Friday, August 31, 2012

IMPROVISATION and FORUM THEATRE IN EDUCATION

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Improvisation can be seen as the art of creating a scene given only an idea of character, setting and conflict. The audience gives the actor(s) a specific situation that needs to be dealt with, where it is to take place and who is involved. What the character does with the given scenario is left up to the actor’s imagination and ability to think quickly. Improvisation can be used for serious or comical purposes. It can be used to make a truthful comment about society, or it can be used to simply entertain an audience. When using improvisation for comedy, the actor(s) need the ability to add witty comments and physical comedy to their given scenario. Improvisation is an important aspect of theatre because it helps actors prepare for dealing with unexpected events on stage. The ability to think quickly will enable an actor to use a mistake made while acting to his or her advantage.


Forum theatre is very similar to the idea of improvisation. It is the creation of small scenes used to represent problems of a given community. These problems can be anything from domestic violence to racial or sexual discrimination. It is used to teach ways of solving these problems. The audience watching the forum theatre is invited to interact with the actors and replace characters in scenes. They are encouraged to improvise new solutions for the problems that are being addressed. Forum theater allows a student audience to get involved with the lesson by using their own ideas to see what will and will not solve a problem.


Improvisation can be used as a teaching tool. Teachers of any subject can ask students to prepare short scenes or skits to display their knowledge. Improvisational scenes can be based on any topic a teacher desires. The teacher can give the students characters and the setting and the students can perform made up scenes based on the subject they are trying to learn. This can help both the students acting and the students watching. The students acting will have to rely on their knowledge of the subject to provide them with the appropriate direction in which the scene should be taken. This allows them to apply their knowledge in a more entertaining way. Students watching the performance also benefit from the exercise because the visual image of the facts presented will help them have a better understanding of the subject. Some students learn best through visual experiences, and having the ability to see the subject being applied in the classroom will help them make the visual connection they may need to absorb the information.


Forum theatre can be applied as a teaching methodology in schools. Forum theatre is all about generating different ways to solve one problem. This can be useful in many school situations. For example, a teacher trying to teach students the importance of history can give a situation from a previous period of time, such as World War II, and ask the students to use their knowledge of the events to come up with a scene relating to the events taking place. Other students in the classroom can then suggest alternative endings of what could have happened during the war, or ways to have prevented it, and these would be played out by the students. This will help students apply their knowledge and understand of what really happened. It will also allow them to think of ways it could have been different. Also, forum theatre can be used to teach English subjects. Students can take on roles of characters in books studied. As an entire class, students can analyze the main conflict of the novel and use forum theatre to generate other solutions to the conflict, other than the one presented in the book. This will help them gain a deeper understanding of the characters and situations in the novel. While performing forum theatre in a classroom, students are required to explore their knowledge on the subject in order to create a relevant scene. The creative thinking of other students getting involved will help the class as a whole to explore the subject on a deeper level. However, forum theatre is also very useful in school social settings. If taught properly in schools, forum theatre can be used to help students solve peer conflicts. If students come across a problem while working or playing in groups, knowing how to creatively think of alternative solutions to the conflict can help prevent violence in schools. Students who are engaged in an argument will be able to think the situation through, put themselves in their peer’s position, and think of a compromising solution to their problem that can work for both parties.


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Thursday, August 30, 2012

commericals

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For anyone who watched television during the Super Bowl know that it is the most watched program, all year, in the country. People also know that to put a commercial on television costs a lot of money. I think that there should be a few exceptions to those commercials that are not always on to advertise products. Some of the commercials promote things that people are sometimes scared to talk about and being the most watched program in the country this is where your discretion comes in.


Being the executives of the National Football League, there is a program that I think should be aired for the public’s safety. The program that I think should be paid for by the National Football League is an anti-abuse commercial. We all know that this is a major problem in our country today. This is the time that men, but more importantly women and children watch and do not take their eyes off the screen. The women and children being the ones that are abused the most need some motivation or incentive to come forward and stop this horrible act and those who incur it.


Now, I have been to a few women’s shelter around my town. I have seen what people can do to them and more importantly the children that come with them. If you


Easton


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walked in there and saw the bruises and the scars on these people I think that you would want to put a stop to it. I also know that there are many people out there that have not come forward. The reasons that they do come forward are that they feel that it is their fault that they got hit or because they are to scared. This commercial should put something in their mind to come forward.


In conclusion, we all know that this is a problem that is facing the world and needs to be stopped. I know as well as you do that the National Football League is not low on money and it could help people to air this thirty-second commercial. As a plus for airing it could also be a tax write off when that great time comes around. So please help the cause and those who need it by putting this ad on television during this year’s Super Bowl.





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Monday, August 27, 2012

Effective Strategic Marketing Planning

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Effective strategic marketing planning is essential for any organisation to succeed in its chose market. Kotler (00) states that the key to achieving organisational goals consist of the company being more effective than its competitors in creating, delivering and communicating customer value to its chosen target markets, therefore the organisation must know as much about its competitors, as it does about itself. When attempting a marketing plan it is important to include seven integrated components; Background situation, Marketing objectives, Marketing strategy, Marketing mix, Action plans, Budget and Organisation implications. According to Doyle pg 101, (00), these will provide us with the information needed as well as a structured path to fulfil the plan. It should also be noted as Kotler (00) suggested that a degree of openness should be allowed which will help innovative ideas within the total planning systems. This flexibility adds kotler is also a potential source of competitive advantage. Barriers identified by McDonald (00) which cause problems in implementing plans, ranged from little senior management support, inadequate marketing and planning skills to confusion and delegation of plans. These barriers need to be addressed by the organisation to ensure effective strategic planning.


ANC rental Corporation is a car rental company and is made up of three distinctive brands, National is a well know corporate (business) brand, Alamo car rental has a strong presence in the retail market while the third brand, Guy Salmon is a prestige name in car rental through which they hire executive vehicles. Together the Alamo and National brands make up one of the world’s largest car rental companies with annual revenue of $.4 billion in 00. To ensure an effective strategic marketing plan they must be able to give themselves a competitive advantage over rival firms. Wilson & Gilligan (17) suggests how market orientation requires a focus on customers, competitors, changing environment and company culture. Despite competition ANC rental can rely on numerous strengths. Firstly it has the largest fleet of cars (55,000) (ANC start right, Dec 00) in the UK, 10,000 more than its nearest competitor Avis. Secondly it has a service support network connected to its 15 branches through out the UK as well as a global reservations office, which can handle 8 languages. This last point proves that ANC is a global brand, which it must incorporate into its strategy if it wants to compete in today’s global economy. The information it collects must be used to give the company global competitive advantage which Yib (18) states can maximise worldwide performance through sharing and integration. However its weakness includes a lack of identifying small but potential gaps in the market. Wichan pg 151, (18), states how opportunities do not present themselves, they have to be actively sought out. ANC must use its current resources such as staff to seek new opportunities before the competition does. Another weakness, which is a main cause for its position is lack of brand awareness and image, which in today’s business environment is a key, factor in an organisations success. According to Fill pg 16 (1), Brand equity is a measure of a number of different components including the beliefs, images and core associations, consumers have about particular brands. Ambler (00) continues to confirm its importance by stating that firms that measured their main marketing asset (Brand equity) and used both financial and non-financial metrics to assess performance were less likely to cut budgets. He adds that marketers who align their agenda with the corporate goals are under less threat. This is no exception in the car rental business where customer’s needs are to feel “looked after and counted. Marketing plans are needed for ANC’s slogan “ Freedom we’ll take you there” and logo to be seen and heard using different media. Before they can expect to beat their competitors, they first need to strengthen its current position in the consumers mind. A good example of this is when Avis ran their campaign “ We’re number two, we try harder” this showed how they acknowledged its second position in the rental car business.





A marketing audit needs to be executed which according to Lancaster & Massingham (18) pg 14, is a systematic internal and external environmental review of the companies marketing performance for a given period of time. ANC rental should look at all financial reviews and their position in the industry for the last 5 � 10 yrs which not only will provide them with essential information but also will help them to see what changes are needed to take them where they want to go, Be number 1 in the market place. The structure of the audit that suggests Lancaster & Massingham (18) will provide the basic for subsequent SWOT analysis, while the external audit will examine the PEST factor. Such issues, which affected the car rental industry, was September 11th, which reduced the number of tourists and social culture which has increased customer demands and wants. Globalisation, Levitt (18) is a major cause of this, which increased brand equity and competition. ANC should also conduct their marketing audit on a continuing basis that according to McDonald pg 57 (00) will make it a useful source of information to draw on for decision-making throughout the year. This will give the flexibility needed which will help the plan to succeed. Management at ANC should also understand the twelve guidelines for effective marketing which McDonald (1) lists are important for companies if they want to gain competitive advantage. This gives them extra information, which is needed when the plan is being created. After they have collected the bulk of the information they must produce a mission statement which according to Doyle pg85 (00), motivates employees by providing them with an external goal worth striving for. Also a Mission statement represents a visionary view of the overall strategic posture of an organisation and as Johnson & Scholes (1) suggest is likely to be a persistent and resistant influences on strategic decisions. Therefore it is important to display the mission statement where all employees can see it, canteen, reception, etc. this will give employees a sense of direction which according to Doyle (00), will identify major policies that define how to treat customers, fellow employees, suppliers and other key stakeholders. This will also take away the traditional strategies used be finance directors, which caused confusion among line managers, which prevented them for taking them seriously. McDonald (15) suggests marketing planners place a greater emphasis for essential data only and use phases, which explain the underlying thinking behind the objectives and strategies. This way employees at ANC from top management all the way down the chain of command to drivers will understand what the company stands for, its values and where it wants to be. In ANC’s case “To be the Global car rental company of choice”. The marketing team at ANC have done this and have changed the structure of the organisation to adapt to its plan. The importance of drivers as a customer contact point was noted which promoted them to change the driver’s title to key time worker. According to Lancaster & Massingham (18) pg 17, objectives and strategy can only be achieved through people, structure, systems and methods. ANC’s new consideration for all its employees and other resources help bring about the changes required to meets the organisation’s objectives. This gives staff a sense of belonging and having a say in the company they work for. Satisfaction levels must be high within the organisation before positive results can be achieved.


