Public Personnel Management

Published by SAGE Publications
Print ISSN: 0091-0260
Publications
Administrators have made decisions in seeking to cope with the AIDS epidemic in the United States. Subordinates have challenged many of these decisions on the basis that their constitutional rights have been compromised. Case law has shown that when risk of AIDS transmission is high, or where there is a danger to an AIDS victim, the courts will support the administrator's decisions. Conversely, when there is a very low risk of AIDS transmission or personal injury, such decisions (e.g., mandatory blood testing) will be struck down.
 
Examined the effect on absenteeism in the public sector of 2 forms of flexible work scheduling, a "true flextime" schedule in which workers could vary their hours on a daily basis, and "staggered fixed time" under which individual workers could vary their schedule on a quarterly basis. With the effect of demographic variables controlled, no reduction in absenteeism was found among the true flextime group. Rather, groups working under staggered fixed time showed lower rates of absenteeism. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Of several critical social issues that have been identified in the home and workplace, concern about substance abuse (SAB) and identification of abusers is often dominant. The term SAB describes the use of illegal drugs (e.g., cocaine, phencyclidine, marihuana) and the improper and illegal use of prescription and over-the-counter medications, alcohol, and other chemical compounds. The primary methodology presently used for detection of SAB in the workplace, urinalysis, is discussed. Issues are raised concerning whether the decision to use urinalysis adequately confronts the inherent difficulties in accuracy, cost, and moral, legal, and ethical considerations. Alternatives for detection of SAB in the workplace are presented (e.g., use of an employee assistance program). (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Reviews the obstacles to accurate performance appraisal that stem from both ability and motivational perspectives. Research on the role of human information processing has shown that human processing capabilities are limited and that perception and recall frequently do not match reality. Cognitive representations called schemata, which direct much processing capability and recall of information, may generate systematic inaccuracies and biased, stereotyped ratings. A new approach—frame-of-reference training—has been developed to overcome this problem. Trust in the appraisal process should be one of the 1st parameters to be assessed in such an evaluation. Low trust might be counteracted with rater training, rater monitoring, or forced-choice instrumentation. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
In 1983 the Supreme Court of Montana, in Vivian Crabtree v. Montana State Library, decided that veterans were entitled to absolute preference in public service based on a 1921 statute as amended in 1927, thus ending preference as a tie-breaker in employment. The present study examined whether veterans' preference, as such, contributed to either equal employment or affirmative action in Montana. Using 1980 baseline statistics, Montana's population was compared with its proportion in the labor force, labor participation rate, and unemployment figures. Data show that preference as a tie-breaker, let alone absolute preference, led to over-representation of veterans, with lesser representation of females, the disabled, and minorities, particularly Native Americans. The need to reconsider veterans' preferences is discussed. (0 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Examined attitudes toward affirmative action and the employment of women in the public sector, as reflected by 50 midlevel managers interviewed in 1973 and 25 midlevel managers interviewed in 1983. It is concluded that the impact of affirmative action on attitudes of midlevel managers is that equal opportunity goals are being internalized but that a residue of traditional sex-role expectations is retained by both managers and workers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Descriptive statistics and intercorrelations for the study variables (reliabilities in parentheses)
Examines employees' perceptions of organizational politics in the public sector and suggests that it mediates the relationship between job congruence (e.g., person–organization fit and level of met-expectations) and employee performance (e.g., organizational citizenship behavior [OCB] and in-role performance). A survey was conducted among 303 individuals (mean age 45 yrs) in public personnel from 2 local municipalities in the north of Israel (1st survey). Supervisors completed an assessment of employees' OCB and in-role performance 6 mo later (2nd survey). Path analysis was implemented to evaluate 2 alternative models, direct and indirect. Findings of the study show that the indirect model fits the data better than the direct model, and therefore supports a mediating effect of perceptions of organizational politics scale (POPS) on the relationship between job congruence and employee performance. Structural coefficients among the research variables promote the theory on the effect of job congruence and POPS on OCB and in-role behavior. The findings contribute both to the understanding of antecedents of POPS as well as to the exploration of some of its consequences. The paper concludes with several implications and suggestions for further inquiry into politics in public administration systems. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
