In the Australian work context, together with other similar individualistic Western countries (such as the USA and UK), job performance is typically assessed in terms of task (in-role) behaviour – i.e., how well an employee performs their duties; organisational citizenship behaviour – i.e., going ‘above and beyond’ role requirements such as helping other employees with their workload; and counterproductive work behaviours – i.e., absenteeism and poor work practices.
In this global economy it is important to be aware of how job performance is assessed in other cultures, particularly more collectivist culture such as many Asian and Latin American countries.
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A meta-analysis conducted in the United Kingdom (Bertua, Anderson & Salgado, 2005) has found that intelligence tests and tests of specific cognitive abilities are strong, reliable and valid predictors of both job performance and response to training. Operational validities are in the range of .5-.6, meaning that these cognitive tests can account for approximately 30% of the variance in job performance between candidates. This makes cognitive ability tests the single strongest predictor of job performance, over and above other popular measures such as personality assessments and job interviews. The predictive validity of cognitive ability tests generalises across job types and settings, meaning that these tests are useful predictors of most jobs in most industries (if not all!). Their ability to predict job performance is strongest for more complex roles, such as professional and managerial roles.
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