7 1 discussion assessments in professional organizations

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For this discussion, you will describe the role of assessments in professional organizations and discuss what steps organizations should take to ensure that abuses such as marginalization do not occur.

Consider the role of psychological tests in a professional workplace. Some argue that these types of tests should not be used at all in a work environment, while others argue that they can be used under the right circumstances.

In your initial post, describe one use of psychological assessments in professional organizations. Is the current practice fair to all individuals? Why or why not?

After you have posted your initial response, read and respond to at least two of your peers. If you feel that the current described practice is fair, discuss what steps the organization can take to ensure abuses do not occur. If you feel that the current practice is not fair, suggest changes the organization can make to the current practice to ensure abuses do not continue to occur.

To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric document.

AFTER COMPLETING THE INITIAL POST, PLEASE ALSO RESPOND TO THE FOLLOWING TWO STUDENTS REGARDING THE SAME TOPIC!

STUDENT ONE:

Many companies/organizations in private and public sectors use pre-employment tests as well as psychological tests within their workforce. There are various of types of psychological assessments that can be effective to measure a potential candidate for a position, gives the business a chance to determine if the applicant is a good fit for the company/organization. Does the person have the right temperament or aptitude to the job or the endurance to do a competent job?

It is just as beneficial to administer psychological tests to employees who are already part of the company/organization workforce. For example, an appropriate test would be the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator (MBTI) test, which can use to increase employees’ understanding of each other’s differences and to promote better communications between colleagues and members of a work team. Occupational Interest Inventories (OII) is the Holland Code Career test, not only measures how interested an applicant is, it can measure for those who are already employed and is helpful in determining which person to promote to which position and which team to place him/her on. Knowing and picking suitable types of workplace assessments available can be crucial in assisting a company/organization with hiring, placing and promoting the right employees according to their business culture and workplace needs.

Marginalization involves some degree of exclusion from access to power or resources. Those who are marginalized do not get to enjoy the full benefits of those who are closer to the center. The assessment tests administered in the corporate world can unintentionally exclude people. For example, at a company retreat composed of top sales producers, where my CEO announced that a MBTI was mandatory. Unfortunately, everyone was required to share the results as they participated in varies activities. Most of the attendees were extroverts as expected because of the nature of their jobs; but three employees who were marked introverts. I immediately sensed they were inadvertently marginalized by the extroverts in group activities. They were not given major tasks and some of the extroverts even went out of their way to mention how different introverts were and how extroverts were better fitted to be sales people.

A lot of companies that use assessments to promote the idea that there are no wrong personalities, but real life does not always play out as objectively. If a hiring manager has identified a position was best suited for someone who is assertive and outgoing; someone who is neither could have been very successful in the role; but, was not hire for this position because he or she lacked the assertiveness and outgoingness. Organizations can wrongly use the personality scores to justify not promoting someone and it can depreciate those with less desired personality traits.

I think the first step is to recognize inclusivity and marginalizing in the workplace. The company/organization need to encourage diversities and mix diversities together. Find ways to put different and diverse people together whom may complement each other to achieve the same goal despite their personality traits, languages they speak or religious beliefs, etc.

When thinking about different assessments, ethnicity, disability, gender, religion, race and socioeconomic status should be taken into consideration and all considerations on how someone interprets a question when taking an assessment. It also depends on how the person interprets the scores too (Leong, Park & Leach, 2013).

I still believe in assessment tests. It is a vital instrument to help a firm identify candidates who may best fit the organization culture and structure. The types of psychological tests should vary, the key is to understand and use the type best to assess for the business and for the position. Whether we use biographical data, cognitive ability or personality test or a combination of all, administrating this can help a company hire the right candidates in a tight labour market.