The purpose of this paper is to discuss background checks and to describe local government agencies' use of criminal background checks. Although interest in protecting one's organization or public agency from negligent hiring lawsuits is growing, little is known about what government agencies are doing related to criminal background checks on new hires and current employees. We provide data indicating that conducting background checks is relatively commonplace among municipalities, depending on the type of job involved. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Describes an innovative management development approach used by a government agency to assist in dealing with a federally mandated reduction-in-force. A description of the background leading to the developmental intervention, the intervention design itself, and subsequent lessons learned are detailed. The assessment center program focused on reducing the impact of the layoff on those employees left behind, addressing the potential demoralization resulting from a severe workforce reduction, loss of friends, and the threat of more cuts to come. It informed employees of advancement opportunities within the organization and aided employees in self-assessment and developmental planning. Dimensions identified in this planning included abilities related to motivating others, decision making, organization, and communication. (0 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Discusses (a) the historic and legal roots of the controversial requirement that the employees of a public agency financially support a union as a condition of keeping their jobs and (b) its practical consequences for public management. The California experience, where agency shop legislation has been in effect for several years, is reviewed, and relevant decisions of courts and boards are examined. The relationship between agency shop and a union's legal obligation to represent both union members and nonmembers is explored as the legal and ethical basis for agency shop legislation. General exceptions to the payment of agency shop fees, including the often misunderstood religious exemption, are reviewed, as are the uses to which a union may put any such money collected. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Strength and agility tests for some occupational classes appear to be more job related and easily defended than traditional selection techniques. A study of such tests was made, in the following stages: (a) task identification, (b) rating tasks for strength and agility factors, (c) review of possible tests to be recommended, (d) preliminary try-out and choice of the battery of tests, and (e) preparation of a job-relatedness analysis of the recommended tests. Results established these tests for selection of firefighters and police officers, but the details of their application to present selection problems must be specified by further research. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Investigated whether the implementation of alternate work schedules (AWS—flex time) in a federal agency would affect individual productivity, sick leave and/or leave usage, and employee satisfaction. One month prior to the implementation of AWS, a satisfaction questionnaire was administered to 485 employees. The same instrument with 14 satisfaction questions added was administered to 515 employees 12 mo after the AWS program was implemented. In addition to the analysis of employee satisfaction, differences in productivity between these 2 periods were analyzed for 6 tasks, and use of sick and annual leave was compared between the 2 test periods. Results indicate that the alteration of workweek schedules did not enhance or detract from an individual's ability to process units. Both sick and annual leave usage rates declined significantly under AWS. Satisfaction with work schedule was significantly altered in a positive manner. (13 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Examines common alternatives to written ability tests and evaluates their typical effectiveness using 4 major criteria: validity, fairness, administrative feasibility, and candidate acceptance. Alternatives to written tests include personality and interest inventories, interview and oral examinations, unassembled (experience/training) examinations, biodata blanks, assessment centers, and work samples. Alternative uses of written tests include pass–fail scoring, separate lists, and alternative approaches to test design. This evaluation suggests that there is usually a trade-off when written tests are replaced with other selection devices and that the trade-off usually involves sacrificing validity for 1 of the 3 elements. The author suggests that considering alternative approaches to using written test results may often be more fruitful than abandoning them in favor of nontesting alternatives. (21 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Most of the commonly noted problems of management by objectives (MBO) in the literature were not perceived as problems by 31 surveyed cities. The cities did note that employees resisted quantitative evaluation of their performance, thus explaining why most failed to integrate their reward and MBO systems. Respondents believed that (1) MBO was useful for increasing goal clarity and employee certainty about the nature of their job, (2) these benefits enhanced achievement motivation, and (3) the MBO process facilitated organization communication. 70% thought that MBO had increased productivity in their cities. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Discusses a few of the factors that employers should consider when they are dealing with Asian and Pacific Americans. Many (though not all) such individuals, suffer from speech anxiety that seems to arise not from linguistic difficulties but from shyness and conformity to authority figures. They also use different modes of nonverbal communication, which may be seriously misinterpreted by White Americans. Cultural stereotypes are likely to influence American interactions with Asian/Pacific Americans. Taking tests for employment may be rendered difficult for members of this group by differences in colloquial expressions in their native language and in English. (17 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Examined the trade-offs facing the potential whistle-blower who decides to remain unidentified, using survey data from 8,587 federal employees. Propositions derived from a model of bystander intervention (B. Latané and J. Darley, 1970) were investigated, with consideration of 3 decision points: whether the observer of organizational wrongdoing should blow the whistle, whether the whistle-blower should act anonymously, and whether the whistle-blower should report the wrong-doing through internal channels or to someone outside the organization. Results suggest a compounding of the last 2 decisions; that the choice of channels represents 1 of 4 distinct strategies. Whistle-blowers may be anonymous or identified with either external or internal channels, but the conditions under which they do so vary. The whistle-blower who chooses to use an anonymous external channel faces a series of interrelated and complex decisions. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
