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Award Detail

Doing Business As Name:University of Alabama Tuscaloosa
  • Peter Harms
  • (205) 348-2769
  • Dustin Wood
Award Date:07/21/2021
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 264,390
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 264,390
  • FY 2021=$264,390
Start Date:09/01/2021
End Date:08/31/2023
Transaction Type:Grant
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.075
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:Utilizing Elaborated Situational Judgment Tests to Improve Selection, Enhance Training, and Facilitate Workplace Understanding and Cohesion
Federal Award ID Number:2121275
DUNS ID:045632635
Parent DUNS ID:808245794
Program:SoO-Science Of Organizations
Program Officer:
  • Tara Behrend
  • (703) 292-8053

Awardee Location

Street:801 University Blvd.
Awardee Cong. District:07

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Alabama
Street:152 Alston Hall, 361 Stadium Dr
Cong. District:07

Abstract at Time of Award

Situational judgment tests (SJTs) are increasingly understood as a valuable tool for predicting organizational performance. However, many researchers have noted that they largely fail to represent the reasons certain actions are judged to be effective in organizational settings than others, or why respondents selected less effective actions. This project will focus on evaluating how elaborated situational judgment tests (ESJTs) – whereby respondents additionally rate the expected effects of responding in different ways to SJT scenarios – can address this limitation. Past work has detailed that ESJTs provide avenues for representing a person’s reasons for selecting different responses to job-relevant situations in the form of graphical causal models. This project will explore how ESJTs can be used to (a) represent how diverse populations (e.g., individuals of different age groups, genders, or ethnicities) understand particular workplace scenarios, (b) represent the role of situational factors in altering the effectiveness of specific organizational behaviors, and (c) provide opportunities for teaching more effective organizational behavior. By bringing these processes to light, EJSTs can be used to not only improve the validity of personnel selection systems and inform more effective workplace training procedures, but also to advance efforts to create a fairer and more inclusive work environment. In Project 1, ratings of the expected effects of different responses to organizational situations within a validated SJT will be collected from both working adults and subject matter experts. These ratings will be used to create new indices of the degree to which employees show an expert’s understanding of the effectiveness of different responses to job situations. These indices will be explored for their ability to predict organizational outcomes such as job performance and satisfaction beyond other valid predictors. In Project 2, a novel set of scenarios will be developed to detail how specific contextual factors (e.g., deadlines, relative organizational rank) alter the reasons for preferring one response to job-relevant situations over others. In Project 3, ESJT-based instruments will be explored as pedagogical tools that can supplement case studies in MBA and other professional programs for teaching effective decision-making, and for detailing how populations with different backgrounds and levels of experience come to perceive and process organizational situations differently. These can then be used to provide more concrete points for discussing how diverse groups come to understand “the same” organizational situations differently, and for teaching employees about the factors that make different responses to organizational situations more or less effective. The project will generate publicly available tools for creating and modeling data from elaborated situational judgment tasks, and for utilizing them effectively in both selection and job training contexts. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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