability of the personality data. The EPI and 16PF inventories were administered to samples of men during selection testing at the RAF Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre, Biggin Hill. Further samples were tested at the Army Air Corps Centre at Middle Wallop prior to their Selection Board interviews. In addition, data were obtained for non-enlisted applicants tested at Biggin Hill and amateur aviators tested at various flying clubs.
The results confirmed previous findings that applicants for pilot training are highly ‘self-selected’, being much more emotionally stable and more extraverted than the general population. Furthermore, the 16PF profile for the unselected sample was found to be very similar to that for US airline pilots. The pattern of differences between those who succeeded and those who failed in training was as expected. The magnitude of these correlations (in the region of r = .20) was also at the level expected. The results support the findings of previous work and indicate that there are small but potentially valuable increments in validity to be obtained by considering personality factors in selection for pilot training. The problems associated with the use of self-report measures in selection are discussed.
There is little information available on the performance of UK managers on the 16PF when administered as part of a selection procedure. The present paper reports the results of analyses of data from 1796 short-listed managers who were given the 16PF (Form A). The assessment was part of a selection procedure carried out for a wide range of clients by an executive recruitment agency. Normative analyses of these data are presented and effects related to age and gender are examined. Internal consistencies of both primary and secondary scales are presented and the problem of low primary reliabilities is discussed. Factor analysis of the primary scale scores produced five second-order factors which closely match the 16PF second-order factor scales.
It is suggested that underlying most occupational classifications is a consensus of job perceptions, which can be reduced from elicited ratings of job similarities to multidimensional diagrammatic representations. Previous work is reviewed. Similarity ratings on 15 jobs, made by 101 Israeli 17 year olds, showed relative homogeneity within Roe, Holland and Flanagan fields, but the postulated order of fields within each system was not supported. Multidimensional scaling analysis yielded a cognitive map of the occupations with four fields which were more homogeneous, and corresponded to school vocational streams. Job locations in the map are unrelated to occupational prestige. Independently elicited desirability rankings, reduced by a novel technique to multidimensional affective representations, yielded the same fields, with jobs arranged differently, so as to correspond strongly to prestige gradients. All results are very similar for both sexes.
This study investigated the validity of an assessment centre (AC) used to choose serving policemen and policewomen for places on an accelerated promotion scheme. Two samples of successful applicants, totalling 223 and 157, were followed up over 1–19 years. Three types of criteria—training grades, rank attained and supervisory ratings—were regressed on a variety of AC measures. In a subsidiary investigation, supervisory ratings were factor analysed. The principal conclusion is that AC selection decisions were valid, but only for supervisory rating criteria. Relatively low validity overall is interpreted in terms of questionable job-relatedness of the AC procedure. Nevertheless the AC appears to be cost beneficial. Other issues discussed are the dimensionality of supervisory ratings, the validity of peer nominations, the invalidity of pencil-and-paper ability tests used, the distinction between AC predictions of performance and potential, and the amount of redundancy in AC measurements.
Examines the relationship between unemployment and mental health in terms of (1) causation (Does behavioral disorder cause job loss [drift] or does job loss cause behavioral disorder [social causation] or both?) and (2) severity of mental distress associated with unemployment. Evidence about the association of alcohol disorder and unemployment comes from 2 studies. The first is a reanalysis of data on 722 unemployed men gathered in a survey by B. S. Rowntree and B. Lasker (1911). The second analyzes epidemiologic catchment area data collected in the 1980s (W. W. Eaton and L. G. Kessler, 1985; L. N. Robins and D. A. Regier, 1991). Results from both studies support both drift and social causation processes and demonstrate that at least 1 diagnosis-specific psychopathology is linked to unemployment. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Patterns of career development have been found to be an important factor for long-term career rewards and well-being. However, existing career models excessively focus on men or elite women and upon paid work, typically without considering other roles. Based on a life course perspective, this study aimed to identify women's career development patterns by examining the dynamic interactions between individuals' involvement in working life and other career-related domains of life. Career biographies, from the ages of 16 to 43, were recorded through retrospective reports from a representative sample of Swedish women (N = 549) participating in a longitudinal programme on individual development. Seven career-related activities were coded and combined into career sequences covering the entire period. Data were analysed using optimal matching, and nine distinct career patterns - disparate in terms of the timing, ordering and duration of activities - were identified. There were significant differences between the career patterns in early educational aspirations and early sexual experiences, as well as in life-role values and socio-economic status in middle age. With respect to the consequences of career patterns for well-being, there were significant differences in self-rated health but not in job satisfaction or life satisfaction. The diversity of patterns is discussed from a perspective that takes account of both life course theory and the choices made by individual women in a society that provides childcare facilities, parental leave and other types of support to working parents.