In this study the author examines the effects of procedural and distributive justice, job satisfaction, and organizational commitment upon Organizational Citizenship Behavior (OCS) with samples drawn from six government organizations in Kuwait. Hierarchical regression analysis reveals that only procedural and distributive justice account for unique variances in Kuwaiti workers'(aged 18–41+ yrs) OCS. Hence, previous assumptions regarding the influences upon OCS may be incorrect. The implications of these results upon organization behavior and actual management practices are also discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Argues that performance appraisal as a method of studying what an employee has accomplished in the past is expensive, has limited value, and may even be dysfunctional for improving future performance. Performance targeting (PT), which embraces a strategic perspective and an orientation toward the future, is suggested as a replacement for performance appraisal. PT shifts the focus from documenting and evaluating an employee's work to assessing the partnership between a subordinate and a supervisor. PT replaces the management-by-objectives passive contract, to which employees are held accountable, with a functional relationship between supervisors and subordinates. This relationship requires an ongoing effort by the partners to accommodate and complement each other to attain organizational goals. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Develops 2 themes that are critical for workable, effective performance appraisal systems: scientific and legal imperatives, and operation imperatives. These imperatives dictate that performance appraisal systems be relevant, sensitive, reliable, acceptable, and practical. Reliability refers to consistency of judgment by supervisors, peers, subordinates, and self. Citing a number of examples, the need for administrative convenience is contrasted with the necessity of motivating and involving raters in a developmental process designed to produce more careful and accurate ratings. Performance appraisal systems should be viewed in a wider context and as a developing decision system. As such, relevance, sensitivity, and reliability should be evaluated with as much care as the technical components of any system designed to make decisions about individuals. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Research treating public and private organizations with respect to performance appraisal interviews (PAIs) generally has followed 2 approaches: identification, isolation, measurement, and statistical analysis of the PAI or, for the manager actually charged with the interview itself, little more than general exhortatory lists of maxims. The present authors examine factors that have increased the use and significance of PAIs in the public management process. Four general conditions or goals managers should be aware of to realize a successful PAI are examined. Six structured, learnable communication skills are proposed to help managers become more effective in the actual delivery of the PAI: basic attending skills, feedback, paraphrasing, reflection of feeling, open and closed questions, and focusing. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Reviews literature regarding the social differentiation of performance appraisers, a trait that may impede their objective and accurate evaluation of subordinates. It is concluded that performance appraisal systems based on the trait approach are unreliable. However, if this approach is used, the appraisers should be tested in advance for their social differentiation ability and those found to be low differentiators should not be asked to rate. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Training programs for performance evaluators and evaluatees have generally used a model that incorporates 4 phases: orientation to the new system, analysis of evaluation methods and errors, opportunity to practice performance appraisal, and evaluation of training results. Although training may have an impact on reducing subjective errors in evaluation, the impact on other systemic problems will be minimal. Specifically, well-constructed training programs will find it difficult to change problems involving conflicting objectives, varying rates of motivation, time delays, and organizational system incongruencies. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Employee acceptance, positive valuations by supervisory personnel on the effort required to operate the system, and personnelists' commitment to train for proper use of the system were studied after the implementation of a performance-appraisal system for employees of Washington State. 867–974 employees, 366–450 supervisors, and 41 personnelists were surveyed. Results show that all 3 groups found the participatory appraisal system to be more effective and fair than systems used before and also found the new procedures satisfactory in their last performance evaluation. Personnel specialists and supervisors were more supportive of the new system, while employees expressed reservations about the self-evaluation portion of the process. Differing agency types and personal characteristics were also examined to assess their impact on employee opinion. Employees from street-level organizations, social service agencies, and natural resource agencies were positive about the new system. Females, persons with higher educational levels (college and above), and the 26–45 yr olds were positive about the new system. Other groups were not as positive but were not negative. (43 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Contends that performance appraisal systems do not and cannot possibly work and that the defects of such systems in general and the emerging problems of US Civil Service reform in particular are not traceable to supervisory carelessness or to the inevitable shakedown period that follows any major change. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Because major changes in personnel management are not inconsequential, public agency administrators need a relatively low cost, short-term method for estimating how well the change implementation is proceeding. The authors describe and illustrate the use of one way to judge how performance appraisal systems are being implemented under the Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA): the analysis of questionnaire data on the attitudes and perceptions of employees regarding the behaviors of their supervisors. Questionnaire data from approximately 5,700 government employees were analyzed for the years 1979, 1981, and 1982. Results indicate that data obtained through survey questionnaires and conceptually guided interpretations of those data constitute the makings of a potentially useful feedback system. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Performance appraisal is a multipurpose personnel instrument. While this complicates its use, it does not have to lead to a stalemated situation. Within the framework of a multipurpose instrument, the Iowa appraisal-by-objectives system (based on data obtained from 535 performance appraisals that included supervisors, managers, and professionals) appears to be relatively successful in providing a guide to employee training and development. Supervisors draw on the perceived strengths and areas needing improvement of their employees not only to determine the employee's performance ratings but also for training and development. This is important vis-à-vis the employee who is thought to be in need of improvement. This implies a healthy orientation toward helping the individual overcome his/her difficulties. Inasmuch as these recommendations are implemented, employee performance and organizational productivity should be enhanced. The development plans that build on employee strengths should also result in such improvements. (15 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
This study examines the relationship between employee perceptions of performance appraisal and both employee burnout and experienced job satisfaction in a county government. More specifically, the authors examine whether the following aspects of performance appraisal are related to burnout and job satisfaction: instrument validity, distributive justice, and procedural justice. The results indicate a modest relationship between these 3 independent variables and job satisfaction, as well as a modest relationship between procedural and distributive justice and job burnout for a sample ( N = 134) of professional county employees. The implications of these findings for managers are also explored. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Explores differences between public and private employee appraisal systems that may affect the appraisal process, identifies the characteristics of an effective appraisal system, and makes recommendations for improving appraisal processes in the public sector. (39 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Explored the degree to which actual merit raise scores differentiated employee attitudes toward self-behavior, management practices, and personnel reforms. The attitude survey included 137 attitude items measured by a 5-point Likert scale and queried each respondent on a broad range of personal, management, personnel, and reform issues. Of 300 employees included in the original sample, 160 reported their most recent performance appraisal, which could range from zero to 100%. Results show the Biloxi merit bonus plan was positively received by those who were rewarded by it. The data show that for employees who did not do well on merit scores, negative recognition appeared to have a ripple effect on their perceptions toward general organizational behavior. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Tested the hypothesis that employees who had been evaluated using both a performance standards system and a trait-rating scale would prefer the performance standards system. Two surveys were conducted. For the 1st survey, 138 employees returned questionnaires; for the 2nd survey, 330 people returned questionnaires. The measurement instrument consisted of questions designed to measure employee attitudes toward performance appraisal. Results do not support the hypothesis. Employees who had been rated using a trait-rating performance appraisal system and who were subsequently rated using a performance standards system did not choose one over the other. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Productivity improvement through new developments in performance appraisal is based on the assumption that improvements in the measurement process by which organizational rewards are distributed will improve the link between performance and rewards. The present study examined the procedure used by 3 large organizations to demonstrate 3 significant performance appraisal innovations: multiple raters, benchmarks, and rating safeguards. The procedure described demonstrates the use of a participatory process for appraisal development and use. The link between improved appraisal measurement and productivity and issues needing research are discussed. (19 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Describes the unintended consequences of one approach to performance appraisal attempted by the Department of the Air Force from 1974 to 1978. The author describes the Air Force appraisal system, the appraisal instrument, and the new rules that were made concerning the forced distribution of ratings. The impact of these changes on motivation, supervisory relations, decision making, teamwork, and resource utilization is discussed. It is concluded that evaluation systems requiring forced distribution of ratings are likely to produce dysfunctional consequences that far outweigh any administrative utility they may afford. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Outlines the major elements that should be included in an effective performance appraisal (PA) training program. Since the rater is the main interface between the PA system and the ratee, behaviors of the rater will have a strong bearing on the ratee's reaction to the system and his/her subsequent performance. Raters need to acquire a thorough understanding of the usefulness of PA as a management tool. Training is necessary regarding the specific characteristics of the PA system used in the organization, including the appeals process. Raters must be able to set meaningful performance standards and should learn to avoid common psychometric errors and to gather appropriate information. Training is necessary to assist raters in their roles as leaders and coaches within the PA framework. (22 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Addresses management's need to train supervisory personnel in the use of employee performance appraisals. First, the application as well as the usefulness of the appraisal system are described in relation to recent litigation concerning discrimination charges. Various approaches to employee evaluation are explored, and recommendations for effective training of supervisory personnel in implementing appraisal systems are presented. These recommendations take into consideration often neglected factors, such as employee motivation, employee aptitude, and employer–employee interaction. An outline of a 1-day performance appraisal workshop is appended. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Discusses Appreciative Inquiry, an organizational transformation tool that focuses on learning from success, developed by David Cooperrider and colleagues at Case Western Reserve University and The Taos Institute. The authors note that most approaches to organizational change are similar in one respect—they attempt to enable employees to think differently about processes that are habitual and comfortable. Frequently, organizational change approaches are premised on the belief that something is wrong and needs to be fixed, and may even lead to a focus on blame. However, instead of focusing on deficits and problems, the Appreciative Inquiry focuses on discovering what works well, why it works well, and how success can be extended throughout the organization. The authors argue that it is both the vision, and the process for developing this vision, that create the energy to drive change throughout the organization. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
52 professional condominium managers were administered a task inventory, the Job Element Method, and the Position Analysis Questionnaire to identify knowledge, skills, and abilities for the purposes of selection, performance appraisal, and training of condominium managers. It is argued that systematic job analysis information can have a positive influence on the effective functioning of organizations. It is suggested that the demonstration of the multiplicity of organizational uses for the information obtained from the relatively simple multi-methodological job analysis approach presented be used to stimulate carefully planned and systematic job analysis efforts in organizations. (26 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Presents an overview of the comparable worth issues, focusing on the social and economic factors that have resulted in a labor market segregated by sex, the legal aspects of comparable worth, and the importance of job evaluation systems. Studies indicate that labor market segregation is the result of socialization, choice, and discrimination. Low wages for women can be attributed to the discriminatory market value placed on work performed by women that results from outmoded perceptions as to why women work and their contribution and commitment to the labor force, and also as a result of supply and demand. An analysis of legislative history and current case law shows that women were also influenced not to participate in the labor market by certain federal governmental programs and policies that promoted conformity to the traditional sex roles. Features significant to the operationalization of comparable worth include the evaluation of almost all positions within the organization, thus reducing the margin of evaluator bias; the absence of heavy reliance on marketplace value data, which has historically discriminated against women; and the absence of several evaluation systems for an organization, which has tended to keep positions filled by women and minorities at low pay levels. (82 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Two important issues prompting the creation of comprehensive management development programs in state government are the promotion of technically competent employees to supervisory positions who have not been prepared to manage, and the impending loss of state managers to retirement and the need for succession planning. With these issues in mind, training needs assessment (TNA) is necessary to understand both the needs of the organization for competent managers and of the individuals who are to be prepared to manage in state government. In this case study, we review the advantages and disadvantages of various TNA techniques and select focus groups to conduct the training needs assessment for a comprehensive management development program. Through several focus group sessions, the perspective of practicing managers was solicited for management training needs throughout the state. Alternatives were widely discussed and a synergy of ideas created through the group discussion format. State managers became more informed about the plan for management development and support for the concept was generated among important stakeholders. State managers clearly wanted training that would be immediately applicable to their job duties and wanted the training delivered in a way that is conducive to adult learning. We found that managers are most concerned with effectively performing their roles and responsibilities as managers, and that they must demonstrate leadership and human relations skills in the performance of their responsibilities.
