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What do you think…. August 3, 2006

Posted by Amanda in The Job Maze.

My Human Resource Management Professor brought this up in class, and I found it extremely interesting, so I asked her for a copy of the article. Called the “Seven common misconceptions about human resource practices: Research findings versus practitioner beliefs” by Sara L. Hynes, Kenneth G. Blown, and Amy E. Colbert

Recent research suggests that HR practices can have considerable impact on both individual and organizational performance. These findings strongly suggest that not knowing this HR research can be costly to organizations. In this article, we pinpoint areas where HR practitioners seem to be most unaware of research findings related to effective HR practices, based on responses by a large sample of HR managers. The seven questions that exhibited the greatest disagreement between current research findings and respondents’ beliefs are explored, along with their management implications and suggestions for implementing the findings.

There are seven major findings mentioned in this article, but the six I found most interesting are below. You might write down whether you think each one is true or false. You just may be surprised 🙂


1. On average, conscientiousness is a better predictor of employee performance than intelligence.

2. Companies that screen job applicants for values have higher performance than those that screen for intelligence.

3. Integrity tests do not work well in practice because so many people lie on them.


4. Encouraging employees to practice in decision making is more effective for improving organizational performance than setting performance goals.

5. Most errors in performance appraisals can be eliminated by providing training that describes the kinds of errors managers tend to make and suggesting ways to avoid them.

6. If employees are asked how important pay is to them, they are likely to overestimate its true importance.






And here is what the study found… Apparently many of us have wrong perceptions.

1. 72% of participants agreed with this, but research shows that it is incorrect. Intelligence or General Mental Ability (GMA) is a better predictor.

2. 57% of the participants agreed with it, but The research does NOT support it. Fit is positively related with employee attitudes and length of service, while GMA predicts performance.

3. 68% agreed with the statement while it is not correct. Integrity tests are valid and work well in conjunction with GMA tests.

4. 83% agreed with the statement, while research shows that it is false, Performance improves only after goal-setting interventions.

5. 70% thought this is true, while it is not. It is hard to correct behaviors through training and strict requirements and follow up are needed.

6. 56% agreed with this statement while the evidence shows otherwise. People tend to DEFLATE the importance of pay.

Were your perceptions correct?





1. Charles Durbin - August 31, 2006

This is very interesting. My perception on #1 is, I agree with the survey, on #2 I also agree with the survey, on #3 I also agree with the survey, on #4 I disagree with the statement, on #5 I agree with the survey and on #6 I agree with the survey.This is interesting to me because it shows me that management that uses surveys will have different outcome than management that does not.

2. Amanda - September 1, 2006

I thought it was interesting for the same reason. I had several of the misconceptions and it gives you a different outlook on HR.

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