Thought Leadership


PDRI staff have published more than 550 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters.

Click on a topic below to find abstracts of peer-reviewed articles published by PDRI associates.

Choose a topic:
Hiring and Assessment | Custom Training | Competency Modeling | Career Management
Performance Management | Leadership Development | Organizational Development

Hiring and Assessment

Partnership for Public Service & PDRI (2010).The weakest link: How strengthening assessment leads to better federal hiring, Washington, DC: Partnership for Public Service.
PDRI partnered with the Partnership for Public Service to examine how agencies are assessing candidates for federal jobs today, the barriers to hiring the best candidates, and how the process can be improved. Our study found that applicant assessment is the weakest link in the government's hiring chain, with top candidates frequently getting lost in the hiring process. The report discusses key barriers to assessment and provides recommendations to overcome these barriers and improve assessment in the federal government.

Johnson, J. W., Steel, P., Scherbaum, C. A., Hoffman, C. C., Jeanneret, P. R., & Foster, J. (2010). Validation is like motor oil: Synthetic is better. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 3(3), 305-328.
This article presents the advantages and limitations of using synthetic validation to provide validity evidence for selection tools. The article details the methods for establishing synthetic validity evidence and discusses how synthetic validation methods can be applied in a variety of situations to increase efficiency in assessment validation.

Hedge, J., & Pulakos, E. D. (1993). Personnel selection in organizations, San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
This book features chapters addressing personnel selection topics authored by prominent researchers. The chapters cover a wide range of topics, including job analysis, validity of selection assessments, recruitment and retention, predictor and criterion measurement and return on investment assessment.

Pulakos, E. D. (2005). Selection assessment methods: A guide to implementing formal assessments to build a high-quality workforce, Alexandria, VA: Society for Human Resources Management.
Organizations compete fiercely for top talent, and many invest enormous resources in attracting the best candidates. Yet when it comes to actually assessing the candidates to determine who will perform well, many organizations fail to use scientifically proven assessment methods. Such assessments have been shown to result in significant bottom-line savings and productivity increases. This report provides an overview of the various options available and helps HR practitioners select assessment tools appropriate for their organizations. This book is part of the SHRM Foundation Effective Practice Guidelines series, which makes research findings easily accessible to HR practitioners.

Custom Training

Mueller-Hanson, R. A., Swartout, E. C., Nelson, J. K. , Parish, C., Martin, C., & McGonigle, T. (2009). Social Awareness and Leader Influence: Development of Classroom and Web-based Learning Interventions, Technical Report 1258.
This project work conducted for the Army Research Institute in partnership with ICF International involved integrating several different disciplines of research, synthesizing the findings, and developing high-quality training for the Army's Leadership Corp. This project addressed the pressing need for soldiers to become more socially aware in multicultural environments so they can more adeptly influence others toward suitable outcomes. Innovative video-based assessments were used to provide tailored feedback to learners as they progressed through the interventions.

Career Management

Carter, G. W., Cook, K. W., & Dorsey, D. W. (2009). Career paths: Charting courses to success for organizations and their employees, Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
Career Paths offers a career path model and useful tools and tips for developing, implementing and integrating career paths into talent management systems. The authors describe the value of career paths from individual employee, organizational and industry standpoints and show how career path efforts can be integrated with recruitment and hiring, strategic planning, succession management, employee development and retention programs. With a sample career path guide and a list of resources for organizations, this book is an indispensable reference for HR professionals, managers and executives, training and development professionals, and organizational consultants.

Competency Modeling

O’Leary, R. S., Hansen, A. M., Yankelevitch, M., & Bludau, T. (November 2009). Best Practices in Competency Model Development and Use (Technical Report 665), Arlington, VA: PDRI.

This chapter covers the purpose and major uses of job analysis, including job description, job evaluation, human resources management planning, selection, performance appraisal, and training/development. Sources of job analysis data and various data collection techniques are described. Typical work-oriented methods, worker-oriented methods, and combination methods are reviewed, and recommendations for selecting a method are provided. Recent and future trends, including the changing nature of jobs and an emphasis on strategy, are discussed.

Performance Management

Pulakos, E. D., & O'Leary, R. S. (2011). Why is performance management broken? Industrial and Organizational Psychology, 4(2).
Drs. Pulakos and O'Leary provide an evidence-based case for how to improve performance management systems in organizations, arguing for devoting more attention to improving manager-employee communication and aspects of the manager-employee relationship and propose an approach the authors believe holds promise for improving performance management processes in organizations. The recommendations focus on the relationship between managers and employees, including communicating clear work expectations, setting short-term objectives and deadlines, and providing continual guidance to employees. Learn more about PDRI's Performance Management Model.

Pulakos, E. D (2009). Performance management: A new approach for driving business results, Alexandria, VA: Society for Human Resources Management.
Performance Management presents an end-to-end practical model of effective performance management that shows how to develop and implement performance management systems that yield bottom-line results. Dr. Pulakos shares her extensive experience developing and implementing effective performance management systems in various public and private sector organizations. This book provides practical, step-by-step guidance and examples, proven approaches to performance management from leading organizations, and guidance for implementing best practices and avoiding common pitfalls.

Pulakos, E. D. (2004). Performance management: A roadmap for developing, implementing and evaluating performance management systems, Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.
This report provides Human Resource professionals with useful guidelines for developing and implementing effective performance management systems. It is part of the SHRM Foundation Effective Practice Guidelines series, which makes research findings easily accessible to HR practitioners. The report provides practical, research-based guidelines for implementing effective HR practices in your organization.

Leadership Development

Gebelein, S. H., Davis, B., Nelson-Neuhaus, K. J., Skube, C. J., Lee, D. G., Stevens, L. A., & Hellervik, L. W (2004). Successful manager's handbook: Develop yourself, coach others, Minneapolis, MN: Previsor, Inc.
The Successful Manager's Handbook is a library of practical suggestions, ideas, tips and resources for managers at any leadership level. Included in this book are 28 leadership competencies identified as important to leaders across organizations and managerial levels. This handbook provides a chapter for each competency, offering specific suggestions and tips for improving your skills and ideas for coaching others.

Ely, K., Boyce, L. A., Nelson, J. K., & Zaccaro, S. J. (2010). Evaluating Leadership Coaching: A Review and Integrated Framework. The Leadership Quarterly (21) 585-599.
This peer-reviewed journal article co-authored by a PDRI associate is the first peer-reviewed journal article that articulates an integrated approach for evaluating leadership coaching programs. The researchers describe a systematic approach to evaluating coaching programs using a multi-source paradigm: client, coach the client-coaching relationship, the coaching process, and coaching outcomes.

Organizational Development

Hedge, J., & Pulakos, E. D. (Eds.) (2002). Implementing organizational interventions: Steps, processes, and best practices, San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
This book focuses on implementing organizational interventions in various cultures and climates. It provides readers with expert advice on confronting the variables affecting a broad array of organizational interventions and offers practical guidance for increasing the probability of success. Topics include staffing, performance management, reward systems and organizational strategy, and the book focuses on the primary steps involved, issues that must be considered, and decisions that must be made to effectively implement interventions.