Biographical information (biodata) has been used to predict turnover and performance for a long time.  The idea is that certain verifiable aspects of a person’s life are indicators of future behavior.  To use an adage from an earlier time, if a person has changed jobs frequently in the past, s/he is not likely to stay […]

Most popular press about industrial psychology topics makes me twinge.  It usually creates a train wreck between human behavior and management and makes over generalizations that fit into neat boxes which do not exist in practice.   At the same time, academic journals can often lag behind effective practice.  That’s not meant as a criticism.  […]

When I do leadership/management workshops, the first topic is always motivation.  While I am a big believer that motivation must come from within, managers can impact performance, in the short term, by effectively using rewards. Years of research tells us that cash and other extrinsic rewards can be effective motivators for tasks where individual effort […]

I’ve written quite a bit about bias in this blog. It is an important topic to me because I believe that people in HR and industrial psychology can be gatekeepers to a more fair society while improving organizational performance. Of course, bias in employment is merely an extension of what happens in the greater society. One of the […]

In a previous post I talked about using the Marshmallow Challenge to provide insight into cultures that support risk taking.  Taking the stigma out of making mistakes is one way to encourage creativity. Taking this to the next level are FUN nights (note that curse words figure prominently into the article).  This is where entrepreneurs […]

Many organizations have taken steps (valid tests, removing pictures and names from resumes, blind auditions, etc.) to erase discriminatory practices in hiring.  While by no means perfect, these actions have reduced bias in many places.  A much lauded effort was done in orchestras.  They switched to auditions where the players were behind a screen (and […]

We would all like to think that doing well towards others will benefit us in this (and future?) life.  At the same time, capitalism can encourage some people to act entirely in their self-interest in order to get ahead and create efficient organizations.  So, should we hire good or successful people? Altruism is a part […]

When doing a job analysis or writing job descriptions, one of the terms that comes up that makes my hair stand on end is “multi-tasking.”  While our bodies can perform automated functions simultaneously (e.g., driving and talking), our brains cannot consciously do two things at once.  Rather, when I’m “multi-tasking” (like checking my phone and […]

A class-action age discrimination lawsuit has been filed against IBM.  Much of the complaints in the action come from a report that purports to outline how the company has systematically replaced older workers with newer ones.  IBM is denying the allegations. There are a couple of compelling issues here.  One is whether IBM is using […]

Finding examples of racial or gender bias in hiring or job evaluations is not hard.  The latest comes from a survey of lawyers.  My sense is that the results did not come from a random sample of attorneys, so I would not quote the group differences as gospel.  The authors recommended some specific ways that […]

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