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The developmental assessment centre: the next generation

Steven H. Appelbaum (Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada)
Vincent Harel (United Parcel Service of Canada, Lachine, Quebec, Canada)
Barbara Shapiro (Concordia University, Montreal, Quebec, Canada)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Article publication date: 1 February 1998



A critical instrument in managerial selection for the past 25 years has been the assessment centre (AC). One of the major reasons for its success is that it has relatively good predictive validity. However, ACs are not without problems. Despite their relatively good predictive validity, research has been unable to show adequately their content validity, and construct validity has not been demonstrated. It is for this reason that the need for and analysis of the development assessment centre (DAC) is being presented. A DAC needs to be seen as the start point ‐ not end point ‐ of development. However, the evolution of the ACs towards DACs remains too new to generalize on their impact on job performance although some related research is promising. This article examines AC characteristics and AC criteria such as: effectiveness requirements; validity; cost effectiveness and outcomes (descriptive or prescriptive). The gap between the AC and the DAC is examined in terms of design applications. DACs by having the combination of a clear and precise feedback and a pragmatic on‐the‐job follow‐up of what was learned in the simulations, can be a powerful instrument in enhancing the competencies of a business organization and its employees in terms of reliable and accelerated development within a dynamic and turbulent environment.



Appelbaum, S.H., Harel, V. and Shapiro, B. (1998), "The developmental assessment centre: the next generation", Career Development International, Vol. 3 No. 1, pp. 5-12.




Copyright © 1998, MCB UP Limited

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