Robert E. Ployhart

Robert E. Ployhart
University of South Carolina | USC

About

140
Publications
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13,780
Citations

Publications

Publications (140)
Article
During the past 10 years, the field of human capital resources (HCR), often referred to as strategic human capital (SHC), has gained interest in both micro and macro disciplines. This increase in attention from a diverse set of researchers has shifted the focus of the field to topics such as identifying different types of HCR, HCR emergence, and li...
Article
This paper introduces a theoretical framework intended to define the nature, structure, and function of external team contexts. The external team context is defined as the resources, stimuli, elements, and features that are part of a broader multilevel system but exist outside the team's boundaries and that influence (and are influenced by) the tea...
Article
The purpose of this article is to simultaneously advance theory and practice by understanding how the Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic relates to new hire engagement. Prior research suggests starting a new job is an uncertain experience; we theorize that the COVID-19 pandemic creates additional environmental stressors that affect new hi...
Article
This study examines how job search behavior changed at the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the weeks following the event's onset, and if the physical contact required by different jobs moderated these trends. Based on event system theory, we argue that the onset of the pandemic created a strong event because it was highly novel, disruptive, and cri...
Article
Although the service-profit chain posits that employees and customers are interrelated at the unit level (Heskett, Sasser, & Schlesinger, 1997), most theory and practice give primary emphasis to the employee. In this study, we sought to draw attention to the relatively neglected influence that customers may collectively have on employees. Specifica...
Article
Both macro- and micro-oriented researchers frequently use panel data where the outcome of interest is measured repeated times. Panel data support at least five different modeling frameworks (within, between, incremental/emergent, cross-level, and growth). Researchers from macro- and micro-oriented domains tend to differentially use the frameworks a...
Article
This study proposes a mediated process model that seeks to explain how occupational strength influences personality heterogeneity, ultimately affecting attitudes and behaviors. Specifically, it proposes that strong occupations restrict personality heterogeneity (defined as the extent to which there is variability in incumbents' personalities), whic...
Chapter
Full-text available
Research in strategic human resource management (SHRM) has evolved over the past 30 years to become more theory based and to exhibit greater empirical rigor. However, much has changed in the external environment that makes the existing theories, approaches, and methodologies inappropriate for addressing the questions that organizations face in mana...
Article
At some point, hiring managers in all organizations face the decision of whether to fill open positions with internal candidates (e.g., through promotions) or to hire external candidates (e.g., from competitors or new entrants into the labor market). Despite this ubiquitous choice, surprisingly little research has compared the effectiveness of inte...
Article
This article reviews 100 years of research on recruitment and selection published in the Journal of Applied Psychology. Recruitment and selection research has been present in the Journal from the very first issue, where Hall (1917) suggested that the challenge of recruitment and selection was the Supreme Problem facing the field of applied psycholo...
Article
The expectation that selection practices contribute to organizational performance has been long assumed; however, research on personnel selection has neglected to consider why firms differ in their use of selection practices and whether selection practices relate to organizational performance under different competitive environments. Based on strat...
Article
This study proposes that reaching applicants through more diagnostic recruitment sources earlier in their educational development (e.g., in high school) can lead them to invest more in their occupation-specific human capital (OSHC), thereby making them higher quality candidates. Using a sample of 78,157 applicants applying for jobs within a desirab...
Article
This article reviews 100 years of research on recruitment and selection published in the Journal of Applied Psychology. Recruitment and selection research has been present in the Journal from the very first issue, where Hall (1917) suggested that the challenge of recruitment and selection was the Supreme Problem facing the field of applied psycholo...
Article
Past research suggests that individuals oriented toward high-context communication are less likely than are others to voice (i.e., speak up) at work. In the current article, we rely on high-/low-context theory to explore potential boundary conditions of this relationship. We conducted 2 studies exploring the relationship between contextual communic...
Article
The field of strategic human capital and the field of organizational behavior (OB) need each other - they just don't know it. OB theories, constructs, and processes must be heard within the strategic human capital conversation because many of the questions being pursued by human capital scholars will benefit from consideration of OB constructs and...
