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Revisiting the Historical Use of the Assessment Centre in Management Selection and Development

George Munchus III (University of Alabama at Birmingham, USA)
Barbara McArthur (Wayne State University, USA)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 1 January 1991



The assessment centre method has received considerable historical attention as an effective tool for management selection and development. The method, originally developed by German psychologists, was used extensively during World War II by the Office of Strategic Services. Refinement of the method occurred at the American Telephone and Telegraph Company during the mid‐1950s in the Management Progress Study under the leadership of Dr Douglas W. Bray. The method found increased acceptance due, in part, to court decisions finding it in compliance with EEOC guidelines. The process used proposes to evaluate the relative strength within an individual of up to ten personality traits using exercises simulating job conditions and events. Studies performed years after assessment show impressive figures regarding the method′s ability to predict management success. Continuing research has shown a use for this method at all levels within an organisation.



Munchus, G. and McArthur, B. (1991), "Revisiting the Historical Use of the Assessment Centre in Management Selection and Development", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 10 No. 1, pp. 5-13.




Copyright © 1991, MCB UP Limited

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