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The whole process must have an effective structure for it to succeed (Wilson & Fook, 10 Pg ), this shows how it is no good creating a marketing plan if you don’t lay down a structured plan to implement it. Staffs training programmes need to be implemented to increase performance as well as effectively communicating the strategic plan to staff. MacNamee & McDonnell pg14 (15) suggest how incentive schemes can generate staff motivation and reward them on the plans’ attainment. This will encourage staff to achieve the plan’s objectives who in short are the key people who ANC rely on to ensure their customers position ANC as their global choice in car rental. Delta Airlines in the US realised in the early 0’s, a simple fact, that by treating its staff well and keeping them motivated and trained, high productivity and superior customer service was implemented which helped them to differentiate the airline from its competitors. ANC will need to introduce a continuous appraisal system to measure staff performance and can help managers assess the ongoing strategy. Structuring the organisation can cut mistakes when implementing the plan, Mintzberg’s (17) Division of Labour can help the different departments understand their core duties and standardise procedures. However solid communication must allow certain change if needed to take place with minimum fuss. I agree with Alexander (185) when he brings up the point that top management must first of all clearly communicate with all employees what the new strategic decision is all about. In the rental industry when the drivers have a close contact with customers it is important that these employees feel they have an important role to play in the organisation. Alexander continues to stress how two- way communication within its organisation where e.g. Bolton branch is short two cars but the Manchester branch is slow to cooperate. ANC’s new strategy where “working together” is a key value, they have changed the structure where four or five branches in one area are part of one region, which encourages cooperation and can lead to healthy competition between other regions in the future. The development and management of the strategy can be implemented more successfully through the “lens of design”. This according to Johnson & Scholes (1) uses economic forces and constraints on the organisation, which are weighed carefully through analytic and evaluative techniques to establish clear strategic direction. This backs up Alexander’s point that top management need to lead the development of strategy in the organisation. This controlling will help determine smooth operation of the strategic plan. But will only work when used with other methods to control the plan and eliminate barriers.


It should be noted that a lot of these barriers, which could render the plan useless, are human made and according to Ambler (00) lacks an experienced marketing director who understands the fundamentals of marketing. Assertiveness and cooperation is essential to work together with marketing people to understand that contribution and profit is far more important than executing expenditure. Traditional managers concentrate too much on yearly finance reports rather than on long-term strategies. ANC rental have given their marketing department much more power as the strategy is integrated into the total corporate planning system which McDonald (16) states needs to be achieved by all departments in the organisation such as distribution, finance, process and personnel. To break down some of the barriers to Marketing planning, McDonald (1), ANC should use methods for implementing the strategic plan. A successful method was developed by Robert Kaplan and David Norton in 1, called The Balanced scorecard methodology. This is an analysis technique designed to translate an organizations mission statement and overall business strategy into specific, quantifiable goals and to monitor the organizations performance in terms of achieving these goals. The methodology examines performance in four areas financial analysis, includes assessments of measures such as operating costs and return-on-investment; customer analysis looks at customer satisfaction and retention; internal analysis looks at production and innovation, measuring performance in terms of maximizing profit from current products and following indicators for future productivity; and finally, learning and growth analysis explores the effectiveness of management in terms of measures of employee satisfaction and retention and information system performance. However as MacNamee & McDonnell (15) argue that the balanced scorecard is not a template that can be applied in every business, each organisation such as ANC rental can develop their own customised scorecard to fit their goals and strategy.


When correctly done, strategic planning takes into account all aspects of your organisation and provides criteria for making day-to-day decisions about operations within and outside the organisation. This gives a template against which all such decisions can be evaluated. This leads to greater focus and effectiveness. But by just collecting all the relevant information and using the best components in formulating a strategic plan it must be agreed that this work is rendered useless if it cannot be effectively implemented by the organisation. Successful controlling requires performance measures, suitable reward systems and flexibility embraced by the structure of the organisation. This is needed to create a balanced environment for the plan to go from “idea” to an actual working plan. Motivated employees are the key success factor in implementing a successful plan. This is why strong leadership make the strategy real at a level of achievable that is both meaningful and actionable. This critical leadership issue is how to lead from a position of strength based on a view of the future, and a plan for getting the organisation there. This leadership should come from both marketing planners and the top leadership team which in some organisations are the same. Good communication at all levels of responsibility will create an understanding to highlight the benefits of actually carrying out and keeping to the plan. Obstacles will always occur, internally or externally, but if the necessary foundations are in place; vision, skills, flexibility to change, strong leadership and communication; Management will and should be able to ensure effective planning. For each barrier the remedy is different, and appropriately identifying those barriers is an important step in effective strategic planning. Therefore the plan must have adaptiveness, flexibility, and responsiveness. In the cases of major business change initiatives, success or failure will hinge on the effectiveness and strength of the vision and strategic plan. Also controlling systems such as collecting data with other reports and statistics can help you anticipate and resolve issues before they become problems, or at least minimize the effect of problems by early action. This with enhanced strategic feedback and learning for future results may create new opportunities or risks not anticipated when initial strategies were developed. This forward thinking approach will help any organisation to respond quickly and effectively to changing environmental conditions.


References


Alexander, L. D. (185) Successfully implementing strategic decisions


Ambler, T. (Marketing, October rd, 00)


ANC start right, (Dec 00)


Asch, D. and Bowman (14) Readings in Strategy Management


Doyle, P. (00) Marketing Management and Strategy. rd Ed


Fill C. (1) Marketing Communications nd Ed.


Hughes, G.D. (180) Marketing Management A planning approach


Ind, N. (17) The corporate brand


Johnson, G. & Scholes, K. (1) Exploring corporate strategy 6th Ed


Kaplan, Robert S. and Norton, David P., Using the Balanced Scorecard as a Strategic Management System. Harvard Business Review, January-February (16)


Kotler P. (00) Marketing Management, International Edition 11th Ed


Lancaster, G. and Massingham, L. (18) Marketing Management. nd Ed


Levitt, T. (18) The globalisation of markets.


MacNamee, B. and McDonnell, R. (15) The marketing Casebase


McDonald, M. (00) Marketing Plans. 5th Ed


McDonald, M. (1) Strategic marketing planning a state of the art review.


Mintzberg, H. (17) The structuring of organisations


Quinn, J. (180) Management strategic change


Wickham, P. (18) Strategic Entrepreneurship


Wilson, R., Gilligan, C. and Pearson, D. (1) Strategic Marketing Management Planning, Implementation and Control. Oxford Butterworth-Heinemann


Yip, G.S. (18) Global Strategy In a world of nations


Anonymous. Marketing News. Chicago (Feb 1, 185). Vol. 1; p. 1


Marketing Management





Assignment 1


Effective Strategic Marketing Planning


ANC Rental Corporation


By


Denis Finnegan


Student no. 00047


Submission date 7th Nov 00


Tutor Mr Bob Barrett





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Friday, August 24, 2012

Mercedes-Benz is an icon

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Mercedes-Benz brand is both the oldest and the most famous automobile brand in the world. Present in 10 countries, Mercedes is also a global brand. Further, there is much about Mercedes-Benz that gives it the status not only of a global brand but also of an icon. Before we move further, it is important to understand the brand’s history


First, the local policy of Mercedes-Benz towards global expansion was focused on local expertise and market knowledge. For instance, in the face of the sport utility vehicle phenomenon in America, the company called upon local expertise to develop a competitive car for the international market. The result was the development of the M-Class model.


Second, the policy was reflected in many other areas beyond the immediate business of developing and selling products.


Thirdly, the brand is undergoing rapid change, happening at different ways and at different places around the globe overcoming cultural differences. To sum up, a culture in difference, times of dramatic change-these two elements set the backcloth for the development of Mercedes-Benz’ global brand language.


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But what is it about Mercedes-Benz that makes it an icon in consumers’ minds and not just a leader in the category?


Quality v. Total Product Experience


Leaders focus on quality, were Mercedes optimizes the total experience of its brand. Mercedes invites the visitors to discover Mercedes-Benz and share this experience. Specifically, it says “Discover the world of Mercedes-Benz. Experience the automotive fascination and variety of the Mercedes brand. Share with as the passion for which this name has stood for more than 100 years.”(According to the company’s website).


Commitment to Superior Total Service


Icons express commitment to superior total service. Specifically Mercedes-Benz indicates that the Mercedes experience is about more than just extraordinary experiences behind the wheel. Mercedes cares about service, maintenance, warranties and client care and is devoted to the lasting satisfaction of Mercedes-Benz owners and the long-term up keeping of their automobiles. It also should be mentioned that Mercedes always updates all Mercedes owners about new models and offers them the privilege to test drive them and enjoy the new driving experience first and for free.


Consistency v. Timelessness


Leaders are consistent were icons are timeless. Mercedes is a timeless, connected to the past, involved in the present and visioning the future. People say that anyone who reviews the past will learn something about the future.


The unprecedented tradition of Mercedes brand with the three-pointed star is more than just a list of automotive engineering achievements marking the state of the art in their day and age. The Mercedes-Benz tradition builds a bridge from the tentative beginnings of motorization in the last century via the current high technology standards into the future.