 
Notes that elements of traditional police promotional examinations (e.g., written tests and assessment centers) do not take into account candidates' work histories, and performance appraisals on records are fraught with problems. This article highlights the strengths and limitations of these traditional elements of police promotional examinations and describes a new method of having panelists systematically review several source documents to evaluate behavioral evidence of past work history related to dimensions needed for the target job. This information can then be combined with information from the traditional assessment methods to improve promotion decisions. The authors conclude that candidates, the police organization, and, most importantly, the public gain from more valid and fair promotional processes. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Discusses 6 beliefs about assessment centers (ACs): (1) The validity evidence for ACs is strong; (2) ACs are more valid than conventional selection devices; (3) as job samples, ACs can be justified on content validity grounds; (4) research findings regarding ACs can be generalized from one organization to another; (5) ACs do not illegally discriminate; and (6) rating and reaching consensus regarding candidates is a straightforward, well-understood process. (23 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Public organizations have become increasingly involved in the use of assessment centers for selection purposes. Standards for such centers are reviewed, possible legal challenges are noted, and public organizations are asked to evaluate critically the conduct of their assessment centers. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Notes that in 1989, IPMA published the then current Guidelines and Ethical Considerations for Assessment Center Operations. This paper provides an update of those guidelines. These guidelines were developed and endorsed by specialists in the use of assessment centers. The guidelines are a statement of the considerations believed to be most important for all users of the assessment center method. As stressed in these guidelines, a procedure should not be represented as an assessment center unless it includes at least one, and usually several, job-related simulations that require the assessee to demonstrate a constructed response. Other areas covered include considerations for assessor selection and training, using "competencies" as the target dimensions, validation issues and issues involving participant rights. The author argues that, if followed, these guidelines should maximize the benefits to be obtained by users of the assessment center method. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
We live in an age when information and technology are of primary importance to our lives. Those who control information, and its timely and credible dissemination, wield great power. This is also true in the EAP field. The ALMACA Clearinghouse for Employee Assistance Program Information collects and disseminates EAP-specific technical assistance data with the goal of providing Clearinghouse subscribers information that maintains their own competence and improves upon others' understanding and utilization of EAP practices and procedures.
 
This article outlines in considerable detail Cornell University's Employee Assistance Education and Research Program which is funded by the New York State Department of Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, in cooperation with the Christopher D. Smithers Foundation of Mill Neck, NY. It utilizes an academic curriculum in combination with field experience to further develop the EAP profession. It has been on-going since the Fall of 1985 in various New York State cities (Syracuse, New York, Rochester, and Albany) and will soon expand to include Buffalo and Long Island. The authors were assisted with implementation of the program by Bernard Flaherty, who acts as its co-director, and who is Director of the Central District of Cornell's Extension Division of the School of Industrial and Labor Relations. In addition, the article addresses a dilemma faced by personnel executives as they try to reach decisions about how to assure quality in the EAP programs, and in the personnel who staff them. On the one hand, they seek practical, applied programs that can be readily implemented and attractive to employees. On the other, there is a need to feel confident that the EAP personnel they employ are thoroughly acquainted with the workplace, and with the treatment place, and have a sound understanding of the emotional disturbances that cause troubled employees to be poor performers.
