To examine how people weigh information when making people decisions, specifically promotion or redundancy, at work.
A sample of 183 working adults completed two questionnaires that required them to rate 16 vignettes describing hypothetical people. They were devised to give combinations of the following: two gender (male/female), two levels of ability (average/high), two levels of work experience (less than five years/ more than 15 years) and two levels of motivation (average/high). The first questionnaire required participants to rate the 16 people for possible promotion and the second for possible redundancy
Participants favoured males over females; the more over the less experienced; the more over the less able/intelligence and the more over the less motivated for promotion and to be retained rather than made redundant. Employee motivation was seen to be the most important individual difference variable in the decision making.
Managers have to make many people decisions such as who to promote. They usually have to balance and weigh different pieces of information about people regarding that decision. This study shows that three factors were rated as particularly important namely experience, intelligence and motivation.
This study appears to be the first to examine decision making through this traditional vignette methodology. While it has drawbacks it also has advantages to investigate how people weigh information about others when trying to make important people decisions.
Furnham, A. and Petrides, K. (2006), "Deciding on promotions and redundancies: Promoting people by ability, experience, gender and motivation", Journal of Managerial Psychology, Vol. 21 No. 1, pp. 6-18. https://doi.org/10.1108/02683940610643189Download as .RIS
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