Consistency in look and feel v. symbolic world


Leaders strive for consistency in look and feel were icons create a symbolic world building symbols and mythologies, which are always present, instantly recognizable and very well linked to the symbolic world, so does Mercedes.


Present Mercedes, since its initiation in 100 is always and everywhere (in 10 countries worldwide) present.


Instantly recognizable Mercedes’ three-pointed star surrounded by a cycle symbol appearing at the front of Mercedes’ cars is highly recognizable all over the world right as the Coca-Cola bottle shape, or McDonald’s golden arches are and it is supposed to symbolize Daimler’s (the founder’s) ambition of universal motorization-“on land, on water and in the air”.


Strong Identity Mercedes’ symbol and design has always been consistent. For instance, a Mercedes has always looked as a Mercedes! Despite the introduction of numerous design innovations it was clear that there must be no radical break with tradition leading to a loss of identity.


Symbol & actual brand link The connection in consumers’ mind between the star symbol and Mercedes car happens instantaneously.


Superior Perception Achievements & Media


Icons achieve superior perception achievements that differentiate them from competition. As of 6/0/00 there were two first places for Mercedes-Benz. Specifically, in this years “Europes No. 1 Car” competition staged by the motoring publication “Auto Bild” and its 1 European partner publications, the readers and an expert jury voted the Mercedes-Benz E-Class the best new model to appear on the European market in 00. In the period from its market launch in March last year up to February 00, some 0,000 E-Class Saloons were sold worldwide.


Mercedes-Benz was also presented with the innovation prize for the development of the PRE-SAFE safety system. This is the second award that the new, anticipatory occupant protection system has won in a matter of weeks, following the presentation of the Paul Pietsch Prize by the publication “auto motor and sport”. PRE-SAFE marks the beginning of a new era in car safety technology the system, which is fitted as standard in the S-Class, recognizes when an accident is imminent and instantly acts to provide optimum protection for the occupants should a collision occur. The winner of the innovation prize is selected by the Auto Bild groups 14 European editors.


Leverage Events to the Max


Were leaders utilize the full range of marketing communications, icons leverage event to the max. Mercedes-Benz, being an icon, supports excellence at the highest levels of competition in motorsports, golf, and tennis. Whether its the West McLaren Mercedes Team in the Formula One World Championship, the worlds best golfers on the PGA Tour at the Mercedes Championships, LPGA Superstar Annika Sorenstam or the excitement of the ATPs Masters Series, Mercedes-Benz Sports means high performance.


Strategically “Good Works”


While leaders just give to charity, icons like Mercedes-Benz strategically integrate “Good Works” throughout the organization. Mercedes-Benz believes that a premier company must lead by example. Its composition and activities must reflect its current and future marketplace and the societal issues that affect it.


Mercedes-Benz USA for example, invests in the communities in which it lives and works through its corporate headquarters in Montvale, N.J. and through the six regional offices around the country with a variety of charities, diversity relations programs, community events and womens initiatives.


Because of its reputation for innovation and leadership - qualities that are mirrored among our owners and employees - Mercedes-Benz USA puts particular emphasis on causes designed to educate and empower future generations, particularly those who are underserved.


Creative Strategy Statement


Mercedes-Benz’ attitude


“Exemplary in fairness and engagement”, which reflects the company’s commitment beyond the manufacturing of the product with the sense of providing mobility for the individual.


Deliverables


Discipline Performance, power, legendary German engineering, being solid and trustworthy, which translates into safety, reliability and quality.


Hedonism Enjoyment, passion, individuality and last for life.


Solidarity Social ethics, thinking of society, principles, which translates into environmental responsibility, sharing technological innovations and industry advancement.


A strategy statement is composed by two parts the rational part and the emotional (psychological codes, in other words codes that describe how the brand behaves, what it delivers to consumers) part set in relationship with the brand. According to the brand’s rational characteristics as well as the emotions that delivers to its consumers the positioning statement would be as follows


Rational Mercedes with a global presence and a history of over 100 years has always been a perfect synthesis of heritage and innovation.


Emotional The world of Mercedes-Benz is about experiencing the automotive fascination and sharing a continuing passion.


Psychographic Audience Description


Type Characteristics Audience


C class Trim figure, dynamic performer, stylish. Mixture of old-world conservatism and a new plucky character.


Coupe sexy looking, sporty, chic and flashy. If we take under consideration that is about $10,000 cheaper than E, is targeted to a younger (especially the Coupe version), less affluent, upwardly mobile audience.


Character Successful 0-somethings, educated, single or recently married, confident, ambitious, power and control seekers, materialistic, like to be noticed and prove themselves and enjoy all the Mercedes’ privilege without having to pay much.


Work Sales, managerial positions, professionals.


Lifestyle Fashion, flashy accessories, travel, dining out.


Attitude “Life is what you make it.”


E class Elegant beauty and good looks combined with advanced technology. Prestigious, conservatively handsome styling, austere luxury, solid, safe driving experience. If it was a room it would be the office of a hardworking executive, not the pampering pen of a playboy. It’s a car to buy mom for not only to pamper her but also protect her.


Character 40+, frequently male, college graduate, income over $150,000, married with or without kids, affluent, conservative, prestigious, elegant, sophisticated, performance and comfort seeker, professionally and materially successful, established, status cautious, enjoy solid and safe driving experience, hard-working, sees car as a reward for working hard.


Work Executive, doctor, entrepreneur.


Lifestyle Comfortable with the familiar comfort of home, family, friends and community, on-road comfort and luxurious traveling, hi-tech, opera, theater, art, reading, special-interest magazines &cultural events.


Attitude “Everyday is a gift.”


SLK Designed to delight the fresh air enthusiast, reflects passion beautifully. Playful manners, young image, sporty personality, easy livability, more performance than could be handled, beautiful shape, classic lines, style, solidity, features. Character 0-, or youthful elders, at least half women, single or married no kids, athletic, sporty personality, high speed and performance funs, livable, stylish, bold, creative, liberal, ambitious, enjoy life, live big, individuality, image important to them, make their presence visible, the car represents a form of escape.


Work Sales, athletes, artists, fashion


Lifestyle Trendy sports, extreme traveling, fashion, dine out, cosmopolitan, art exhibitions.


Attitude “Continuing passion.”


M class An off-roader with all the luxury of a Saloon, is for those who expect a little more. A blend of all-terrain ability and on-road comfort, it’s at home in all environments. Character 0+, married, with kids, intelligent, educated, established, active, adventurous, mobile lives, busy-schedule moms spending time picking up the kids, running errands and other daily duties, care about personal and passenger safety, on-road comfort, and convenience.


Work Working professionals or busy mothers.


Lifestyle Adventure, family trips, safety important, environmental responsible, TV, gardening, family gatherings, traveling, sports.


Attitude “Life is an adventure.”


The psychographics developed above are general global psychographics, though there might be some regional deviations. For instance, we should take under consideration that target audience and personality match to a specific Mercedes-Benz car might be more liberal in U.S due to leasing and specific buying plans that benefit the middle class. In U.S owning a Mercedes does not necessarily mean that you are affluent, since middle class or upward mobile classes have also access to it. In contrast in Europe the car purchase is made according to the tax bracket each individual fall under, therefore the connection between wealth and social status to the type of car you own is more rational and accurate.


In addition, an interesting angle from the readings was the fact that Mercedes is also a strong competitor in the taxi market in Europe. Does this harm Mercedes image? Not necessarily. It actually tells as something more about the European culture and lifestyle and the fact that comfort is an important factor of everyday transportation. Not to mention that the majority of Europeans use their own car for everyday transportation even under heavy traffic. Therefore Taxis have to be an attractive and comfortable alternative to be considered as an option.





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Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Fed Ex

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Introduction


Federal Express achieved a great deal of success in the 170’s with a pioneering approach to overnight delivery of letters and packages in the U.S.A. After several booming years of catering to customers needs, FedEx’s growth in the United States slowed considerably. This was due to direct competition from United Parcel Service, and the increased popularity of the fax machine. At this time FedEx founder, Fredrick Smith began to look elsewhere for opportunities for new growth.


Problems


FedEx made more than 0 international acquisitions, including courier services and trucking operations. But strong overseas rivals, DHL Worldwide Express and TNT were becoming deep-rooted in Europe. In addition, government regulations posed a problem, resulting in a million dollar a month loss for an entire year. In 188, FedEx acquired Tiger International, the worlds biggest air heavy-cargo company, which included the Flying Tiger Line. However this acquisition brought a number of challenges


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· The move more then doubled FedEx’s debt


· Tiger’s system was designed for slow-moving, heavy freight � a sharp contrast to FedEx’s high speed network


· European rivals were likely to also make global acquisitions


· FedEx stood to lose customers that had traditionally used Flying Tiger


It was clear that the European Market was much harder to crack then FedEx thought. They had a strong push from their competitors, but most importantly they overestimated the size of the market and failed to do market research on the what and how the European market would be utilizing their services.


Current Situation


S.W.O.T Analysis


Strengths


· Accomplished great success in the 170’s, pioneering the service of distributing packages and letters in the United States.


· Successfully served customers for many years (170’s-18, when rivals approached the market).


· The founder, Frederick Smith was very motivated and has a great desire to be the best; he has a goal to be, “the largest and best transportation company in the world” (5).


He also stated in 188 “We consider our international business to be as important as our domestic business” (5). This statement is showing his determination to be the best he can be in both markets.


· Strategically designated Flying Tiger to ship to international countries where no airport-landing restrictions existed.


