Exploring perceptions of assessment centres in light of organisational justice, and how these perceptions are related to perceived organisational ethical climate. By: Milda Pilvinyte Karen Milner Prof Deon Meiring Sofia Puente Overview • How this study came to be. • The amazing individuals who got involved. • Organisational Justice (OJ) and the employment equity act. • Perceptions of Organisational ethical climate. • My research, methodology and sample. • My research findings and Limitations. • Future directions MY HONOURS YEAR • Honours = Research Report • Goal = Acquaintance with the research process. • My Research Report topic = Supervisor • Organisational Justice (OJ) and Assessment Centres grabbed my attention. • In my search for access to a sample I was referred to the ACSG and of course Prof Meiring. • Prof Meiring = Deloitte SA Employment Equity Act • “Psychological testing and similar assessments are prohibited, unless the test is scientifically valid and reliable, can be applied fairly to all employees, and is not biased against any employee or group.” (ch 2, sec 7) • Organisations have the responsibility to ensure that this requirement is met. • Employees are able to “on their own discretion” decide whether they have been treated fairly regarding the above mentioned act. • Job seekers/employees may make their decision based on a Justice Judgement. Conceptualising OJ Distributive Rule Adams (1965) Equity Theory OJ Greengerg (1987) Interactional Justice & Informational Justice Investigating Procedural Justice Procedural Rule •Court Procedings •Justice Judgement Model Leventhal (1976) Why is OJ Important? • Organisational Perspective: How will employees behave and how will that affect the organisation? • Employee perspective: Understand and rationalise on moral grounds. • The employment equity act is important when considering the employees perspective. The OJ Questionnaire • The OJ questionnaire was a combination of questions adapted from – Colquit’s (2001) four dimensional model of OJ & – Gilliland’s (1993) fairness perceptions model. • 30 item Likert type scale. • Cronbach’s Alphha: 0.928 • Sample: – I believe that everyone, holding a management position, goes through the same Assessment Centre activities. – I believe the observations based on the Assessment Centre activities were used to emphasize fair and objective needs for development. – The panel communicated arrangements for the Assessment Centre procedures sufficiently in advance of the assessment date. Some open ended questions included • What have you learned from the Assessment Centre activities? • Which exercises were the most useful for assessing development opportunities? Organisational Ethical Climate • Guide perceptions of organisational moral obligations. • Judge experience in relation to perceptions of organisational Ethical Climate. The Organisational Ethical Climate questionnaire. • Schwepker’s (2001) Perceptions of Organisational Ethical Climate was used. It was a 7 item questionnaire. Cronbach’s 0.879 • Sample questions: – Deloitte has a formal, written code of ethics. – Deloitte has policies regarding ethical behaviour. – Deloitte does not tolerate unethical behaviour. Previous Research • Lau and Wong (2009) OJ perceptions will be favourable if perceptions of organisational Ethical climate are favourable. • OJ perceptions are more favourable when timely and informative feedback is received (Gilliland, 1993). • Van Vianen et al (2004) Activity relevance and job relatedness. • There is a morality aspect which links the two constructs. Organisational Justice and Ethical climate Perception of Organisational Ethical Climate Justice Judgement (OJ) Experience (AC) The assessment centre • Based on a Management Assessment Development Centre(MADC) at Deloitte. • (5-6) candidates per assessment centre. No immediate decisions ie. No decisions made with regards to promotions ect. • Emphasis was placed on business advisory skills, planning of a development program, business unit talent management, and grooming candidates for future leadership roles. • Assessors did not have a specific score sheet. • Candidates assessed based on a list of criteria to be observed for each activity. ie. Each activity was designed to bring out desired behaviours and these were observed for assessment. • Varied format – Leaderless group discussion, role plays, interviews, report writing, group as well as individual presentations. Sample • The sample consisted of managerial staff from different business divisions within Deloitte (JHB) • The sample was multi-racial with an age ranging from 27-43. • The candidates were selected by the heads of their department and recommended for participation in the MADC. • Candidates were given the choice to either participate or decline. Methodology • I decided to attempt a pre test post test design. • The questionnaires were handed out to candidates on the second day of the MADC and then again on the last day (5th). • In order to track the candidates, the questionnaires were colour coded. • The candidates received the questionnaire pack in a large envelope which was to be sealed once the questionnaires were completed and placed back in the envelope. • The MADC facilitator administered the questionnaires and I picked up the pre and post test questionnaires at the end of the week. The Analysis • In order to investigate the relationship between OJ and Organisational Ethical Climate a Spearman’s Correlation was used. • Frequency distributions were conduct for each of the OJ scale items in order to get a general idea of OJ perceptions. Findings • Positive relationship between perceptions of distributive, procedural, interactional justice and perceptions of organisational ethical climate. • High ratings for both organisational ethical climate and OJ. • Candidates observed some of the activities to be relevant. Eg. Role plays, interviews, the ability to meet the great minds of Deloitte and Touche. • Feedback was perceived to be informative. • The process was observed to be interesting and useful by candidates. Limitations • The sample size. • The candidates were part of an Assessment Development Centre which had no immediate outcome. Which could explain why the results for Distributive justice were weaker. • No directional or causal conclusions. • I did not administer the questionnaires myself, this could have affected the way the questionnaires were answered. My learning experience • The JOYS of doing research. • I met some amazing people. • I was exposed to a whole new world, an exciting one. • Hard work pays off. • My interest in my field of study as well as my research keeps growing. Future Research • This year I will be investigating Restorative Justice. • I will look at how it is related to Organisational Attractiveness. • I will also look at how that relationship is mediate/moderated by perceptions of Affirmative Action. • I will need a large sample. • Assessment centre candidates or job seekers who go through any selection procedures at an organisation.