1st Edition

Adverse Impact
Implications for Organizational Staffing and High Stakes Selection

Edited By

James L. Outtz

ISBN 9780415845885
Published May 16, 2014 by Routledge
584 Pages

USD $62.95

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Book Description

This text is the best single repository for a comprehensive examination of the scientific research and practical issues associated with adverse impact. Adverse impact occurs when there is a significant difference in organizational outcomes to the disadvantage of one or more groups defined on the basis of demographic characteristics such as race, ethnicity, gender, age, religion, etc.

This book shows, based on scientific research, how to design selection systems that minimize subgroup differences. The primary object of this volume in the SIOP series is to bring together renowned experts in this field to present their viewpoints and perspectives on what underlies adverse impact, where we are in terms of assessing it and what we may have learned (or not learned) about minimizing it.

Table of Contents

Part 1. Background. S. Zedeck, Adverse Impact: History and Evolution. P. Bobko, P.L. Roth, An Analysis of Two Methods for Assessing and Indexing Adverse Impact-and a Disconnect Between the Academic Literature and Some Practice. Part 2. Theoretical Perspectives. J. Outtz, D. Newman, A Theory of Adverse Impact. H.W. Goldstein, C.A. Scherbaum, K.P. Yusko, Revisiting: Intelligence, Adverse Impact, and Personnel Selection. Part 3. Adverse Impact and Traditional Selection Theory. K. Murphy, How a Broader Definition of the Criterion Domain Changes Our Thinking about Adverse Impact. K. Hattrup, B.G. Roberts, What are the Criteria for Adverse Impact? Part 4. Facets of the Adverse Impact Problem. N. Tippins, Adverse Impact in Employee Selection Procedures from the Perspective of an Organizational Consultant. F. Landy, Performance Ratings: Then and Now. P.F. McKay, Perspectives on Adverse Impact in Work Performance: What We Know and What We Could Learn More About. W. Cascio, R. Jacobs, J. Silva, Validity, Utility, and Adverse Impact: Practical Implications from 30 Years of Data. J.F. Kehoe, Cut Scores and Adverse Impact. P. Sackett, W. Shen, Subgroup Differences on Cognitive Tests in Contexts Other Than Personnel Selection. Part 5. Adverse Impact from an International Perspective. P. Hanges, E.G. Feinberg, International Perspectives on Adverse Impact: Europe and Beyond. H. Kriek, K. Dowdeswell, Adverse Impact in South Africa. Part 6. Methods of Reducing Adverse Impact. Herman Aguinis and Marlene A. Smith. N. Schmitt, A. Quinn, Balancing Adverse Impact, Selection Errors, and Employee Performance in the Presence of Test Bias. P.R. Sackett, W. De Corte, F. Lievens, Reductions in Measured Subgroup Mean Differences: What is Possible? I.L. Goldstein, K.L. Lundquist, Decision Aids for Addressing the Validity-Adverse Impact Tradeoff. J. Outtz, A Five Year Journey with Coca-Cola. Conclusions.

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James L. Outtz obtained his Ph.D. in industrial and organizational psychology from the University of Maryland. He is a Fellow in the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) and the American Psychological Association. He is President of Outtz and Associates a consulting firm in Washington DC that specializes in personnel selection and human resources management. His professional service in the field of industrial and organizational psychology includes membership on SIOP’s Ad Hoc Committee on Revision of the "Principles for the Validation and Use of Personnel Selection Procedures" which addresses best practices in the development and use of such procedures. In addition, he served as consulting editor to the Journal of Applied Psychology. He is recognized internationally for his work in the areas of adverse impact and alternative selection procedures, subjects about which he has written extensively. He routinely develops selection procedures for public and private sector employers in complex situations where litigation is, has been or might become a factor. His interests include selection, training, performance management, job analysis and work design, workforce diversity and equal employment opportunity.

Dr. Outtz is highly sought after as an expert for plaintiffs and defendants in major litigation involving the analysis of work, hiring, promotion, performance management, compensation and reductions in force.


"This book goes beyond the simplistic notions that prejudice can explain adverse impact, that it is enough to measure subgroup mean differences or compute adverse impact ratios, or that it happens only "at-the-front-door" when employees are selected. The book shows the complexities of adverse impact and of understanding it from the perspectives of psychology theory and of organizational leadership. It goes far beyond the concerns of industrial and organizational psychologists, touching on cognitive, developmental, social, and educational psychology. A lot of dissertation topics can be expected to arise from reading this book. It will be cited often in diverse literatures." - Robert M. Guion, Distinguished University Professor Emeritus, Bowling Green State University

"Internationally renowned I/O psychologist and practitioner, Dr. James Outtz, has assembled a who's who of organizational scholars to write on the topic of adverse impact. Our diverse workplaces and the insidious forms of prejudice and diversity resistance that plague today's employers make this volume a necessity for practitioners and researchers alike." - Kecia M. Thomas, Professor of Psychology, University of Georgia

"Essential reading for anyone who uses test scores and wants to know what they mean."-Milton D. Hakel, Department of Psychology, Bowling Green State University

"This is the most comprehensive treatment of a critical issue in EEO Law.  It considers adverse impact from every angle imaginable, and it is written by an impressive group of authors.  It is a must read for any scholar or practioner interested in understanding the issues associated with adverse impact, including how to understand it and deal with it on a social and legal level."  - Arthur Gutman, Florida Institute of Technology