· Managed to gain ability to operate in all 1 countries of the European Community, with this FedEx took advantage of reduced restrictions on surface transportation companies.


· Barge company painted FedEx’s colours orange and purple on the barges


· FedEx was the first of three (DHL, UPS) to have a homepage accessible to its customers for gathering information and ordering pickups online.


Weaknesses


· FedEx found difficulty in dealing with rival competitors.


· They lacked research concerning obstacles in foreign countries and markets


a) Regulations for shipment time/weight


b) Protection of local carrier companies


c) Understated the complexity of expanding into European market


· Losses in four years totaled $1. billion which lead to firing 6600 employees and the closing of operations in 100 European cities.


· Overestimated size of market � expected daily shipments to move toward US’s level of million, unfortunately only reach 100,000 units per day.


Opportunities


· FedEx could research the market in other parts of the world where there is a demand for their service.


· With a competitive advantage, they could capture more market share in the existing market. They have an opportunity to stand distinct from their direct competitors.


· FedEx could obtain more overseas growth more effectively rather than develop the foreign business opportunities on its own, especially moving into Asia.


· They had to alter some parts of their operations according to the new markets needs.


Threats


· A major threat is their direct competitors DHL, TNT, and UPS as they went global as well.


· Technology became a threat in the early eighties when fax machines became a popular tool.


· Foreign government regulations


a) Japan was protected by local express carrier companies


b) Packages over 70 pounds were prohibited, even if en route to other destination


c) In result to these obstacles in Tokyo, a loss of $1 million dollars was taken


· Extreme debts of $880 million- Tiger International added to their debt and soon after increased the debt to $.1 billion.


· Tiger was designed for slow and heavy freight, opposite to the need of FedEx- fast, small packages.


· Overnight deliveries are not as popular in Europe as they are the US.


· Rivals picked up their business that they couldn’t handle due to the cut back of operations in European cities.


P.E.S.T Analysis


Political


· Foreign governments in Europe and Japan had regulations concerning the weight of the packages. Packages must be less than 70 pounds to enter Japan even if en route to a destination.


Economical


· FedEx operations took over the US carrier businesses.


· Europe took a downward jump, eliminating 6600 jobs and 100 FedEx operations throughout Europe.


Social


· European cities were not as big on overnight deliveries. Their operations didn’t have as great of demand as the US.


Technological


· Fax machines, email and cell phones may show to have an affect on FedEx.


With their website interaction, customers can reach them anytime, anywhere to retrieve information and make orders. Their website has many advantages such as 4 hour service and assistance as well as tracking their parcel’s whereabouts.


Company Objectives


· To become the largest and best transportation company in the world.


· Consider international business to be as important as domestic business.


· Reassure Flying Tiger customers to do business with them after the acquisition.


· Seek additional growth over seas.


· Change some parts of its formula to meet the needs of its new market.


· Focus on the more lucrative small package overnight business.


Alternative Course of Action


1. Buy out all major competitors


pros


-could monopolize the industry


-could utilize the strengths that other companies have to offer


-could take over the UPS and TNT names and divide each name into a market group and offer different rates and guarantees


cons


-will be very costly


-will involve a lot of time and extensive paperwork


. Create a team of researchers to travel around the world and conduct surveys and use other methods of primary research to find out customer needs and wants


pros


-will be able to learn about cultural differences


-create awareness of the company


-learn about country laws


-learn about consumer demand and importance of freight in the communities


cons


-time consuming


-could be very costly


-results may not be essential enough for company success and will greatly increase debt


. Continue downsizing and reduce the amount of global transportation of packages to lower operational costs


pros


-less employees to pay as well as compensate for


-can compete at the same price levels as competitors to obtain greater market share


-may increase demand for global shipping and could re-enter the global market when the time is right


-concentrate more on return business


cons


-loss of a lot of consumers who rely on Fed Ex help keep their business running


-will be responsible for the unemployment of many people


-could be responsible for the bankruptcy of a foreign small business


-Fed Ex wants to be the largest and best shipping company


4. Create an edge that that no competitor can top, develop a promotional offer possibly a cross promotion with a new product that no consumer could resist


pros


-will gain market share


-won’t be too expensive


-will possibly help a new product enter the market


-could help develop a larger database of one time users based on promotion


cons


-may actually deter consumers


-promotion may get beaten by competitor


-may not be a new product to promote


-may not work due to consumers brand loyalty for the competition








Recommendations


We feel that Fed Ex should consider buying out all major competitors and monopolize the industry. By doing this Fed Ex can set industry prices best suit the needs of the customers as well as their own. The competitors such as UPS, DHL and TNT all have individual strengths that no one else knows about whether it be primary research, customer data bases or large accounts. Fed Ex could utilize this information and create a corporation that is flawless and fast. They could offer royalties to the former company owners and develop a service that will reach individual markets based on individual company names. By doing this it will increase shipping productivity and possibly help the economy by providing more business transactions than ever seen before. Although time consuming and high costs of extensive paperwork, becoming one is like becoming an all-star team. All number one assets working together to be the best.





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Friday, August 17, 2012

Law

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Legal vs. Ethical


Legal vs. Ethical


Is it right or wrong, ethical or not ethical, legal or illegal, these are questions often asked when searching for an answer to some of the world’s most exhaustive debates. One particular situation that has received nationwide attention and remains the center of much conflict and heated controversy between law providers and citizens with different value systems is that of legalized abortion. The central argument in this debate hinges on the discussion of when life is considered to begin. Some believe that life begins at the moment of fertilization. While others believe that life doesn’t begin until after the pregnancy or at the very least late in the pregnancy. Proponents for the Pro Life movement predominately use the Judeo Christian teachings found in the Holy Bible to support their argument. Followers of the pro-life movement believe that just because it is legal, it is still fundamentally immoral or unethical to take a human life. Those who are pro choice attempt to support their suppositions through science and the fact that abortion was made legal due to the decisions from landmark court cases � the existence of legal precedent.


Prior to the 70’s most state legislators widely criminalized abortion. Not until the controversial Roe vs. Wade case was the Supreme Court given the authority to decide if abortion is legal, therefore providing the judicial system with an opportunity to either fall within the shadow of former legislative “mood” or cross the line in favor of a new and potentially controversial attitude. . “In 17, in the landmark case of Roe vs. Wade, the United States Supreme Court ruled that the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution provided a fundamental right for women to obtain abortions. The Supreme Court held that the right to privacy, established by the Court’s precedents in the contraception cases of the 160’s and early 70’s, assured the freedom of a person to abort unless the state had a compelling interest in preventing the abortion. The Court then held that, though the state had an interest in protecting fetal life, this interest did not become compelling (i.e. adequate to allow banning an abortion) until fetal viability occurred in the third trimester of pregnancy. Thus, all the state abortion laws that regulated abortion during the first six months of pregnancy (except for the purpose of protecting maternal health during the second trimester) were invalidated” (Abortion Law Home page). Not long after Roe vs. Wade, two other cases broadened the Supreme Courts ability to govern abortion. The Abortion Law homepage states that, “with Webster in 18 and Planned Parenthood v. Casey in 1, the Supreme Court expanded this room, allowing the states that want to regulate abortion substantially more latitude to do so. Since 1, elective abortions can be banned after actual viability (c. 0- weeks), and pre-viability regulations only have to meet the new undue burden standard, meaning that a compelling state interest is not required so long as the law does not present a substantial obstacle to obtaining an abortion.”


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Contrary to that of the pro-choice belief system, there are the people, which choose life, otherwise known as pro-life. My own beliefs reside in this category. While the issue of abortion is legal, I personally think it is one of the most unethical decisions a person or persons could choose to make. Like many pro-lifers I believe that life begins before conception, quiet possibly before fertilization. These beliefs are evidenced by writings of the Holy word that guides my Judeo Christian beliefs. Jeremiah proclaimed the word of the LORD came to him and said, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart I appointed you as a prophet to the nations” (Jeremiah 1 5). The prophet Isaiah proclaimed to the nations that, “ before I was born the Lord called me” (Isaiah 41). Isaiah also stated that the LORD says, “your Redeemer, who formed you in the womb” (Isaiah 444). The great psalmist David wrote, “ For you created my inmost being you knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well. My frame was not hidden from you when I was made in the secret place. When I was woven together in the depths of the earth, your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days ordained for me were written in your book before one of them came to be” (Psalm 1 1-16). According to the scripture Jeremiah’s life begin prior to conception � in the mind of God � but Jeremiah’s destiny is formed then and there, as was Creation itself, in God’s mind and by God’s command (Henderson, Charles). Henderson also notes that the scripture does not only doesn’t support that life begins at conception, but even before fertilization. “In this account, conception does not even happen in the uterus; it happens in the secret place of God’s own mind beyond this world of time and space. Again, the basic biblical teaching about the beginning of life is that it happens at God’s initiative, by God’s command, in God’s mind. The Biblical writers did not even have the notion of conception that we have arrived at only recently through scientific investigation. They believed that the male sperm was the seed of life and that this seed is planted in the womb where it grows like any other seed. Clearly, in this, the biblical view, our notion of conception has no place. Human life no more begins at conception than the apple begins when an apple seed finds its way into the ground” (Henderson, Charles).