This paper outlines where the Employment Agencies Act originated, what it was meant to do, what it will actually do, in particular to the occupational psychologist in private practice, what this will lead to, and suggests what psychologists should do about this and similar issues in future.
Lessons from the past decade concerning the impact of the new information technologies on organizations are reviewed and an analysis is offered of possible approaches that psychologists interested in new technologies might develop. The paper begins with an assessment of predictions made in the late 1970s that the technologies would lead to job deskilling and increased organizational centralization. Lessons about the effective management of information technologies which emerged in subsequent years are considered, and the achievements of established psychological approaches highlighted. In contrast to the pessimism of early predictions, it is now evident that the technologies may be used in various ways and can have a range of effects on organizations. Nonetheless, recent analysis suggests that, versatile as they are, the new information technologies are not infinitely flexible. Attention is drawn to the limits of choice which appear to be associated with them in practice. It is concluded that, if psychologists are to play an effective part in helping to overcome pressures towards minimalist or conventional applications of the new technologies, present approaches need to be broadened and new intervention strategies developed.
The factor structure and discriminant validity of the Leifer & McGannon (1986) Goal Acceptance and Goal Commitment Scales were examined with structural equation modelling and a sample of employees (N = 196) who participated in a 2-year goal-setting programme. Confirmatory factor analysis indicated that the Goal Acceptance and Goal Commitment Scales measured two factorially distinct constructs. Internal consistency reliabilities were .81 for the Goal Acceptance Scale and .88 for the Goal Commitment Scale. Structural equation analysis indicated that both scales related positively to performance but differentially related to participation, satisfaction with supervision and goal difficulty.
Warr's 1990 measures of job-related well-being and mental health are evaluated using data from a large sample (N = 3044) of white-collar employees within a large public service organization. Analyses based on age, gender and job characteristics produced similar findings to those reported by Warr. However, a confirmatory factor analysis failed to find support for the underlying model. Also, exploratory factor analysis pointed to some problems with the mental health scales. Recommendations for the improvement of the measures and modifications to the well-being model follow.
Comments on the article by P. Saville and E. Willson (see record
1992-04008-001), which claimed that ipsative scores can be used legitimately to estimate reliabilities and validities, that these scores can be factored soundly using principal components analysis, and that individuals can be compared validly on a scale-by-scale basis. Analysis of theoretical and actual data empirically verifies that factor analyses of ipsative data suffer from imposed multicollinearity. High intercorrelations between scoring types cannot be used as an estimate of alternate form reliability, and the lack of information retained in ipsative scores does not permit them to be used as substitutes for normative scores. An example of appropriate analysis of ipsative data using multinomial statistical techniques is provided. These techniques are more appropriate because ipsative scores contain only categorical information across individuals. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
Workaholism, an excessive focus on work without apparent economic reason, has been conceptualized by Spence and Robbins (1992) as comprising three dimensions; Work Involvement (WI), Enjoyment (E), and Drive (D). The corresponding measure, the Workaholism Battery (WorkBAT; Spence & Robbins, 1992) is widely used in workaholism research. Cluster and factor analyses in the present study of 320 employed participants failed to confirm Spence and Robbins' three-scale model of workaholism: only E and D were apparent (α=.85 and .75, respectively). Convergent validity was demonstrated by significant correlations between E and job satisfaction (.48), between D and intrinsic job motivation (.39) and with the Schedule for Nonadaptive and Adaptive Personality—Workaholism scale (E=.27, D=.61). Criterion validity against hours worked was weak (E=.16, D=.22, respectively). Overall, the data endorse Kanai, Wakabayashi, and Fling's (1996) elimination of the Work Involvement factor in favour of a two-factor structure of workaholism.
