Alternative perspectives on selection : social impact and validation of graduate selection within a multinational oil company.
This research investigates varIOUS theoretical perspectives on graduate
selection. Four standpoints are examined: organisational justice in selection, the
emergence of the psychological contract, the influence of social moderators on
selection predictive validity, and assessment centre construct validity.
Two studies were conducted into the graduate selection procedures of a
multinational oil company (Shell International). In Study A, applicants were
contacted in retrospect and asked about their experiences of the selection process. In
Study B, a longitudinal design was employed whereby applicants responded to
questionnaires at various time points within the selection process and following four
months of employment, In Study B, data were also collected from the organisation,
including ratings of applicants' potential at selection and subsequent potential four
The results of both studies highlight the dynamic nature of the interaction
between potential recruits and the organisation during the selection process.
Differences between applicants' prior expectations of procedural justice and their
perceptions of reality measured immediately after a selection method, are found to
have an impact on several selection outcome variables. The selection decision is
found to have a direct impact on applicants' reactions to procedural justice, with
unsuccessful applicants having lower perceptions of procedural justice when
measured post-, but not pre-communication of the outcome decision. The dynamic
nature of the psychological contract is shown from selection to four months post
entry, with recruits' perceptions generally becoming more congruent with the
organisation's perspective. The results also highlight the potential influence of
selection and socialisation moderators of predictive validity. Finally, poor
assessment centre construct validity is demonstrated, despite the small number of
criteria used and the reasonable predictive validity. Overall, this research illustrates
the advantage of conducting integrated research which simultaneously examines
multiple perspectives on selection. In conclusion, the original contributions of this
research to selection theory, and a number of implications for practice are discussed.