Date of Award

Winter 1991

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Committee Director

Terry L. Dickinson

Committee Member

Glynn D. Coates

Committee Member

Peter J. Mikulka

Committee Member

Paul J. Champagne


The purpose of this research was to investigate the influence of job characteristics and structuring aids on the accuracy and acceptance of managers' estimates of the standard deviation of job performance in dollars (i.e., SDy). The job characteristics consisted of critical incidents of work behaviors and existing performance appraisal dimensions. The structuring aids consisted of full algorithm and partial algorithm procedures. In addition, a global estimation procedure was included in the design and served as a control condition. Participants were 96 nursing managers. Through the use of questionnaires, the managers provided dollar-value estimates of the value of low, average, and superior performing employees for the registered nurse (i.e., RN) and licensed practical nurse (i.e., LPN) jobs. The results indicated that the full algorithm procedure had a greater impact on distinguishing between the dollar-values of the levels of performance and produced larger values of SDy. The use of critical incidents of work behavior reduced the variability of SDy estimates compared to procedures that relied on performance appraisal dimensions. Also, the majority of the procedures that provided algorithm and job characteristics information produced SDy estimates with smaller variability than the global estimation procedure. All participants indicated confidence in their estimates. Managers indicated a greater acceptance of the full algorithm procedure over the partial algorithm procedure. Acceptance of the global procedure did not differ significantly from the algorithm procedures. Interpretations and suggestions for future research were discussed


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