There has been surprisingly little consideration of how the selection of political candidates compares with employee selection, or whether individual differences predict electoral success. This study describes the design and validation of an assessment centre [AC] for selecting prospective Parliamentary candidates for a main UK political party. A job analysis was conducted to identify the key competencies required by a Member of Parliament [MP] and the selection criteria for a standardised assessment process. Analysis of the first 415 participants revealed no differences on exercises or dimensions in performance between male and female candidates. For the 106 candidates selected to fight the May 2005 UK general election, critical thinking skills [CTA] and performance in a structured interview were significantly associated with the ‘percentage swing’ achieved by a candidate (r = .45, p <.01; r = .31, p <.01). CTA was also associated with ‘percentage votes’ (r = .26, p <.01). These results are discussed in relation to the development of a theory of political performance.
Using objective indicators, organizational archives, and expert ratings, we examined the joint effects of noise, job complexity and gender on employee sickness absence. The sample consisted of 802 white-collar employees across 21 organizations in Israel. We hypothesized that noise would have the strongest positive correlation with absenteeism for female employees with high job complexity. The results supported this hypothesis. Moreover, the full regression model (including the sets of covariates, main effects terms, and interaction terms) explained a meaningful portion (34%) of the absenteeism measure. Implications of the findings and suggestions for future studies are discussed.
Over the last 40 years, major changes have taken place in the workplace. The growth in the use of information technology at work, the globalization of many industries, organizational restructuring, changes in work contracts and worktime scheduling have radically transformed the nature of work in many organizations. The workforce itself is also diversifying, with an increase in female participation, a growing number of dual-earner couples and older workers. The present paper discusses the impact of these workplace transitions on employee well-being. We focus on four issues that are current concerns for organizations and the workforce; job insecurity, work hours, control at work, and managerial style. For each topic, recent research is presented, with suggestions for future research and recommendations for practitioners working in the organizations of today. The paper concludes with some final considerations for researchers and practitioners that may benefit both employee well-being and organizational effectiveness.
This study examined predictors of 150 managers' attitudes toward a 360-degree feedback system and their degree of involvement in on- and off-the-job development activity in response to the feedback, as reported an average of 10 months following receipt of feedback. Three sets of predictors were: (a) feedback ratings from four sources (supervisor, peer, subordinate, self), (b) individual characteristics of the feedback recipients and, (c) perceived characteristics of the feedback recipients' work contexts. Despite adequate statistical power, few relationships were observed between feedback ratings and subsequent involvement in development activities and attitudes toward the feedback system. Three exceptions were a positive relationship between subordinate and peer ratings of managers and managers' attitudes toward the system as well as an interaction between self and peer ratings: the more unique or different peer ratings were compared to self-ratings, the more favourable ratee attitudes toward the system were. Other predictors of these dependent variables were: (1) a work context that includes people who are supportive of skill development (i.e. social support) and, (2) beliefs by feedback recipients that it is not only possible for people to improve their skills (i.e. incremental implicit theory of skill malleability), but also that they themselves are capable of improving and developing (i.e. self-efficacy for development). These results suggest that there are variables which are just as important (or possibly even more important) than differences in feedback level for predicting attitudes toward the feedback system and subsequent involvement in development activity following feedback. Practical implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research are discussed.
This paper reports on a qualitative study conducted in Adelaide, South Australia into the impact of mature-aged unemployment and under-employment on the individual. Data were collected by means of six individual and group interviews with a total of 27 participants (17 men and 10 women). The participants were asked about the impact on their quality of life, their expectations for the future and their short-term and long-term financial situation. The results suggest that there is a substantial ‘lost generation’ of mature-aged unemployed people who are characterized by shrinking horizons and impaired quality of life. The participants expressed frustration at being unable to contribute to society and support their own adult children. Inability to use their skills and talents, with consequent skill depreciation, can lead to what we label the ‘peg-down phenomenon’, an intermediate step between becoming unemployed and entering the ranks of the discouraged job-seekers that ultimately leads to a premature exit from the workforce. This cohort is different from other age groups of unemployed people because of the unique developmental characteristics of middle-aged people, compounded by financial and caring demands from both the younger and older generations. The paper concludes with policy recommendations, including expanding social inclusion policies to address the needs of this cohort and early intervention with more focused job-specific training.
