Case Study - Successful Managers

Various Positions

Overview

Harrison Assessments' is an assessment instrument that is used for selection and development. It measures 130 different characteristics of an individual. In addition it formulates the requirements of a particular job and compares the individual to that job. It offers a final score between zero and one hundred which represents the degree of suitability of a person for a particular job. A score of one hundred represents a person who is completely suitable for a particular position, while a score of zero represents a person who is completely unsuitable for that position. Assuming the person is eligible for a position (has the education, experience and technical skills), a suitability score of 75 or greater represents a person who is considered likely to perform effectively in that position. A score of 74 or less represents a person who is likely to perform less than average in that position.

This study was conducted by a Ph.D student seeking to ascertain the characteristics that lead to successful managers. Each subject completed a questionnaire asking various questions related to salary and productivity. These answers were then used to determine the relative success of the manager. This study included 109 subjects.

An analysis of the 130 Harrison Assessments' traits was then conducted by Dan Harrison Ph.D in order to determine which traits correlated with success and how closely the Harrison Assessments' suitability score correlated with the performance score.

Performance ratings

Each company was instructed to have a random sampling of employees from their company complete the Harrison Assessments' questionnaire (a range of excellent to poor performers). Each of those employees was then rated by the company according to their job performance. The following scale was used:

90-100
Excellent to Best - considering the amount of experience
80-89
Very Good - considering the amount of experience
70-79
Average to Good - considering the amount of experience
60-69
Below average - considering the amount of experience
40-59
Poor - considering the amount of experience
Below 40
Failed or will soon fail in the position

The companies were asked to provide this rating given the length of time the person had been in the position. The lowest performance rating given by any of the companies was 50%.

Predictive accuracy

A prediction is considered accurate if one or more of the following conditions are met:

a) The suitability score is 75 or greater and the performance score is 75 or greater

b) The suitability score is less than 75 and the performance score is less than 75.

c) The suitability score is within 6 points of the performance score.

The logic behind this definition is that, if the suitability score were 75 or above and the person were eligible for the position, it would indicate a prediction that the person would probably succeed in the position. If the suitability score were less than 75 and the person was moderately eligible (not highly eligible) for the position then this would indicate a prediction of below average performance. Also, if the suitability score were within 6 points of the performance score it would indicate a very close prediction and thus should also be considered accurate. The suitability score for each person appears on the template in the far right-hand column of the table.

From the research sample, 82 of the 109 managers (75%) showed a correlation between the Harrison Assessments' suitability score and performance to be accurate, according to the definition above.

The results show that the template developed is able to reasonably predict success for management positions despite the fact that these positions could significantly vary in the duties and requirements. In addition, the results correlated highly with other research for management positions.