On the receiving end: an exploratory study of managerial selection in the United Kingdom

Billsberry, Jon (2005). On the receiving end: an exploratory study of managerial selection in the United Kingdom. In: Academy of Management Annual Meeting, 5-10 Aug 2005, Honolulu, Hawaii.

URL: http://jonbillsberry.co.uk/storytelling%20-%20AoM0...


This paper reports on a qualitative study exploring perceptions of managerial selection in the United Kingdom. Via storytelling, 264 managers described their most memorable experience of selection. These stories relate the perceptions of both applicants and selectors. Two types of data were extracted from the stories. First, despite the selective focus of the respondents, it was possible to provide addititive data on the source of applicants and their reasons for application. Results showed that 48% of vacanies contained only external applicants, 16% were open in internal applicants only, and 33% were contested by both internal and external candidates. Overwhelmingly, the prime reason for internal applicants to apply for posts was for promotion whereas external applicants described a much broader range of reasons for their application. Second, a number of themes were apparent in the stories. These included an analysis of the differences between internal and external candidates, the different type of fit that selectors try to examine, the role of market forces in recruitment and selection episodes, the nature of contemporary interviewing and applicants' attention to detail. In addition, it is noted that selectors did not include any mention of job analysis, job descriptions, reliability, or validity in their stories, raising concerns that they are adopting a non-scientific approach.

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