This dissertation is about evaluating the use of psychometrics in the construction industry. The document will also present the main aims and objectives of the study.
A comprehensive literature study has also been carried out with the objective of gaining an in-depth understanding of the topic of psychometrics. The literature review chapter will identify a selection of the testing methods that are available on the market, test design, usage within industry and the associated costs with such tests. A methodology and potential constraints have also been identified, and finally a timetable has been proposed.
The survey indicated that companies are beginning to realise the benefits of psychometric testing,
This dissertation proposal has been compiled as part of the BSc (Honours) in construction management. It is necessary for the individual to produce a research project on the subject of his/her own choice that is construction related. The topic chosen for the purposes this dissertation is that of psychometric science.
1.2 Nature of the Problem
Few people in the construction industry would disagree that effective team building is essential to success; however bringing together a bunch of individuals does not automatically produce a team (Franks 2002). Teams have to be assembled by taking into account many factors, including individual skill and particularly the personal characteristics of the individual member, psychometric testing is one way of ensuring the correct team members are recruited, thus maximizing the capabilities of the team.
Psychometrics covers a range of testing methods from IQ and aptitude tests to personality questionnaires and numbercy indicators. Many organisations now use this form of testing routinely in their recruitment processes especially at senior level, according to Corcoran (2005) it forces an examination and sound understanding of the competencies inherent in the role in question and links the candidate’s competencies with those to the role. Hampton (2002) suggests that these tests are not just limited to recruitment; they can also be used in career development to raise awareness of the individual’s own strengths and weaknesses.
The need for this research stems from the fact that compared to other industries where the use of psychometrics is widespread; construction firms seem to be blind to its benefits. As an industry that relies heavily on good teamwork, construction could gain from a wider implementation of psychometrics in both recruitment and team development.
Also if survey statistics are to be believed, up to 56% of candidates exaggerate their skills/experience on their CV. Making a recruitment decision purely on the content of a CV and interview alone, could prove to be unreliable. Whilst a CV certainly provides an overview of a candidate’s ability, it doesn’t necessarily illustrate their suitability for the role. Likewise, an applicant may handle an interview extremely well but not have the capability to deliver the role itself. Psychometric testing therefore attempts to add a third dimension to the team building/recruitment process. The need for this research is therefore obvious and will be designed to test the following hypothesis:
“Psychometric testing is critical to successful team building in the Irish construction industry.”
As an industry that relies heavily on good teamwork, it is essential that that the right people are selected for the right jobs. This rationale for this dissertation is to establish whether or not construction could benefit from the wider implementation of psychometric testing, and also to evaluate the current usage of psychometric testing in the industry.
Establishing the usage of psychometric testing is a critical part of this research, it establishes the current trends in the construction industry towards recruitment and team development and once this is established it may help organisations see the way forward. To achieve this, a literature review, a pilot study and postal questionnaires shall be conducted.
Initial research has indicated that the construction industry is slow to realise the benefits of testing in both recruitment and team development. Employers need to be made aware of both the advantages and disadvantages of psychometrics which enable them to make an informed decision as to whether or not psychometrics is appropriate to their organisation.
- The general aim of this research is to investigate if psychometric testing is either a beneficial or a counterproductive exercise to a construction organisation in the selection of team members.
- To establish the extent of use of psychometrics within the Irish Construction Industry.
- To gain a comprehensive understanding of the topic of psychometrics.
1.5 Objectives of the Research
- To provide a general overview of the topic of psychometric science.
- To review the range of testing methods available.
- To establish the apparent advantages and disadvantages to a construction organisation in adopting psychometric testing.
- To assess the current usage of psychometrics within the Irish construction industry.
“The benefits of Psychometric Testing are not fully appreciated in the Irish Construction Industry”
1.7 Outline Methodology
The methodology section for this dissertation will provide a rationale for the choice and use of particular strategies and tools for gathering and analyzing the data. A quantitative research strategy was used as part of the methodology, which helped in the execution of both the literature review and the questionnaire.
The literature review was one the first stages of the methodology; this was used to highlight the importance of using psychometric testing in both recruitment and team building.
The methodology also involved the production of structured questionnaire; these were compiled to assess the current usage of psychometric testing among organisations within the Irish Construction Industry. A pilot study of the questionnaire was first conducted to provide a trial run for the questionnaire, which involves testing the wording of the questions and identifying any ambiguous questions.
A detailed analysis of the results was then produced; it will consist of questions, answers, tables, figures and charts to represent the data. Finally an interview was conducted with a member of an organisation utilising psychometrics as part of their recruitment process.
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