Therefore the idea that life begins at conception is unbiblical. Henderson notes that, “When someone argues that life begins at conception, and should be morally and legally protected from that point forward, they have no stronger legs to stand on than those who argue that life begins at birth.” (Henderson, Charles) That belief aligns itself with the Humanistic perspective, because it places the initiative of human life in the parent’s hands. In a sense it allows humans to “play GOD” if you will. It is my belief that giving humans this authority is not only unethical but also unjust. While the laws of our nation strictly forbid murder, sometimes punishable by death, it also clearly makes a procession for the murder of unborn babies. The validity of the cases themselves that made abortion legal is now under fire. Tom Newman reports that two women that were used as pawns by the ACLU are now doing something explosive trying to take their cases back to the Court to have them overturned. Newman reports that both women are now pro-lifers and are of the Christian faith. “Norma McCorvey, the Jane Roe of Roe v. Wade, and Sandra Cano, the Mary Doe of Doe v. Bolton, are now pro-life Christians. While McCorvey’s case was about abortion, even though she lied to her lawyers, Cano’s was not remotely associated with the gruesome procedure.”


Reference


16. The Abortion Law Homepage. The Overview. Retrieved from http//members.aol.com/abtrbng/


17, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. “Life Application Study Bible.” Jeremiah (15)


17, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. “Life Application Study Bible.” Isaiah (444, 41)


17, Tyndale House Publishers, Inc. “Life Application Study Bible.” Psalm (1 1-16)


Henderson, Charles. “When Does Life Begin.” Retrieved from http//christianity.about.com/library/weekly/aa01400.htm


00, Newman, Tom. “Thirty Years of Lies.” Focus on the Family. Retrieved from http//www.family.org/fofmag/sl/a00858.cfm





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Tuesday, August 14, 2012

impact of technology on evaluation of employment

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THE IMPACT OF VIDEOCONFERENCE TECHNOLOGY, INTERVIEW STRUCTURE, AND INTERVIEWER GENDER ON INTERVIEWER EVALUATIONS IN THE EMPLOYMENT INTERVIEW A FIELD EXPERIMENT


Despite the growing use of communication technologies, such as videoconferencing, in recruiting and selection, there is little research examining whether these technologies influence interviewers perceptions of candidates. The present field experiment analysed evaluations of real job applicants who were randomly assigned either to be interviewed face-to-face (FTF) (N = 48) or using a desktop videoconference system (N = 44). The results show a bias in favour of the videoconference applicants relative to FTF applicants, F(1,1) = 7.5, p = .01. A significant interaction of interview structure and interviewer gender was also found, F(1,1) = .70, p.05, with female interviewers using an unstructured interview rating applicants significantly higher than males or females using a structured interview. Interview structure did not significantly moderate the influence of interview medium on interviewers evaluations of applicants. These findings highlight the need to be aware of potential biases resulting from the use of communication technologies in the hiring process.


Videoconference technologies include a variety of telecommunication systems that transmit voice, picture, and often data over telephone lines and/or Internet connections. Typical systems vary considerably in cost and complexity ranging from inexpensive desktop systems to fully integrated classrooms. The use of videoconference technology for business and education is growing rapidly in developed countries. For example, a survey of 100 telecommunications professionals in Canada, Mexico, and the United States found that 8% of companies were currently using either videoconference technology, undergoing trials, or planning to use it in the future (Coady et al., 16). A marketing report by Frost and Sullivan (000) stated that the adoption of videoconference technology in European business practices is projected to grow rapidly from revenues of US$451 million in 1 to US$ billion by 006. This report suggests that increased standardization in videoconference technologies and reduced prices for videoconference systems are largely responsible for the strong growth in the use of this technology. Furthermore, large telecommunications companies in North America and Europe, such as British Telecom, rent videoconference equipment and facilities to organizations that do not have their own systems.


In addition to the strong overall growth in the use of videoconference technology in businesses, there is a number of factors driving the increasing popularity of videoconference technology in recruiting and selection specifically. An increase in the globalization of organizations and tighter labour markets require organizations to evaluate an increasing number of applicants in diverse geographical regions. Videoconference technology has provided a means to dramatically reduce the costs associated with interviewing distant applicants while simultaneously expanding applicant pools and satisfying the employers desire to see the candidates they are interviewing (Chapman, 1).


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Although there has been limited investigation of the impact of using videoconference technology on small group processes (Zornoza, Prieto, Marti, & Peiro, 15), medical procedures (e.g., Troster, Paolo, Glatt, & Hubble, 15), and education situations (J. Webster & Hackley, 17), there is little published research investigating its effect on interviewers evaluations in employment interviews. Those studies that have examined the use of videoconference technology for employment interviews have concentrated on interviewer and applicant attitudes toward the technology (Kroeck & Magnusen, 17; Skinkle & MacLeod, 15; J. Webster, 17), rather than on whether the medium affects interviewers judgments. Given the nearly universal application of the employment interview in employee selection and the likelihood that the use of videoconference technology for interviews will increase dramatically, an empirical examination of the impact of this technology on the employment interview is warranted. The primary aim of this study, then, is to determine whether using videoconference technology alters the impressions that interviewers have of applicants relative to applicants whom they interview face-to-face (FTF). We also examine whether factors such as interviewer gender or interview structure affect interviewer ratings and whether these factors moderate the influences of videoconference media. We first review the relevant literature covering communication media, interview structure, and interviewer gender, and use this to generate our initial hypotheses. We then describe a field experiment we conducted, and detail the results obtained.


Effects of interview medium


A variety of studies has examined the effects that different communication technologies have on the structure of social interaction. For example, several researchers have investigated the impact of communication technologies on the surface structure of conversations (Cohen, 18; OConaill, Whittaker, & Wilbur, 1; Sellen, 15). These studies have largely concluded that removing, or deteriorating (in the case of videoconferencing) visual cues results in fewer interruptions, longer turns, and fewer turns taken by participants in a videoconference-based conversation compared with an FTF conversation (OConnaill et al., 1; Sellen, 15). What remains unknown is whether these changes in the surface structure of conversations can influence interpersonal perceptions.


The use of videoconference technology in the employment interview also restricts the interviewers ability to observe nonverbal behaviour (Skinkle & McLeod, 15). For example, applicants are typically displayed from the mid-chest up, which eliminates the possibility of observing some nonverbal behaviours such as posture or trembling hands. Although above-the-waist nonverbals are less affected by this medium, an important factor in interview research, eye contact, is difficult to determine due both to insufficient image resolution and to camera angle. A large number of laboratory studies has found nonverbal behaviours to be important determinants of interviewer impressions (e.g., Imada & Hakel, 177; Rasmussen, 184). However, we know little about how reducing the clarity of nonverbal communication will affect impression formation.


A review of the research literature revealed conflicting evidence for the likely effect of using videoconference technology on interviewer evaluations. It has been suggested that raters using videoconference media provide more negative evaluations of others (Storck & Sproull, 15). However, Storck and Sproulls (15) findings were based on judgments of group performance rather than individual performance, and involved an educational setting rather than an employment setting. Furthermore, their methodology did not address the potential confound of in-group bias. For example, the FTF ratings were provided by groups located at the same physical site, while the videoconference ratings were for groups from other locations (Storck & Sproull, 15). Their findings may be interpreted as being influenced by the positive feelings raters had for groups located at the same site (an in-group) relative to other locations (Messick & Mackie, 18; Newcomb, 161, 181), rather than the influence of the medium.


In contrast, research by Short, Williams, and Christie (176), suggested that interpersonal judgments can be inflated in a positive direction when these judgments are made after the parties meet in a degraded telecommunication medium. Short et al. (176) indicated that conversants engaged in a confrontational situation describe each other as being more friendly when using an intervening communication technology (in this case, closed-circuit television). Communication technologies may provide a social barrier that mitigates the anxiety generated by some social interactions (Short et al., 176). We believe that the intense and evaluative nature of the selection interview has the potential to generate anxiety between the conversants and, consequently, an intervening medium may help reduce this anxiety. This could lead interviewers to evaluate candidates more favourably in the videoconference-based interview due to either more positive affect toward the applicant in general (Dipboye, 1), or due to actual improved performance of the applicant if he or she feels more relaxed (Webster, 17).


Another potential mechanism by which interviewer judgments could be affected by the interview medium involves attribution theory (Kelley, 17). Although observers in many circumstances are more likely to attribute perceived deficiencies to dispositional rather than situational influences (for a review of the fundamental attribution error research, see Jones & Nisbett, 17), it is possible that the interviewers will find the medium sufficiently salient to generate situational attributions for poorer applicant performance in the videoconference interviews (Taylor & Fiske, 175). Moreover, given the fact that interviewers are motivated (and paid) to make accurate social judgments, the probability that they will make erroneous dispositional attributions is decreased (D. M. Webster, 1). This may increase the likelihood of making situational attributions for weaker performance in videoconference interviews. Having an accuracy goal in social judgments has also been found to lead to more complex thinking about the information available for the judgment target (Tetlock & Kim, 187), such as including information about the context in which the interaction occurs. However, despite this more complex approach to social judgment, individuals who are motivated to be accurate in social judgments (e.g. interviewers) may still be susceptible to biases and heuristics in their perception processes (Kunda, 10; Tetlock & Boettger, 18). In fact, Kunda (1) suggested that accuracy goals, when combined with the need for quick decisions (such as time pressures on interviewers), can exacerbate perception biases (e.g., Freund, Kruglanski, & Shpitzajzen, 185; Kruglanski & Freund, 18).