 
Discusses the growing field of employee assistance program (EAP) evaluation, both qualitative and quantitative, and raises some of the confidentiality issues that arise when 3rd-party evaluations of EAP services are conducted. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Used a "true" experimental design (pretest–posttest and control group), to evaluate the attitudinal and behavior changes of 55 randomly selected municipal employees after a 2-day human relations training seminar. Posttests for attitudinal change were done immediately after the training sessions. Posttests for behavior changes were done 6 mo after the training sessions. In addition to the testing of employees, supervisors were also asked to participate in a pretest–posttest evaluation of their subordinates' job behavior. Results of the t-tests performed on the group means indicated no significant attitudinal or behavioral changes on the part of the experimental group. Possible explanations include (1) measuring the wrong effects, (2) the impossibility of measuring the correct effects, and (3) insufficient, posttraining support from management. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Compared the effects of 2 pay-for-performance systems implemented as a result of the Civil Service Reform Act (CSRA) of 1978. Analyses are based on responses to 5 annual attitude surveys administered between 1979 and 1984 to a yearly average of 2,072 civilian employees at 4 US Navy Research and Development laboratories. Two of the labs, located in California, implemented pay for performance for all their white collar employees under a CSRA demonstration project testing an integrated approach to pay performance appraisal and position classification. The other 2 labs, located on the East coast, served as a comparison group for the federal-wide merit pay system covering supervisors and managers. Overall results were more positive for the 2 demonstration labs in California. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Four commitment profiles, based on levels of commitment to the organization and the career, were used to explore the relationship between distinct patterns of commitment and work-related outcomes with 156 professional hospital employees (mean age 35.3 yrs). Affective and continuance commitment separate profiles were constructed for each type of organizational commitment in conjunction with career commitment. Results for profiles based on affective commitment were consistent with prior research findings, in that employees committed to both their organization and their career exhibited the most positive work attitudes and the strongest intention to remain with the organization. Unexpectedly, the dually committed also had the strongest intensity of job search behavior, but these efforts did not translate into higher incidences of turnover. No differences were observed across commitment profiles with respect to job performance. The synergistic effect between affective and career commitment was not observed for profiles based on continuance commitment to the organization. Employees committed only to their careers exhibited more positive work outcomes than did those committed only to their organizations. The implications of these findings for management practice are discussed. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Compared job satisfaction and perceptions of productivity under 2 forms of flexible scheduling and standard fixed schedules. Ss were 115 New York State employees working under staggered fixed-hours schedule, 130 employees working under flextime rules, and 29 controls on a fixed 9 AM to 5 PM schedule. Ss reported greater satisfaction with their work environments under flextime than under staggered fixed hours and standard scheduling. Flexible hours had no effect on commuting patterns, suggesting that the beneficial effect of flextime might be the result of feelings of greater autonomy and responsibility. Ss did not report that flextime allowed them to work hours during which they were most productive, and there were no significant differences in job satisfaction between Ss in the 3 groups. Results provide limited support for the beneficial effects of flextime on employee attitudes. (15 ref) (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Analyzed 1,744 replies to a questionnaire sent to employees of Oregon. If the extra day off is Monday or Friday, respondents favored the 4-day, 10 hrs/day plan by 68%. If the extra day was not Monday or Friday then only 24% favored the idea. A consistent minority was opposed to the plan. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2012 APA, all rights reserved)
 
Top-cited authors
Thomas Li-Ping Tang
  • Jones College of Business, MTSU
Gary Roberts
  • Regent University
Carole L Jurkiewicz
  • University of Colorado Colorado Springs
Richard E. Kopelman
  • City University of New York - Bernard M. Baruch College
Dennis Doverspike
  • University of Akron