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Do consensus meetings undermine the validity of assessment centres?

By Chris Dewberry and Deborah Jordan


In this study the effects of latent-informal processes operating in assessment centre consensus meetings is investigated with a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods. Non-participative observation is carried out in several consensus meetings, and auditory recordings made in three of these. In an analysis of the transcript of a consensus meeting in one organization, evidence is found for several latent-informal processes. These include active attempts by assessors to persuade other assessors, and the group facilitator, to appoint candidates; the use of assessors’ general impressions of candidates in this persuasion process; and the active use of power derived from an assessors’ relative seniority in the organization. Evidence consistent with the use of seniority-derived power is also found in a quantitative analysis of the selection decisions made in consensus meetings about 413 candidates. The results of the study are considered in relation to the practical utility of consensus meetings, and it is concluded that the use of such meetings is difficult to justify

Topics: manop
Year: 2006
OAI identifier: oai:eprints.bbk.ac.uk.oai2:306

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