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J Appl Psychol. 2009 Jul;94(4):829-43. doi: 10.1037/a0014453.

Effects of selection and training on unit-level performance over time: a latent growth modeling approach.

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Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL, USA.


Surprisingly few data exist concerning whether and how utilization of job-related selection and training procedures affects different aspects of unit or organizational performance over time. The authors used longitudinal data from a large fast-food organization (N = 861 units) to examine how change in use of selection and training relates to change in unit performance. Latent growth modeling analyses revealed significant variation in both the use and the change in use of selection and training across units. Change in selection and training was related to change in 2 proximal unit outcomes: customer service performance and retention. Change in service performance, in turn, was related to change in the more distal outcome of unit financial performance (i.e., profits). Selection and training also affected financial performance, both directly and indirectly (e.g., through service performance). Finally, results of a cross-lagged panel analysis suggested the existence of a reciprocal causal relationship between the utilization of the human resources practices and unit performance. However, there was some evidence to suggest that selection and training may be associated with different causal sequences, such that use of the training procedure appeared to lead to unit performance, whereas unit performance appeared to lead to use of the selection procedure.

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