• This project was conducted using data gathered by Personnel Decisions International.

  • The authors thank Personnel Decisions International and Paul Van Katwyk for their support on this project. The authors also acknowledge the constructive comments and useful insights of the three anonymous reviewers.

and requests for reprints should be addressed to Harold W. Goldstein, Baruch Coliege, Department of Psychology, Box B8-215, One Bernard Baruch Way, New York, NY 10010; harold_goldstein@baruch.cuny.edu.


This study investigates whether different job-relevant competencies vary in terms of Black-White subgroup differences exhibited. There were 633 participants (545 Whites, 88 Blacks) who completed a managerial assessment center that evaluated 13 competency dimensions across 8 assessment exercises. Participants also completed a cognitive ability test. The results suggest that subgroup differences vary by the content domain of the competency. As predicted, significant subgroup differences emerged for a majority of the more cognitively loaded competencies (e.g., judgment) while nonsignificant differences were associated with a majority of the less cognitively loaded competencies (e.g., human relations). Furthermore, when cognitive ability was controlled, 12 of 13 competency scores demonstrated incremental validity in predicting supervisory job performance ratings. In addition, competencies with greater cognitive load tended to more strongly predict cognitive aspects of job performance as compared to noncognitive aspects. However, competencies with less cognitive load did not differentially predict cognitive and noncognitive aspects of job performance.