Article
Social media are a broad collection of digital platforms that have radically changed the way people interact and communicate. However, we argue that social media are not simply a technology but actually represent a context that differs in important ways from traditional (e.g., face-to-face) and other digital (e.g., email) ways of interacting and co...
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Microfoundations have received increased attention in strategy and organization theory over the past decade. In this paper, we take stock of the microfoundations movement, its origins and history, and disparate forms. We briefly touch on similar micro movements in disciplines such as economics and sociology. However, our particular focus is on the...
Article
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Low-fidelity simulations, which combine closed-ended response options with realistic depictions of key job tasks, have grown in popularity for several practical reasons. Research into low-fidelity simulations, which has focused primarily on text-based situational judgment tests (SJTs), has shown that such measures (a) can predict a wide range of cr...
Article
Blending theory on collective turnover and group adaptability, this paper develops a two-phase longitudinal model that explains how and why an individual-level turnover event has effects on collective performance. Phase 1 (disruption) is marked by a sudden and negative change in unit-level performance, while Phase 2 (recovery) entails a gradual inc...
Article
Many organizations face the decision of whether to fill higher-level positions by promoting employees from within the organization or hiring external candidates. Despite this, surprisingly little empirical information is available concerning the relative effectiveness of internal versus external selection. We address this gap by comparing the on-th...
Article
Full-text available
This study builds from context-emergent turnover theory to examine the dynamic properties of turnover rates, including: (a) the changing quality and quantity of the human capital resources that depart, (b) the changing turnover dispersion (i.e., how distributed turnover events are over time), and (c) the changing quality and quantity of replacement...
Article
This paper considers how information processing approaches to intelligence may offer implications for the study of human capital resources within organizations. We first provide a brief overview of human capital research that summarizes its evolution and current areas of emphasis. This review notes that most of the research on human capital has ign...
Article
Drawing on a multilevel model of motivation in work groups and a functionalist perspective of citizenship and socially responsible behaviors, we developed and tested a multilevel model of voluntary workplace green behavior that explicates some of the reasons why employees voluntarily engage in green behavior at work. For a sample of 325 office work...
Chapter
This chapter provides a brief and relatively nontechnical introduction to hierarchical linear models. The purpose of such models is first explained in graphical terms. This is followed by a description of the model and then an empirical example. Numerous primary sources are provided for readers to learn the more technical details.
Article
Situational judgment tests (SJTs) have become popular selection methods, with 59 empirical studies having been published since 1990. In contrast to prior narrative reviews or meta-analyses, this study develops (a) a comprehensive structure of SJT features, or “attributes,” (b) uses this structure to quantitatively and qualitatively summarize existi...
Article
Mediation as a theory testing approach has witnessed considerable adoption among Operations Management (OM) researchers. Although mediation-testing methods have evolved tremendously in the past decade, their dissemination in the OM field has not seen parallel growth. These advanced techniques facilitate the testing of existing and complex hypothese...
Article
Full-text available
This article puts forth an agenda for the psychological study of strategy and competitive advantage. It centers this agenda within the microfoundations program, a program originating within strategy that seeks to understand firm heterogeneity and competitive advantage by examining individuals and their interrelationships. The article first reviews...
Article
Full-text available
This paper introduces a radically different conceptualization of human capital resources that runs counter to the individual-level approaches that have dominated human capital theory for the last 50 years. We leverage insights from economics, strategy, human resources, and psychology to develop an integrated and holistic framework that defines the...
Chapter
The consequences of intragroup conflict for group processes and outcomes are myriad and complex. Understanding the nature and origins of intragroup conflict is therefore essential to effective group functioning, yet theory and research emergence of group-level conflict is lacking. The bulk of research on antecedents of intragroup conflict has focus...
Article
This study integrates research from strategy, economics, and applied psychology to examine how organizations may leverage their human resources to enhance firm performance and competitive advantage. Staffing and training are key human resource management practices used to achieve firm performance through acquiring and developing human capital resou...