References

Cohen, R. J., & Swerdlik, M. E. (2018) Psychological Testing and Assessment: An Introduction to Tests and Measurement. (9th ed). New York: NY. McGraw- Hill

Leong, F. T. L., Park, Y. S., & Leach, M. M. (2013). Ethics in psychological testing and assessment. In K. F. Geisinger, B. A. Bracken, J. F. Carlson, J.-I. C. Hansen, N. R. Kuncel, S. P. Reise, & M. C. Rodriguez (Eds.), APA handbook of testing and assessment in psychology, Vol. 1: Test theory and testing and assessment in industrial and organizational psychology. (pp. 265–282). Washington, DC: American Psychological Association. https://doi-org.ezproxy.snhu.edu/10.1037/14047-015

Lubin, B., Larsen, R. M., & Matarazzo, J. D. (1984). Patterns of psychological test usage in the United States: 1935–1982. American Psychologist, 39(4), 451-454.

STUDENT TWO:

Many big and small organizations use psychological testing in some fashion in their business practices. Some use them in the “talent acquisition”, or selection procedure of the hiring process. Others utilize it during promotion proceedings. Yet, others also use it during the exit or departure of a company. Employers use everything from personality tests, aptitude tests, and intelligence tests in order to find the right candidates to fit the open positions. The hiring and training process is an expensive endeavor for businesses of all sizes so high turnover is a luxury many cannot, and certainly do not want to afford. Such psychological tests are important to find the right fit for a position and the company. They wish to find the candidate who can show ability for the job duties, work under various conditions, and get along with supervisors, colleagues, clients, and customers. I have been on the receiving end of all three such testing during hiring selection, promotion, and exiting a company. The environment I experienced these was with Government security contracting firms. I took several personality tests and interviewed directly with a psychologist in order to fulfill that requirement. They were looking for signs and indicators of insecure and maladaptive behavior as well as psychopathy. There are many concerns that businesses using psychology testing have to be aware of. They can be subject to litigation due to marginalization, discrimination, reverse discrimination, disparate treatment, disparate impact, and privacy. While test users must be qualified to administer a particular test, some companies may leave themselves vulnerable by failing to have qualified administrators for more specialized testing such as aptitude tests, projective tests, and individual mental tests. Also, ensuring a test is normed to a population which a company and administrator is using it for is also an ethical consideration. For instance, Cohen and Swerdlik (2018) illustrate this concern with an example of psychological testing conducted at Ellis Island during WWI and WWII eras. Immigrants were administered intelligence tests to ensure they were to a given proficiency. However, many immigrants were turned around back to their country of origin, not because of mental deficiency but because they couldn’t understand the English language format of the test well. This and many other examples have emphasized the purpose of properly norming a test for the sample to be tested. Other cultural issues exist to complicate testing in the workplace as well. These involve cultural concerns. Another behavior recognized is various non-verbal communication. During the hiring interview, potential employees must show a particular set of behaviors that can impress upon the interviewer or manager. However, these behaviors don’t just come naturally to all people with different personality traits, customs, or traditions.

I believe that the current practice of administering such tests in the workplace is not completely fair by any stretch. However, just as any work in progress, it is moving in the right direction and has its benefits. Without such personality and intelligence testing, employers do not have much reliable information to utilize to make the most responsible decisions possible. An organization such as a police agency may be looking for specific qualities in its candidates. According to Cohen and Swerdlik (2018) there are two prevailing views pertaining to systematic differences in job ability scores related to group membership. One emphasizes nothing extreme is wrong. The test measured levels of ability as it was purported to do. The contrasting view emphasizes leveling the playing field through affirmative action. I believe affirmative action, if not controlled, can result in a reverse bias. The authors describe it as “inequity in equity” (Cohen & Swerdlik, 2018, p. 54). Test takers cannot view such policies as reparations for past inequalities of any sort. This mentality will only keep the pendulum of equality swinging heavily up and down without balancing it. I believe if a person is qualified for a set of duties or position, they will reflect those strengths in the hiring process. However, as mentioned earlier, attention to properly norming a test for legitimate standardized use is paramount.

References

Cohen, R.J., & Swerdlik, M. E. (2018). Psychological testing and assessment: An introduction to tests and measurement (9th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw Hill.

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