Title: The Mythology of Competency Assessment: Musings on Measurement, Reality, and the Future
Presenter: Dr. Dan Putka, HumRRO
Online registrations by 5pm ET the day before; Lunch buffet included on-site.
GMU Arlington Campus, Founder's Hall, Room TBA
- 3351 N Fairfax Dr, Arlington, VA 22201 (map)
- Metro Access and Parking Available
Competencies are everywhere in human capital (HC) management. Indeed, competencies provide the unifying medium for implementing and integrating HC practices that span the employment life cycle to include recruitment, hiring, training and development, performance management, and workforce planning. Over the past century, our field has become adept at developing and evaluating assessments when the constructs to be measured are well-specified and homogenous, and when individuals’ standing on behavioral indicators of the construct are assumed to be situationally stable. But do these features really describe competencies as they are typically defined or manifest themselves in real assessment data?
Findings from research on a diverse array of measurement methods have been increasingly and consistently indicating that competency scores have a non-trivial and systematic situational component to them. In many ways, such findings are not surprising. Few psychologists today would disagree that a person’s behavior is a function of the person, situation, and their interaction – and competency-related behavior is no exception. Nevertheless, such findings have arguably done little to influence our approaches to (a) competency modeling, (b) developing competency assessments, (c) evaluating the quality of competency assessments, and (d) using of competency scores to drive decisions – despite offering opportunities for science and practice to benefit.
In this presentation, I’ll start to “connect the dots” between a diverse set of recent external and internally conducted research findings that illustrate the complex way in which competencies function, and the implications this may have for future competency-based practice. Discussion will focus on opportunities and barriers to capitalizing on this research, and pose several questions to ponder.
Speaker Bio: Dr. Dan Putka is a Principal Staff Scientist at HumRRO, and current President of PTC-MW. During his time at HumRRO, Dan has helped numerous organizations develop and evaluate assessments to enhance their hiring and promotion process; as well as led large scale analytics projects to help organizations optimize their HR policies and identify drivers of key outcomes such as turnover. In addition to his client-centered work, Dan has maintained an active presence in the I-O scientific community with a focus on presenting and publishing work that helps improve the methods organizations use to capture, evaluate, and leverage competency data to drive decisions. In recognition of his contributions to practice and science, Dan has been named a Fellow of APA and three of its divisions, to include SIOP, Division 5 – Evaluation, Measurement, & Statistics, and Division 19 – the Society for Military Psychology. Dan received his Ph.D. in I-O psychology from Ohio University with a specialization in quantitative methods.
PTC/MW thanks GMU's Industrial-Organizational Psychology Student Association (IOPSA) for their continued support in organizing and hosting our monthly luncheons and workshops.