A second rationale for why interviewers judgments may be affected by the use of videoconference technology draws upon the concept of Native Theories of bias correction. Judges, such as interviewers, are capable of adjusting their assessments of individuals according to their naive theories of how the context affects [their] judgements of the target (Wegener & Petty, 15, p. 8). Wegener and Petty (15) investigated the impact of naive theories on rater judgments. Over a series of studies, Wegener and Petty (15) revealed that individuals may form naive theories about how the impact of a situation or context affects their evaluations of others. Furthermore, they found that judges may correct their evaluation of the target based on these naive theories whether an actual bias exists or not. This can result in less accurate evaluations in cases where judges overcompensate for their perceived bias. In the present study, it is possible that interviewers will form naive theories about the relative disadvantage of videoconference applicants compared to FTF applicants. For example, J. Webster (17) suggested that some applicants may feel disadvantaged by videoconference interviews. Interviewers may be sympathetic to these feelings or feel that they themselves would be disadvantaged if they were to be interviewed by videoconference. According to Wegener and Petty (15), a perception of a contextual factor disadvantaging one choice over another, in this case videoconference or a FTF context, may result in overcompensation in the form of inflated evaluations of videoconference candidates. This explanation is further supported by Neubergs (18) findings, which demonstrated that the goal of having accurate impressions influences judges to evaluate candidates more favourably when they have negative expectancies.


Given the lack of studies that directly measure the influences of this medium on interviewer evaluations, and the conflicting evidence in the literature regarding the effects of communication media on social judgments in general, our prediction is necessarily somewhat exploratory. However, we find the existing evidence for a positive effect on interviewer evaluations (i.e. external attributions for poor performance, naive theories, and anxiety reduction) is more persuasive. Accordingly, we submit


Hypothesis 1 Interviewers will rate videoconference applicants higher than FTF applicants.


Structure differences in interviews


Structured interviews employ systematic procedures to generate questions, rate the suitability of answers, and provide consistency in the content, delivery and order of questions in the interview. Several meta-analytic studies pointing to the increased validity of structured versus unstructured employment interviews (e.g., McDaniel, Whetzel, Schmidt, & Maurer, 14; Wiesner & Cronshaw, 188) have generated a significant amount of research interest (see Campion, Palmer, & Campion, 17; Dipboye, 1).


Structured interviews are not only more reliable, but it is also possible that a more highly structured interview affords less opportunity for the interviewer to be influenced by applicant impression management tactics (Campion et al., 17; Dipboye & Gaugler, 1). For example, in the structured interview, applicants are less able to control the content of the discussion (Dipboye & Gaugler, 1) which is an important tool for impression management. One form of structured interview, the behavioural descriptive interview (Janz, 18), requires the applicant to recall recent past behaviours that support the applicants claims. In order to limit impression management with this type of structured interview, practitioners are advised to incorporate a threat of reference check, whereby applicants are told that the information that they provide in the interview will be verified by reference check. This procedure has the potential to limit impression management by discouraging the applicant from embellishing his or her credentials. Given the fact that impression management techniques are practiced by candidates in order to improve their attractiveness to employers, interview structure practices designed to minimize the applicants opportunity to engage in these practices is expected to result in less favourable evaluations of the applicant. Furthermore, the systematic rating formats of structured interviews have also been prescribed by researchers to avoid halo errors that can result in inflated ratings of applicants (Campion et al., 17; Dipboye, 1). These factors combined suggest that, although it is still possible for interviewers to rate applicants favourably in a structured interview, the opportunity for applicants who are less capable, but skilled impression managers, to be rated favourably is diminished. Thus


Hypothesis Interviewers conducting interviews with higher levels of interview structure will result in lower evaluations of applicants than those with lower levels of interview structure.


Interviews conducted with higher levels of interview structure are also believed to reduce the influence of extraneous information such as appearance or nonverbal behaviour, thereby improving the validity of judgments with regard to later job performance (Campion et al., 17). While it may also be argued that the use of videoconference technology could also reduce the interviewers reliance on extraneous nonverbal cues and appearance in making judgments, the interview medium itself has the potential to become extraneous information (Webster, 17). Furthermore, we believe that the cognitive processes mentioned earlier (i.e. attributions and naive theories) will still influence the interviewers judgments, regardless of the media effects on nonverbal assessment. We predict that highly structured interviews could reduce or eliminate the cognitive bias corrections and external attributions generated by the use of the videoconference technology. Accordingly, it is predicted that the evaluations of interviewers who conduct more highly structured interviews will not be affected by the interview medium to the same extent as those of interviewers who conduct less structured interviews, where this information is likely to play a larger role in evaluations.


Hypothesis Interview structure will moderate the influences of interview medium on interviewer evaluations of candidates such that applicant evaluations provided by interviewers who conduct less structured interviews will be affected by the interview medium more than the evaluations provided by interviewers who conduct more structured interviews.


Interviewer gender differences in interviews


There is some evidence to suggest that male and female interviewers behave differently and evaluate applicants differently in employment interviews. For instance, female interviewers have been found to assess their applicants higher on their interview performance than males do (Elliott, 181; London & Poplawski, 176; Parsons & Liden, 184; Raza & Carpenter, 187). Gender differences in conversational styles have also been demonstrated in that females are less likely to interrupt or structure a conversation than males are (e.g., Eakins & Eakins, 178; Spencer & Drass, 18; Zimmerman & West, 175) although the results are mixed (see Kacmar & Hochwarter, 15). One important difference in these studies is that Kacmar and Hochwarter (15) trained their interviewers to use high levels of structure in their interviews. It is possible that the gender differences did not materialize in their study due to the higher level of structure used. This is consistent with the rationale for structuring interviews, which is to reduce the influence of individual biases and thereby increase inter-rater reliability in ratings given to applicants (Campion et al., 17). It has also been argued that structured interviews may be less prone to biases (including interviewer gender) that could have an impact on gender- or race-based employment equity initiatives (Campion et al., 17). Thus,


Hypothesis 4a The evaluations by male interviewers will be lower than evaluations by female interviewers.


Hypothesis 4b The main effect predicted in H4a will be mediated by the level of interview structure whereby interviewer gender will have less influence on ratings for interviewers who conduct highly structured interviews.


Method


Data were collected from real interviews conducted for 4-month, full-time paid positions as part of a cooperative education programme, where university students alternate their studies with formal job experience related to their degree programmes. Interviewers come to campus from across North America and around the world to hire these applicants. Interviewers are actual representatives of the organizations involved and view these positions as an opportunity to recruit future full-time employees for their organizations. These interviewers typically interview 8-10 applicants for each position vacancy.


Interviewer evaluations from employment interviews were included in the present study. Whenever possible, interviewers provided evaluations of four of their applicants two based on applicants randomly assigned to videoconference interviews and two based on applicants randomly assigned to FTF interviews. Of the 5 interviewers who participated in the study, six interviewers conducted fewer than four interviews due to scheduling conflicts or technical problems.


The design is a x x mixed model with Interview Medium (FTF vs. videoconference) tested as a within-subjects factor, whereas Interviewer Gender, and amount of Interview Structure (high structure vs. semi-structure vs. low structure) comprised the between-subjects factors. This design provides a field experiment test of the primary variable of interest (Interview Medium), while permitting a quasi-experimental test of the other variables of interest (Interview Structure and Interviewer Gender).


Participants


A sample of 5 interviewers, conducting employment interviews at a large Canadian university for cooperative education work terms, volunteered to participate in the study in exchange for a synopsis of the research findings. The 1 male and 6 female interviewers ranged in age from 6 to 58 years, with a mean age of 6.6 years. In total, organizations from a wide variety of industries were represented, including financial institutions, computer software companies, manufacturers, government organizations, multinationals, hospitals and educational facilities. Company size varied from 10 to 100 000 employees, with 800 employees representing the median company size. Of the 5 participants, 16 conducted single-interviewer interviews (14 males and females) and conducted interviews with two interviewers present (5 males and 4 females). For interviews conducted with two interviewers, data were collected prior to interviewers discussing each applicant and from only one of the two interviewers.


The applicants were undergraduate students enrolled in cooperative education programmes who volunteered to participate in the study in exchange for entering their names into a draw for two prizes of $400 each. Of the applicants, 55.4% were male (N= 51) and 44.6% were female (N= 41). A chi test demonstrated that applicant gender was evenly distributed across interview media, chi(1,) = .46, n.s. Applicants had a mean age of 1.1 (SD = 1.65) years. Applicant interview experience ranged from 1 to 55 previous employment interviews completed with a median of 10 previous interviews reported. Approximately half (55%) of the applicants reported having some form of training relating to how to conduct themselves in an employment interview.


Apparatus


The 44 videoconference interviews were conducted using an Intel videoconference demonstration system. The video display was presented on 15-inch SVGA colour monitors with Intel video cameras mounted on top of each monitor. The systems were located in two offices located in separate buildings on campus and were connected through the university Local Area Network (LAN). Connection speed varied slightly depending on competing demands on the servers being used, resulting in a full-screen frame rate ranging from 1 to 14 frames per second. Applicants were shown from the mid-chest up, while interviewers were either shown mid-chest up (for single interviewers) or from the waist up and further away for two interviewers. Camera angles were adjusted slightly to accommodate the height of the applicant or interviewer.


Procedure


Recruiting interviewers. The 5 interviewers who participated were recruited through telephone calls to random employers from the 1500 who planned to conduct interviews at the university over a -week period. Although exact statistics are not available, approximately 70% of the organizations contacted by telephone agreed to participate in exchange for a synopsis of the research results. The main limiting factor for obtaining more interviews was the availability of the videoconferencing systems. Scheduling was limited to four or five videoconference interviews per day over the 15-day period when interviewers were on campus. Interviewer recruiting stopped once the videoconference schedule was filled.


