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PROGRESSION THROUGH THE RANKS: ASSESSING EMPLOYEE REACTIONS TO HIGH-STAKES EMPLOYMENT TESTING

Authors


  • Funding for this project was supported, in part, by a Social Sciences Humanities and Research Council grant (# 410040043) awarded to Julie McCarthy. The views expressed in this paper are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Ontario Police College or the Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services.

and requests for reprints should be addressed to Julie McCarthy, University of Toronto—Management, 1265 Military Trail Toronto, Ontario M1C 1A4, Canada; julie.mccarthy@rotman.utoronto.ca.

Abstract

Employee reactions to promotional examinations were investigated in 2 studies (N = 498 & 182, respectively) of police officers. Anxiety, motivation, and justice perceptions were examined as possible predictors of promotional exam performance and intentions to recommend the exam to others. Reactions to a promotional examination were significantly and differentially related to those criteria. Motivation predicted performance whereas justice perceptions predicted recommendation intentions. In Study 2, the role of cognitive processing was also investigated. Results indicated that candidate reactions predicted exam performance through cognitive processing mechanisms. Exam motivation facilitated cognitive processing, which resulted in higher levels of exam performance. In contrast, exam anxiety exhibited both facilitative and debilitative cognitive processing effects.

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