Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited
Despite the claim that students will use this book, this is highly unlikely, unless one is referring to PhD students specifically working in this area. No doubt HRM faculty should read this text, but again only those with an exact goodness of fit to the area will probably do so. The US orientation will also deter some of the readership. The brave intent of the book is to put the theory back into personnel selection by concentrating on the research underpinning. You cannot survive in the book for long unless you quickly remember that the quirky acronym KSAO stands for knowledge, skills, abilities and other characteristics. Four reasonably full case studies initiate the book, and the reader is asked to return to them at the conclusion of the text to re‐evaluate in the light of the extensive discussion in between. However, it is not propitious when we read in the chapter on the implementation and use of theory‐based research that many of the issues contained within are under‐researched. Equally, given that the cited research in chapter 3 on performance measurement supports the view that ratings continues to be the main method of measurement, there seem to be many imponderables here that research might unravel. For example, there is a research deficit to explore why supervisor, subordinate, peer, and self‐ratings frequently differ (p. 96). Apart from the ubiquitous American cultural imperialism in what is cited, it would help to be informed what the basis of selection is, even within the confines of such imperialism. A globalised context is certainly not present. The nearest one might come is consideration of equal opportunities and minority issues, but again firmly in the US context. It is a pity that the book will only appeal to a limited readership, since there is undoubtedly erudition and insight contained within the pages. Unfortunately, it is too unwieldy and sometimes arcane to achieve a wide audience.