Recruiting applicants. After participating companies had identified the applicants they wished to interview (usually -4 days prior to the interview being conducted), electronic mail messages were sent to each of their applicants requesting their participation in the study and an attempt to reach them by telephone was made concurrently. This method resulted in an 80% participation rate for applicants. Applicants who had interviews scheduled with two or more of the interviewers in the study were excluded after their first interview. To prevent distortion in the results due to differences between volunteers for the videoconference condition and applicants in the control condition, all applicants were informed prior to volunteering to participate that they had a 50% chance of having their interview conducted using videoconference technology. For each of the 5 interviewers in the study, four of their applicants who agreed to participate were randomly selected for the study. Two of these four participants were then randomly assigned to the FTF condition and two to the videoconference condition.


Measures


Constructs were assessed by a pre-interview questionnaire, a post-interview questionnaire, a post-study questionnaire and a post-study structured interview with the participants.


Pre-interview measures. Immediately preceding each of the interviewers four interviews, the interviewer was asked to complete a 4-item questionnaire. The interviewer was asked to rate the applicant on a 7-point scale (where 1 = poor and 7 = excellent) on the following dimensions (1) overall impression of the applicant based on written information; () appropriateness of the applicants educational background for the position; () evaluation of the applicants previous work experience; and (4) educational achievement. Items 1, and were retained to create a Pre-interview Impression Scale with item 4 removed to improve internal reliability (Cronbachs alpha = .77).(n1)


Post-interview measures. Sixteen items measuring dimensions considered important for applicant success were selected based on previous research (e.g. Einhorn, 181). Immediately following each interview, and prior to discussing the candidate with anyone or filling out a company-based rating form, the interviewer was asked to complete a questionnaire rating the applicant on 16 dimensions (see Appendix for a list of the items). All ratings were provided on a 7-point Likert-type scale ranging from 1 = poor to 7 = excellent. A principal components factor analysis with varimax rotation suggested a single factor solution with this factor explaining 67.46% of the variance in the items. Accordingly, a Post-interview Rating Scale was calculated from the average of the 16 post-interview items. Cronbachs alpha was calculated to be .6 for the Post-interview Rating.


Immediately following their final interview, interviewers were asked to fill out a post-study questionnaire gathering demographic information and measuring other constructs such as level of interview structure and satisfaction with the use of videoconference technology. Interview structure was measured with an item developed by M. Williams and P. M. Rowe (personal communication, 16). The item asked the interviewer to choose among five descriptions of the consistency of questions asked across all of their interviews (see Appendix for anchors for this item). Structure was analysed as a three-level variable by combining levels 1- and 4-5 as the high and low structure levels, respectively, and level as semi-structured. This coding was chosen due to the absence of female interviewers in levels 1 and 5 of the original scale, and to balance the number of interviewers in each level of structure as much as possible. Although this procedure resulted in some information loss, this was judged to be appropriate to maintain a balance of interviewer gender in each level of structure as there were no female interviewers in the tails of the distribution. Furthermore, this procedure is consistent with much of the interview literature which treats interviews as either structured or unstructured while adding a semi-structured level (Kohn & Dipboye, 18) to increase the predictive power of the construct.(n) Interviews conducted in a FTF or videoconference medium were coded 1 and respectively. Male and female interviewers were also coded 1 and respectively.


All 5 interviewers were given a semi-structured interview immediately after completing the study by either the first author or a research assistant. Interviewers were asked to describe their feelings about using videoconferencing technology in the interview and to describe how their interviews may have been changed by using the technology.


Results


Analyses


The design for this experiment was a x x mixed model with Interview Medium (videoconference vs. FTF) tested as a within-subject factor whereas Interviewer Gender (male vs. female) and Interview Structure (unstructured vs. semi-structured vs. structured) represented the between-subjects factors. A common issue in interview research, particularly when conducted in the field, is the problem of having independent variables nested within interviewer (see Cable & Judge, 17). Data for the interviewer are necessarily duplicated for each candidate evaluated by that interviewer, which risks generating problems associated with correlated errors for regression analyses (Greene, 1). Accordingly, we chose a General Linear Model (GLM) approach and included the interviewer as a nested variable in the analyses. The GLM procedure permits the researcher to specify nested and mixed models to apply the appropriate error term for each test in the analysis (Howell, 1). For example, within-subject analyses and interactions included variance from Medium x Interviewer (Gender x Structure) in the error term (where parentheses specify nesting). The between-subjects analyses were tested with the variance from Interviewer (Gender x Structure) in the error term. Each analysis was conducted with pre-interview impression used as a covariate. This covariate satisfies the assumptions required to do a proper MANCOVA procedure, as the evaluation of written information preceded the treatment and therefore could not be affected by the treatment. Means, standard deviations and correlations among the variables are provided in Table 1. Note that the zero-order correlations in Table 1 may be subject to the non-independence of some of the data and should be interpreted cautiously. Non-significant correlations between pre-interview impression and each of the independent variables (see Table 1) provide evidence that the covariate was not influenced by treatment or anticipated treatment effects for videoconference interviews.


To ensure that the number of interviewers conducting the interview did not influence the ratings, an ANOVA was conducted which suggested that it was appropriate to collapse our sample across number of interviewers F(1,1)= .18, n.s. To verify that our random assignment of applicants was indeed random, we also tested whether there were significant pre-interview differences in the attractiveness of applicants assigned to the two groups. No pre-interview differences were observed t(0) = .7, n.s.


Results of the GLM analysis, testing medium, structure, and interviewer gender effects, are detailed in Table . Estimated marginal means, generated by the GLM procedure, for interview medium, structure, and interviewer gender are provided in Table .


Interview medium


The results in Table support hypothesis 1, demonstrating that the interview medium played a role in determining how interviewers evaluated their applicants. A main effect of interview medium was found F(1,1)= 7.5, MSE = .40, p = .01, eta = .15. Interviewers rated applicants higher in the videoconference medium (M = 5.57, SE = .10) than in the FTF medium (M = 5.18, SE = .0).


Interview structure


The results presented in Table provide evidence to support hypothesis . The data reveal that interviewers using high levels of structure in the interview evaluated applicants less favourably than those who used semi-structured or unstructured interviews (M = 5.16, SE = .10, M 5.68, SE = .15, and M = 5.48, SE = .1, respectively). Interestingly, the applicants evaluated by a semi-structured interview were rated slightly higher than those evaluated by an unstructured interview. The reason for this unexpected result is not clear. The main effect of interview structure is best explained within the context of the interaction between interview structure and interviewer gender to follow. Table reveals that no support was found for hypothesis in determining the moderating effect of interview structure on the media influences for the dependent variables.


Interviewer gender


In support of hypothesis 4a, the present study found evidence to suggest that there are significant differences in the way that male and female interviewers evaluate their applicants. The results detailed in Table show more favourable ratings of applicants by female interviewers relative to their male counterparts. A significant interaction between interviewer gender and interview structure was also found in support of hypothesis 4b, which qualifies this main effect. Specifically, the interaction shows that male interviewers ratings were unaffected by interview structure while female interviewers ratings were substantially higher in unstructured and semi-structured interviews than in highly structured interviews.


A post hoc MANCOVA analysis was also conducted to determine whether a gender-based similar-to-me effect (e.g. Maurer, Howe, & Lee, 1) influenced post-interview evaluations of the candidate. Pre-interview evaluation of the candidates written credentials was entered into the model as a covariate and an interaction between applicant gender and interviewer gender was tested. The results indicate that an applicant gender x interviewer gender interaction did not occur, F(1,1) = .0, n.s.


Qualitative data


A summary of qualitative feedback from interviews is provided to contribute to the understanding of the processes that possibly underlie the empirical results.


Factors that helped interviewers rate videoconference applicants relative to face-to-face applicants. The majority of interviewers (68%) stated that there was nothing about the videoconference technology that would assist them in assessing the applicants relative to a face-to-face interview. Several interviewers (16%) found that the decreased social presence enabled them to unobtrusively take more notes, check their watches, or refer to resumes without disrupting the flow of the interview. A decrease in Social Presence (see Fulk, 1; Rice, 1) appeared to permit some interviewers to be more objective in that they did not feel as compelled to be positive with the applicant. Several interviewers noted that the videoconference medium forced them to concentrate more on what the applicant was saying and that this assisted in rating some dimensions.


Factors that hindered interviewer ratings of videoconference applicants relative to face-to-face applicants. Interviewers reported a number of properties inherent in the videoconference medium that they believed hindered their assessment of the applicants. The most frequent problem noted was the difficulty in reading nonverbal behaviours such as facial expression, eye contact and fidgeting (40%), followed by audio problems (8%), video lag (4%), image clarity (8%), and lack of responsiveness (4%). However, 8% of interviewers reported that there were no factors that they felt hindered their assessment of applicants.


Attribution of errors was also reported as being difficult to interpret by some of the interviewers. For example, one interviewer stated, It was hard to tell whether a pause was due to the technology, or the applicant being stumped.


Dimensions that interviewers reported mere easier to assess in the videoconference medium. The majority of interviewers (60%) reported that none of the 16 applicant dimensions were easier to assess in the videoconference medium than in the face-to-face medium while % reported at least one dimension was easier to assess and 8% failed to respond to this question. The three dimensions that were mentioned by interviewers as being easier to assess in the videoconference medium were Communication Skills (0%); Friendliness (1%); and Support for Arguments (4%). Three reasons emerged across all three of these dimensions which interviewers reported as being the reasons why they felt ratings were improved. The first addresses the interviewers belief that the restriction of visual cues forced them to concentrate more on the applicants words. A second trend included a perception that if the applicant could create a good impression in this medium, then the applicant must have been even friendlier, a better communicator, etc. face-to-face. Finally, a few interviewers mentioned that the novelty and awkwardness of the videoconference medium reduced the traditional power imbalance between interviewer and applicant. One interviewer noted that the use of a cutting edge technology in the interview enabled better evaluation of a candidates comfort level with new technology relative to face-to-face candidates.


