THE FUTILITY OF UTILITY ANALYSIS

Authors


  • Support for this research was provided by a grant to the first author by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.

  • The authors acknowledge the contributions to this paper of the late Ralph Alexander, Wayne Cascio, Steven Cronshaw, and Martin Evans.

and requests for reprints should be addressed to Dr. Gary P. Latham, Faculty of Management, University of Toronto, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, M5S 1V4.

Abstract

In a study involving 143 experienced managers, utility analysis was found to influence managerial decision making, but not in the way intended by advocates of this technique. Utility analysis reduced the support of managers for implementing a valid selection procedure, even though the analysis indicated that the net benefits from the new procedure were substantial. In light of these findings, industrial/organizational psychologists are advised to reconsider their assumptions regarding the information managers use when managers make human resource policy decisions.

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