HR Science Forum
A comparison of adverse impact levels based on top-down, multisource, and assessment center data: Promoting diversity and reducing legal challenges
Article first published online: 25 MAY 2012
© 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
Human Resource Management
Volume 51, Issue 3, pages 313–341, May/June 2012
How to Cite
John Bernardin, H., Konopaske, R. and Hagan, C. M. (2012), A comparison of adverse impact levels based on top-down, multisource, and assessment center data: Promoting diversity and reducing legal challenges. Hum. Resour. Manage., 51: 313–341. doi: 10.1002/hrm.21472
- Issue published online: 25 MAY 2012
- Article first published online: 25 MAY 2012
- legal issues and employment law;
- HR measurement issues;
- gender diversity;
- decision making;
- performance assessment
We compared levels of adverse impact (AI) against minorities and women based on three promotional decision methods for 428 associate store managers of a Fortune 500 retailer: top-down appraisal (TDA), multisource appraisal (MSA), and an assessment center (AC). We found significant effects for race and minority status (favoring whites) but no significant effects for gender across all three methods. Comparisons were analyzed using two definitions of AI (four-fifths rule and the Fisher Exact Test) with a selection ratio (SR) of .25. No evidence of AI was found against blacks for any of the methods. For Hispanics, AI was found under the four-fifths rule for the AC. For women, the four-fifths rule was violated using TDA. Results provide some partial support for the argument that diversity goals are more likely to be met using assessment centers compared to TDA when the preponderance of raters are white men. Our data also suggest that carefully crafted, job-related, top-down appraisal, combined with rater training, may be effective in facilitating the promotion of more women and minorities and reducing the probability of legal problems. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.