Job Performance - Determinants of Performance

Determinants of Performance

A meta-analysis of selection methods in personnel psychology found that general mental ability was the best overall predictor of job performance and training performance.

Campbell (1990) also suggested determinants of performance components. Individual differences on performance are a function of three main determinants: declarative knowledge, procedural knowledge and skill, and motivation.

Declarative knowledge refers to knowledge about facts, principles, objects, etc. It represents the knowledge of a given task's requirements. For instance, declarative knowledge includes knowledge of principles, facts, ideas, etc.

If declarative knowledge is knowing what to do, procedural knowledge and skill is knowing how to do it. For example, procedural knowledge and skill includes cognitive skill, perceptual skill, interpersonal skill, etc.

The third predictor of performance is motivation, which refers to "a combined effect from three choice behaviors—choice to expend effort, choice of level of effort to expend, and choice to persist in the expenditure of that level of effort" (Campbell, 1990). It reflects the direction, intensity, and persistence of volitional behaviors. Campbell (1990) emphasized that the only way to discuss motivation as a direct determinant of behavior is as one or more of these choices.

Campbell (1990) also mentioned several performance parameters that may have important implications for the job performance setting and should be investigated by industrial and organizational psychologists.

The first one is the distinction between speed and accuracy. This distinction is similar to the one between quantity and quality. Important questions that should be considered include: which is most valued by the organization, maximized speed, maximized accuracy, or some balance between the two? What kind of trade offs should an employee makes? The latter question is important because speed and accuracy for the same task may be independent of one another.

The second distinction is between typical and maximum performance. Sackett, Zedeck, and Fogli did a study on supermarket cashiers and found that there was a substantial difference between scores reflecting their typical performance and scores reflecting their maximum performance. This study suggested the distinction between typical and maximum performance. Regular work situations reflect varying levels of motivation which result in typical performance. Special circumstances generate maximum employee motivation which results in maximum performance.

Additionally,the impact of organizational justice perceptions on performance is believed to stem from Equity Theory. This would suggest that when people perceive injustice they seek to restore justice. One way that employees restore justice is by altering their level of performance. Procedural justice affects performance as a result of its impact on employee attitudes. Distributive justice affects performance when efficiency and productivity are involved. Improving justice perceptions improves productivity and performance.

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