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Job applicants’ testing and organizational perceptions: The effects of test information and attitude strength

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Job applicants’ testing and organizational perceptions: The effects of test information and attitude strength
Andrew L. Noon

2006

Department of Psychology, University of Nebraska–Lincoln, Lincoln, NE 68588, UNITED STATES OF AMERICA.

ABSTRACT

This quasi-experimental study examined job applicants’ organizational perceptions prior to and immediately after completing pre-employment assessments, and after the hiring decision was announced. Participants were actual applicants (N = 262) for non-exempt level data processing positions at a medium-size Midwestern insurance company. As part of the selection process, applicants completed both a cognitive ability test and a personality inventory. Information about the tests was used as a manipulation. Approximately half of the participants received information prior to completing the assessments that explained the tests’ content, job relatedness, and validity, and a description of the testing process, while the other half were not provided with this information. Applicant perceptions were measured prior to testing, immediately after testing, and after hearing about the hiring decision (approximately 30 days after testing). Applicants’ general test fairness perceptions, attitude strength antecedents, information condition, hiring decision, as well as a number of control variables, were used as predictors of applicants’ organizational attraction and word-of-mouth behavior. Testing information was significantly related to organizational attraction at each measurement phase and to recommendation behaviors after the hiring decision was announced. Additionally, information provision influenced applicants’ posttest organizational attraction through its impact on applicants’ interactional justice perceptions. Applicants’ organizational knowledge and job importance, two attitude strength antecedents, were positively related to applicants’ pretesting organizational attraction. The attitude strength antecedents and test information interacted to influence applicants’ post-hiring decision organizational attraction and word-of-mouth behavior, such that applicants receiving information whose attitude strength was high were more strongly attracted to the organization and engaged in more word-of-mouth behavior. This research indicates that providing job applicants with pretesting information increases their attraction to the organization and their pro-organizational behaviors. Both practical and theoretical implications of the findings are discussed.