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Full-text available
Despite managers' claims that their organization's human capital is their most important asset, few can confidently state the financial value of that resource or quantify in financial terms how changes in management practices, culture, or workforce composition affect the value of that resource. Scholars of strategic human capital and strategic huma...
Article
Full-text available
Organizational scholars have increasingly investigated the consequences of organizational turnover on unit (e.g. firm, store, or group) performance, while extant literature has recently called for the investigation of some emergent properties of the turnover construct in order to understand it as a collective phenomenon. Among these properties are...
Article
This paper argues that the impact of a turnover event on unit-level performance is manifest in two distinct stages. Drawing on collective turnover and team adaptation theory, we propose that Stage 1 (transition adaptation) is marked by a sudden and negative change in unit-level performance, while stage 2 (acquisition adaptation) is marked by a grad...
Article
Full-text available
Over 100 years of psychological research on employee selection has yielded many advances, but the field continues to tackle controversies and challenging problems, revisit once-settled topics, and expand its borders. This review discusses recent advances in designing, implementing, and evaluating selection systems. Key trends such as expanding the...
Article
Full-text available
We develop a theory of collective turnover that emphasizes its microfoundation origins and unit-level consequences. Collective turnover is the quantity and quality of depletion of employee knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (KSAOs) from the unit, meaning that it is the collective loss of unit KSAOs. We ground our theory of coll...
Article
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A recent theoretical proposal is that relational identification generalizes to organizational identification through affective, cognitive, and behavioral mediating mechanisms. The generalization process is strengthened when a relational other is prototyp-ical—that is, is seen as promoting core organizational values. We investigate these proposition...
Article
Schmidt (International Journal of Selection and Assessment, 20, 1–13 (2012)) argues that it is possible for scores based on measures of general cognitive ability (GCA) to have content validity evidence. This commentary examines this argument further. I first decompose the various lines of validity evidence that may exist for GCA scores. Next, I con...
Article
This article responds to and extends the commentaries on the psychology of competitive advantage focal article. In general, the commentaries stressed that (a) the connection between industrial–organizational (I–O) psychology and strategy should go beyond resource-based theory and competitive advantage, (b) there are some existing examples of strate...
Article
This article argues that the field of industrial–organizational (I–O) psychology should expand its focus from studying individual and small-group behavior to also studying how psychology contributes to organizational strategy and sustained competitive advantage. The field of strategy has recently sought to understand the microfoundations of competi...
Article
Many studies in the social and organizational sciences are concerned with estimating and testing between-group mean differences. Typically, responses to these scales are summed, and the summed score or the mean of the summed score is then compared across groups using standard statistical tests ( t tests) and described using d values. Even though th...
Article
In this chapter I propose a vision for the field of personnel selection: ensuring sustainable organizational effectiveness through the acquisition of human capital. This vision is used to organize and review historical approaches to selection, critique contemporary approaches, and identify future research needs. It is argued that while there is a r...
Article
Selection research tends to occur in a vacuum with a disproportionate emphasis on individual-level validity, seemingly oblivious to the world and context around it. We argue that selection research will be enhanced, and probably will more likely be implemented, if scholars take context seriously. However, doing so requires a change in theory, metho...
Article
The paradox of sustained competitive advantage suggests that individual knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics may be related to individual job performance, but fail to contribute to a firm's sustained competitive advantage. Much of the cause of this paradox can be attributed to a lack of theory and research linking microtraditions...
Article
Consideration of temporal issues adds precision and insight to our theories, yet most organizational and applied psychological research is based on cross-sectional designs. Calls for longitudinal research have become common in leading journals, but the existing literature provides little prescriptive guidance to overcome the many challenges of this...
Article
The authors identify theoretical disconnects among resource-based theory (RBT), conceptualizations of intangible resources (intangibles), and measures of intangibles. Specifically, the authors’ survey of 186 recent empirical tests of RBT suggests that measures of intangibles are often assigned with little theoretical conceptualization of the intang...
