Kaiser & Hogan win Article of the Year
Consulting Psychology Journal announced at the 2012 Society for Consulting Psychology’s Midwinter Conference that Rob Kaiser and Robert Hogan won the Elliott Jaques Memorial Publication Award for How to (and How not to) Assess the Integrity of Managers.
The article analyzes the common practice for measuring managerial integrity with surveys that ask coworkers to rate how often the manager tells the truth, keeps his or her word, and conducts business ethically. The authors showed that most managers get a high score and that the scores do not correlate with leadership effectiveness. They then argue that a better way to measure managerial integrity asks employees if they thought their manager would lie, cheat, steal, or throw staff under the bus if they could get away with it. These scores suggest employees believe as many as one-third of managers may have integrity issues. Further, the scores are highly correlated to leadership effectiveness and subordinate engagement.
“The problem with the standard approach is that it relies on observed behavior and unethical behavior is rarely observed; managers behave badly when no one is looking,” Hogan said. He added, “But the troops know who they can and can’t trust.” Kaiser continued, “Asking if you have ever seen a guy make a pass at someone else’s wife is the wrong question; the right question is whether you would trust him alone with your wife.” According to the data, this approach is much more effective at identifying leaders with the kinds of character issues that undermine engagement and performance.