BGSU prof updates industrial-organizational psychology text

“Essentials of Personnel Assessment and Selection,” first published a decade ago, was considered a go-to resource for those studying industrial-organizational (I-O) psychology. It was written by Bowling Green State University faculty Drs. Bob Guion, a pioneer in the field, and Scott Highhouse, Ohio Eminent Scholar of psychology. Before his death in 2012, Guion gave his co-author permission to take over the book and produce a subsequent edition when the time was right.

That time has come. Released in early 2016, the second edition of the book contains a wealth of updated material including current legal issues in employment, and it covers new subjects like online testing. The edition was revised by Highhouse and co-author Dennis Doverspike of the University of Akron.

“Certainly Bob Guion’s original vision is there, but we made quite a number of changes,” said Highhouse. “About 25 percent of the book is new content and it has a new voice overall.”

Because the book’s primary audience has been graduate students planning for careers in human resources, the new edition focuses more on practical essentials and has less focus on technical and theoretic material. It presents recent research findings, more information on technology in assessing employees, and a larger discussion of senior leadership assessment in the workplace.

The section on how managers make decisions about hiring was expanded considerably. The authors caution against taking a holistic approach to hiring, in which a manager takes into account everything he or she knows about a candidate—not only skills and experience but also personality, communication skills, and other non-quantifiable factors.

“Even though the term ‘holistic’ sounds good, and a formula is not always popular, we know that formulas outperform subjective conclusions every time,” Highhouse said.
Published by Psychology Press, the revised “Essentials of Personnel Assessment and Selection” looks to retain its status as a go-to resource. Bookseller Barnes and Noble describes it as providing the “nuts and bolts of assessment processes and selection techniques. It covers basic and advanced concepts in a straightforward, readable style.”

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