Article
Past research has not adequately considered the importance of interconnected human capital resources. Drawing on the resource-based view, we propose a dynamic model in which changes in generic human capital (personality and cognitive ability) lead to changes in unit-specific human capital (advanced training and experience), which in turn lead to ch...
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We clarify that management scholars do not have a shared conceptualization of what the terms micro and macro mean. Therefore, there is not one, but rather there are multiple micro—macro divides within management. Specifically, there are three micro—macro divides that separate scholarship at three levels of the social and economic systems that manag...
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This study offers a new theoretical perspective on the unique nature and function of job satisfaction change, or systematic improvement or decline in job satisfaction over time. Using four diverse samples, we show that differences in the extent to which job satisfaction systematically improves or declines account for change in employees' "turnover...
Article
This article offers a new approach to the conceptualization of the human capital resource by developing a multilevel model connecting micro, intermediate, and macro levels of scholarship. We define human capital as a unit-level resource that is created from the emergence of individuals' knowledge, skills, abilities, or other characteristics. The mo...
Article
Despite years of research examining the types of job and organizational attributes (e.g. pay, fit) that influence applicants' perceptions of organizational attractiveness, almost no research has examined how and why the weighting placed on these attributes may change across the stages of a recruitment and selection process. Using a longitudinal pol...
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Many disciplines of scholarship have developed theories that involve dynamic mediated (and multilevel) relationships among constructs. However, most research does not hypothesize or test these dynamic relationships in a manner consistent with theory. In this article, the authors address this disconnect by first noting the theoretical and methodolog...
Article
Full-text available
The purpose of this article is to present cutting-edge research on issues relating to the theory, design, and analysis of change. Rather than a highly technical review, our goal is to provide management scholars with a relatively nontechnical single source useful for helping them develop and evaluate longitudinal research. Toward that end, we provi...
Article
This study examines two important issues with situational judgment tests (SJTs) in operational contexts. First, we examine whether the construct validity of SJTs changes across applicant and incumbent contexts. Second, we examine whether means differ across contexts. Using a model of the SJT response process as a guide, results from 12 predictive a...
Article
Robert E. Ployhart, recipient of the Award for Distinguished Scientific Early Career Contributions to Psychology, is cited for innovative work in examining reactions to staffing practices and efforts to enhance the acceptability of recruitment and staffing practices; for exemplary use of applied statistical models in examining multilevel effects an...
Article
Drawing from resource-based theory, we argue for a broader interpretation of human capital and demonstrate that unit service orientation contributes to unit effectiveness over time. Operationalizing unit service orientation as the unit-level (n = 1,255) aggregate of individual level (n = 114,198) service employee competencies, we modeled the data o...
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Full-text available
While Drill Sergeant Schools (DSSs) are charged with preparing Noncommissioned Officers (NCOs) for the role and responsibilities of Drill Sergeants (DS), few attempts have been made to systematically examine the impact this training actually has on its graduates. Rather, previous research has largely focused on manning alternatives such as determin...
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The use of validated employee selection and promotion procedures is critical to workforce productivity and to the legal defensibility of the personnel decisions made on the basis of those procedures. Consequently, there have been numerous scholarly developments that have considerable implications for the appropriate conduct of criterion-related val...
Article
Due to racioethnic and sex subgroup differences on predictor scores in many selection procedures, it is difficult for organizations to simultaneously maximize the validity of their selection procedures and hire a diverse workforce. One response to this diversity–validity dilemma is to revise the selection procedures, an approach developed by Ployha...
Chapter
If personnel selection is to remain a vibrant and important discipline of organizational science, it must adopt multilevel theories, methods, and models. To believe that effective selection procedures contribute to organizational effectiveness is to believe that the implications of personnel selection extend across levels of analysis. And yet other...
