A Causal Analysis of Cognitive Ability, Job Knowledge, Job Performance, and Supervisor Ratings
This chapter presents a metaanalysis of 14 empirical studies that assessed the correlations between three variables relevant to performance appraisal: ability, job knowledge, and performance itself. Performance is represented by two kinds of measurement: job-sample tests and supervisor ratings. Ability should be related to performance in two ways. First, to the extent that the job calls for reasoning, planning, or memory, speed and smoothness of performance will depend on cognitive ability. Second, ability determines the extent to which the person masters the knowledge required for efficient and excellent performance. Ability is especially important if the job requires adjustment to novel circumstances or change in behavior due to changing job requirements. The greater the extent to which the job can be laid out in manuals or training programs, the greater the extent to which ability will be relevant only indirectly through its relation to job knowledge.