Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


43rd Annual Convention; Denver, CO; 2017

Event Details

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Symposium #381
CE Offered: BACB
'Talent' Management in Organizations and Academia Using Behavioral Assessments
Monday, May 29, 2017
8:00 AM–8:50 AM
Hyatt Regency, Capitol Ballroom 1-3
Area: OBM/DEV; Domain: Applied Research
Chair: Kyle Featherston (Washington University in St. Louis)
Discussant: Xiaojie Johan Liu (Boston University)
CE Instructor: Kyle Featherston, Ph.D.

This symposium on “‘Talent’ Management in organizations and academia using behavioral assessments”, will include empirical reports of research in Organizational Behavior. The scope of the presentations spans across behavioral aspects of individuals, groups and organizations. The first presentation presents three different instruments that can be used to appropriately match employees to jobs including the decision-making instrument, perspective-taking instrument, and occupational interest scale. Thereby, improving the hiring, employee development, performance management processes. The second presentation explores how understanding the inherent interest required to be successful in academia can help aspiring academics make better career choices. The paper compares the interests of academics with those of aspiring academics- graduate students and postdoctoral fellows. The paper also discusses the possible approach to alleviate the problem of low supply of open academic positions and a large demand for it. Both presentations present ways to successfully match candidates to jobs using assessments. The basis for this work is derived from understanding the inherent characteristics of the jobs and people who are successfully performing them.

Instruction Level: Basic
Keyword(s): Assessments, Career matching, Decision Making, Interests
Talent Management to Help Organizations Thrive Using the Behavioral Developmental Model of Hierarchical Complexity
MICHAEL LAMPORT COMMONS (Harvard Medical School ), Saranya Ramakrishnan (Harvard School of Public Health), Sarthak Giri (Dare Association)
Abstract: A successful organization must have a well-developed talent management process that supports its employees through the entire employee life cycle: 1) recruitment, 2) development, 3) performance management, and 4) effective reinforcement. The instruments developed by Dr. Michael Lamport Commons are effective in providing unique insights into better understanding and supporting employees. The instruments are 1) Decision Making instrument and 2) Perspective Taking instrument 3) Occupational interests scale. Decision making or problem-solving scores help assess an employee’s ability to reason and make decisions of different difficulty. Perspective taking scores help assess how well an employee understands social situations and people’s actions. The Holland scale identifies the relative reinforcement value of engaging in different categories of work activities. These three scores give companies comprehensive knowledge of the Hierarchical Complexity stage of job performance and occupational interests. This could help companies manage human resources, develop employees and shape the future organizational structure.

Isolating Occupational Interests of Academics to Identify Metrics of Success

Saranya Ramakrishnan (Harvard School of Public Health), Sarthak Giri (Dare Association), PATRICE MARIE MILLER (Salem State University), Michelle Mei (Smith College)

One of the main problems that most academics face is the classic economic problem of supply and demand: the disproportionate number of Ph.D candidates and Postdocs seeking permanent academic positions (supply), the available academic positions (demand). This has created competition amongst aspiring graduates as they scramble to advance in academia. While other studies examine external factors that give these graduates a competitive edge, they fail to identify whether the candidates actually have the right interests to thrive in academia. Using the Core Complexity Solutions (CCS) Holland Interest Scale, this study identifies that academics are high in Social (S), Artistic (A) and Investigative (I) interests. The frequency of the SAI trend is 56% in group 1 (professors) and only 36% in group 2 (Ph.D., Postdocs). Of the six interests, the highest interests of group 1 (professors) members were never Enterprising or Conventional. However, highest interests of group 2 members ranged across all six interests.Understanding this information would also help students understand if academia is the correct career choice for them even before pursuing a doctoral degree. This only leaves a limited number of aspiring graduates to pursue academia, thus alleviating the supply side of the problem.




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