Article
Pyburn, Ployhart, and Kravitz (this issue, 2008) introduced the diversity–validity dilemma: that some of the most valid predictors of job performance are also associated with large racioethnic and sex subgroup predictor score differences. This article examines 16 selection strategies hypothesized to minimize racioethnic and sex subgroup differences...
Article
The study of multilevel phenomena in organizations involves a complex interplay between methods and statistics on one hand and theory development on the other. In this introduction, the authors provide a short summary of the five articles in this feature topic and use them as a platform to discuss the broad need for work in the two areas of (a) mul...
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One of the most difficult tasks facing industrial-organizational psychologists is evaluating the importance of variables, especially new variables, to be included in the prediction of some outcome. When multiple regression is used, common practices suggest evaluating the usefulness of new variables by showing incremental validity beyond the set of...
Article
The study tests the distinction between typical and maximum criteria with ratings of transformational leadership performance, and examines whether the criterion-related validities of the five factor model differ for the two types of criteria. Using an East Asian military sample (n= 1,259) where multiple ratings of typical and maximum performance we...
Article
Research examining coaching effects on test performance and other outcomes in selection settings has been limited despite an increase in test orientation programs. This study examined factors potentially related to self-selection into a test preparation program, the outcomes of such a program, and the differential effectiveness of the program. Atte...
Article
The nature of intraindividual performance variability over time, along with individual difference predictors of such variability, was examined using latent growth curve methodology. Quarterly sales performance for a sample of securities analysts (n= 303) was measured at 8 times. Average intraindividual performance approximated a basic “learning” cu...
Article
This quasi-experimental study compares the equivalence of proctored Web-based tests to paper-and-pencil tests in a selection setting. The predictor battery was composed of measures of Conscientiousness, Agreeableness, Emotional Stability, a biodata form, and a situational judgment test. Three samples were administered the same test items, but diffe...
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Full-text available
Modern organizations struggle with staffing challenges stemming from increased knowledge work, labor shortages, competition for applicants, and workforce diversity. Yet, despite such critical needs for effective staffing practice, staffing research continues to be neglected or misunderstood by many organizational decision makers. Solving these chal...
Article
Integrating multilevel theory and the attraction-selection-attrition model, we conceptualized personality homogeneity as human capital emergence containing both composition (aggregate mean) and compilation (aggregate standard deviation) components. Sampling service employees, jobs, and organizations, we analyzed relationships across levels using ra...
Article
This study applied the attribution framework described by Weiner (1986) to understand the psychological reasons applicants withdrew from a police officer selection process, as well as the consequences of their attributions for withdrawal. Individuals (n= 196) who withdrew from the selection process were contacted and were asked to indicate their pr...
Article
Research has shown that explanations for selection decisions may influence a variety of applicant perceptions and behavior, but an understanding of how and why this occurs remains largely unknown. This study attempts to understand the effects of explanations by adopting Kelley's (1967, 1972) covariation model of the attribution process. Specificall...
Article
Ever since the Army became an All-Volunteer force, it has become critical to understand the factors influencing Soldiers' retention decisions. While the Army can implement short-term solutions to problems resulting from turnover (e.g., increasing recruitment efforts), a long-term solution requires an understanding of the dynamics driving the curren...
Article
The cross-cultural equivalence of a multinational employee opinion survey was examined using multiple-groups covariance structure analysis to examine 4 scales in 4 countries. Cultural and linguistic influences were considered by assessing equivalence across 2 pairs of countries having the same language but different cultures (US and Australia, Mexi...
Article
This study examines the construct validity of the Goldberg International Personality Item Pool (IPIP) measure by comparing it to a well-developed measure of the five-factor model, the NEO Five-Factor Inventory (NEO-FFI). A sample of 353 diverse students from a large U.S. university completed both measures. Structural equation modeling was used to c...
Chapter
Work organizations and the employees within these organizations face considerable environmental pressures requiring adaptive change. Several forces have contributed to this need for great adaptation. These are described in many excellent sources (e.g., Cascio, 2003; Ilgen & Pulakos, 1999); here we briefly review their implications for individual ad...