The perception of the rewards desired in an occupation, the rewards perceived to be available in an occupation, and the perceived match of abilities to those required in an occupation are examined for male and female college students majoring in business and for female students majoring in education. The findings indicate that females choosing business as an occupation are very similar to males choosing business, in their perceptions of their desired outcomes in relation to those available in an occupation and in their perceptions of their abilities in relation to those required by an occupation. On the other hand, females choosing business show significant differences in comparison to females choosing education in all of these dimensions. The implication is that there are very few sex differences in these perceptions when choice of occupation is held constant.
Changes in self-perceived ability as a function of performance in an assessment centre were evaluated. Centre participants (n = 1693) provided self-ratings on eight ability dimensions before and immediately after the assessment centre experience. Performance measures on five different exercises were provided by assessors. Hierarchical regression analyses indicated significant changes in perceived ability on five of the eight assessment centre dimensions. Further, the effect of specific centre exercises reflected changes in self-perceived ability (e.g. planning and organizing) which were consistent with the type of exercise (e.g. in-tray) under study. Suggestions for further research on self-assessments specifically in the context of assessment centre participation are provided.
The extensive literature purporting an upgrading in occupational skill requirements paired with the perception of a skill shortage in the workforce calls for the need to develop workplace skills and abilities. However, decisions about which skills to develop would be aided by information about which skills/abilities are valued most highly and lead to higher wage jobs. The job evaluation literature and labour-market wage theory present competing hypotheses about skill—wage relationships. The ACT Inc.'s Work Keys® system, the prototype Occupational Information Network, and the fourth edition Dictionary of Occupational Titles job analytic databases were paired with concurrent wage data. These data made it possible to conduct a job-level evaluation of whether specific skills/abilities could be identified that were most strongly linked to wage or whether broad skill/ability factors accounted for a majority of wage variance. Results indicated that a majority of the wage variance explainable by skills/abilities could be attributed to a general cognitive factor.
Three tests were devised to assess in some depth elementary numerical abilities in a sample of 95 industrial trainee apprentices many of whom had passed CSE mathematics. The tests covered basic aspects of a variety of topics, including arithmetic manipulation of natural numbers, decimals and fractions; approximation; magnitude; ratio; and percentage. The results supported the following general conclusions: (i) arithmetic with natural numbers was performed relatively well, but decimals and especially fractions were performed badly; (ii) there were elementary conceptual difficulties with decimals and fractions, which were compounded in the case of fractions by difficulties of selecting and applying special rules during manipulation; (iii) proficiency in natural number arithmetic was not strongly associated with ability in other basic skills; (iv) frequency of pocket calculator usage as assessed by questionnaire was not significantly related to performance in any of the tests. These results have implications for both the selection and training of school-leavers. It is also suggested that the tests themselves may be useful for the assessment and diagnosis of basic numeracy.
This study sought to understand how receptivity to working abroad initially develops. Australian graduating business students were surveyed prior to entry to full-time work and 2 years later after entry, providing a sample of 213 full-time employees (average age 23 years). Taking a social cognitive career theory approach, beyond individual and organizational control variables, when new young male or female employees had high outcome expectancies (personal agency), had little family influence and no partner (few barriers), and worked in organizations with an international focus (opportunities), their receptivity to international careers increased compared with when they were students. Appraisals of self-capabilities (personal agency) appeared relevant dependent on destination. When employees preferred country ease for work, and when as students they had low self-efficacy for international work, their willingness to relocate to work in developing, but not developed, countries was reduced. Suggesting some factors may not be as relevant for later, as for initial, development of receptivity, outcome expectancies and organizational international focus were not related to increased receptivity in 104 older graduate employees (average age 36 years). The influence of home barriers, organizational focus and self-capabilities on the development of receptivity to international careers and to working in developing countries was discussed, taking into account age, gender and marital status.