First Advisor

Donald Truxillo

Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) in Systems Science: Psychology


Systems Science: Psychology




Employee selection, Prediction of occupational success



Physical Description

1 online resource (ix, 182 pages)


An employment process suprasystem contains human resource-related systems such as training, recruitment, performance appraisal, and personnel selection. Similarly, a personnel selection system consists of interdependent subsystems that work together to manifest its properties (e.g., the acquisition of qualified and high-potential individuals). Finally, each of these complex subsystems (e.g., applicant reactions to selection methods) have interdependent elements (e.g., procedural and distributive justice) that work together to manifest the properties of the subsystem (e.g., applicant fairness perceptions).

This dissertation takes such a systems approach to understanding the complexities of a personnel selection system to explore the interactions among three of its subsystems: (1) job performance predictors, (2) multidimensional job performance, and (3) applicant reactions to selection methods.

Participants were 214 entry-level managers at a major U.S. airline. First, I examined the notion that job performance is multidimensional, consisting of at least two distinct elements (task and contextual performance). Next, using a concurrent validation design, I explored the relationship that cognitive ability and personality have with task and contextual performance. I also studied whether framing a personality inventory in the context of work yields higher validities and led to more positive fairness perceptions. Finally, I explored whether fairness perceptions moderate test validity.

The current study contributes to the selection research in several ways. First, the dissertation used field data to confirm the notion that overall job performance is multidimensional, a function of both task performance and contextual performance. Moreover, results suggested that personality is a better predictor of contextual job performance and that cognitive ability is a better predictor of task performance. Frame-of-reference of a personality test appeared to affect both its validity and applicants' fairness perceptions. Results also suggested that the perceived fairness of a personality test may affect its validity. Therefore, this dissertation demonstrates that taking a systems perspective of personnel selection integrates different branches of selection research and thus begins to identify the interactions and complexities of a selection system.


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