Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 8, Issue 3, pp 345–354 | Cite as

Proactively balancing the validity and legal compliance of personal background measures in personnel management

  • Melany E. Baehr
  • John W. Jones
  • Ramzi B. Baydoun
  • Gary M. Behrens


Despite its proven utility and validity for the prediction of performance, the use of certain biodata questions for selection is being restricted because of fears of charges of discrimination, or of invasion of privacy, arising from increasingly stringent state and federal laws governing employment (Ash, 1989). The objective of this study was to develop alternative items that were valid and also perceived as nondiscriminatory and noninvasive for two biodata subscales in a well-researched biographical inventory. The newly developed subscales had acceptable KR-20 reliability coefficients. Sizeable and significant correlations between the corresponding original and newly developed subscales attested to the latter's construct validity. The performance criterion validity of the new subscales was demonstrated by significant correlations with both salary and with level of organizational functioning, which were regarded as measures of the individual's worth to the organization. The results of the present study encourage the expectation that biodata items can be constructed that are (1) valid, (2) in compliance, and (3) with a sufficiently low level of perceived invasiveness that will allow both the applicant and the test user to be comfortable with their use.


Social Psychology Construct Validity Social Issue Performance Criterion Criterion Validity 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 1994

Authors and Affiliations

  • Melany E. Baehr
    • 1
  • John W. Jones
    • 1
  • Ramzi B. Baydoun
    • 1
  • Gary M. Behrens
    • 1
  1. 1.London HouseRosemont

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