Applicant dimensions more difficult to assess in a videoconference versus face-to-face medium. Although 16% of the interviewers reported that there were no dimensions which were more difficult to assess in the videoconference medium relative to the face-to-face medium, most reported at least one dimension as being more difficult to assess. Many interviewers believed that applicant Appearance was difficult to assess (56%). Applicant Confidence (6%) and Assertiveness (16%) were also frequently mentioned due to two trends (1) several interviewers complained that these dimensions were difficult to assess due to difficulty with viewing nonverbal behaviour, and () difficulty with establishing the origin of an applicants unease, Hard to tell if [the applicant] is nervous in general or uncomfortable with the technology.


Medium preferred for conducting employment interviews. A large majority of interviewers (76%) stated that they preferred conducting their interviews FTF rather than using a videoconference medium. Only 4% preferred the videoconference medium and 0% stated that they had no preference. Many lamented losing the personal touch of meeting the candidate FTF. However, despite the fact that 76% of interviewers indicated a preference for conducting their interviews FTF, 88% reported that they would be willing to use videoconference technology to conduct employment interviews in the future because of the convenience associated with it.


Discussion


The primary purpose of the present experiment was to determine whether interviewer ratings of applicants changed as a result of using videoconference technology rather than a traditional FTF interview to conduct the interview. The results of this study show that interviewers ratings of applicants were affected by the interview medium, accounting for 15% of the variance. Interviewer evaluations were also influenced by an interaction of interview structure and the interviewers gender.


Interviewers were found to rate applicants in videoconference-based interviews higher than applicants interviewed in a traditional FTF interview. Given the somewhat exploratory nature of this study, we feel justified in speculating a little on the origins of the observed effects. For example, we proposed three potential mechanisms by which the interviewer could inflate their ratings of applicants interviewed in the videoconference medium. Unfortunately, the fact that we used actual interviewers in this study prevented us from capturing the exact mechanism which may have generated our results. The observed media differences in ratings may relate to the work of Short et al. (176), which suggested that the communication medium may have reduced the anxiety between the interviewer and applicant. This could have influenced interviewer ratings directly by having an impact on the global impression of the candidate, or indirectly if this reduction in anxiety translated into actual improvement in applicant performance. We believe the latter explanation is less likely, based on applicant self-reports of performance following the interview (Skinkle & MacLeod, 15; J. Webster, 17); however, future research should empirically examine this possibility. Other explanations which deserve empirical testing include the possibility that either external attributions and/or naive theories of bias correction may have played a role in inflating interviewer evaluations of videoconference applicants. For example, interviewers might feel that the applicant deserves the benefit of the doubt based on their assumption that the applicant was inexperienced with videoconference interviews. This effect could be more pronounced in interviewers who have little experience with videoconference media themselves and consequently sympathize with the applicant.


While it is possible that some of the effects created by the videoconference system may be reduced or eliminated with technical solutions to issues such as evaluating nonverbal behaviour and video lag, the fact that the frame rates and transmission speed achieved in the current study resulted in very little lag in communications suggests that the bias observed may be resistant to advances in technology and is instead more closely linked to the weaker social presence afforded by the videoconference technology. It is also not clear whether this bias will disappear with increasing interviewer experience with this medium.


Some support was found for interviewer gender differences, which replicates previous findings. Female interviewers rated their applicants more favourably than their male counterparts. As predicted, however, higher levels of interview structure eliminated the disparity between male and female interviewers ratings. This change was only found in highly structured interviews, as semi-structured interviews yielded results similar to unstructured interviews. Further research is required to replicate the gender-based biases, observed in the six female interviewers in this study, in a large sample. Further investigation is also needed to confirm whether interview structure can reduce gender-based rating biases. The preliminary results from the present study demonstrate the potential for interview structure to reduce or eliminate some biases in selection interviews. However, the failure of interview structure to significantly affect media biases suggests that it may not be capable of eliminating all potential biases in a selection setting. More experimental work is needed with random assignment to levels of interview structure to identify those biases which are controlled by interview structure and those which are not. Furthermore, we need to determine why interview structure may be effective for some biases and not for others.


Several strengths and limitations of the methodology employed in this study are evident. There has been considerable criticism of the selection interview literature for its overuse of simulated interviews and students posing as interviewers and applicants (see Buckley & Weitzel, 18, for a detailed discussion). In this study, we employed a field-experiment approach for our main hypothesis, which is nearly unprecedented in interview research, to address these criticisms. In addition, the participation of organizations from a wide variety of industries bodes well for the generalizability of the results to other settings. Data were collected immediately prior to the interviews and immediately after the interviews to determine the impact that the interview information had on evaluations relative to the pre-interview information. Finally, all of the participants were interviewed to provide qualitative feedback in support of the empirical findings and to provide a richer understanding of the phenomenon being studied.


Despite the advantages of this study, some limitations remain. Problems associated with most field research were encountered in the present study. For example, in order to maximize statistical power with a smaller sample of interviewers, we employed a mixed design with interviewers conducting interviews in both videoconference and FTF media. This resulted in some of the independent variables being nested within interviewer (structure and interviewer gender). Additionally, all items and scales had to be created in order to be completed quickly so as to minimize the disruption in the interview process and maximize the willingness of busy interviewers to participate. Some detail had to be sacrificed to achieve this goal. For example, interview structure has been conceptualized as containing up to 15 facets (Campion et al., 17); however, we concentrated only on the consistency of questioning and the limitation of probing questions. The exact nature of what constitutes interview structure is unclear (Hakel, 18) although consistency always represents the major component. Researchers have advised practitioners employing structured interviews to ask questions consistently (Janz, 18; Latham, Saari, Pursell, & Campion, 180). Future research should examine the construct of interview structure more closely and a comprehensive measure of interview structure should be developed.


Another limitation to the current research stems from the necessity to employ quasi-experimental methods with interviewer gender and interview structure, as we were obviously unable to manipulate these in a field setting. Future research should attempt to replicate these preliminary findings in a controlled laboratory setting. In addition, future research should investigate whether specific job types interact with the interview medium. Furthermore, although our gender-based leniency effect was consistent with earlier research, the small number of female interviewers examined in this sample should lead the reader to interpret the gender-related findings cautiously. Despite these areas for improvement, we believe the strengths associated with using real applicants and interviewers for this study outweigh the disadvantages.


The findings in this study have both theoretical and practical implications. The theoretical advancement is that it is evident that the medium of communication and the amount of structure used in the interview are important variables to consider when studying interviewer decision processes (e.g., Dipboye, 1; Eder, 18; Webster, 18). The practical conclusions we can make regarding the utility of using structured interviews to reduce interviewer biases is less clear. It appears that highly structured interviews (based on consistency) may help to decrease potential gender-based leniency effects. Semi-structured interviews, however, did not reduce the observed gender biases in interviewer evaluations. Perhaps more importantly, even the highest level of interview structure did not moderate the influences of interview medium. The structured interview, therefore, may potentially reduce biases based on some variables or contexts but not others. Further research on interview structure is required in order to determine the processes underlying the reduction of bias in some situations and to explain why these processes can be less effective for some variables. More attention should also be paid to the potential for other facets of interview structure to reduce rating biases (e.g. job-related questions, rating answers against ideal responses, using situational and behavioural questions). As a cautionary note, we do not have any information in this study to conclude that the predictive validity of the lower ratings provided by males or by interviewers conducting structured interviews is higher than the lenient ratings.


On a practical level, it is evident that mixing interview media within a given employment competition could result in inflated results for the applicants who are interviewed via a videoconference system relative to those applicants interviewed FTF. Also on a practical level, the need for structured interviews is highlighted by the potential to reduce differences between interviewers evaluations of candidates.


In summary, this study demonstrated that, in a field setting, interviewer evaluations of candidates can be affected by the communication medium used to conduct the interview, the amount of structure employed in the interview, and potentially the gender of the interviewer. Furthermore, although a high level of interview structure was found to reduce disparities between the ratings provided by male and female interviewers, media influences were not significantly reduced by interview structure.


Acknowledgements


This research was supported by a grant provided by Procter & Gamble Worldwide Recruiting, Training and Development and by a loan of equipment from ViewNet Inc. The authors wish to thank John Callender at Procter & Gamble for his support and insight. We are also indebted to Bruce Lumsden and staff of the Cooperative Education Department at the University of Waterloo for facilitating access to the sample. The organizations and applicants are also thanked for their generous participation. We also thank Jane Webster, Ramona Bobocel, Jo Sylvester, and three anonymous reviewers for their comments on earlier versions of this paper; and Judith Carscadden, Alice Rushing, and David Zweig for their assistance with data collection. An earlier version of this paper was presented as part of a symposium at the Canadian Psychological Association, 58th annual convention in Toronto, Canada, June 17. This paper is based in part on Derek Chapmans Masters thesis at the University of Waterloo.


(n1) Interviewers typically have access to information about the applicant prior to the interview. This information may include details about the applicants previous work experience, transcripts of grades, academic background, interests, and test results. Pre-interview information has been found to be a significant predictor of the ultimate impression of the applicant subsequent to the interview (Dipboye, Stramler, & Fontenelle, 184; Dougherty, Turban, & Callender, 14; Macan & Dipboye, 10; Rowe, 18; Tucker & Rowe, 177). Accordingly, pre-interview impressions served as a covariate in our analyses to isolate the variance in interviewer ratings due to the interview alone. The results in Tables 1 and support previous findings (e.g. Dipboye et al., 184; Rowe, 18) in demonstrating the importance of pre-interview impressions (based on written credentials) on interviewer evaluations of the applicant.


(n) A recent review by Campion et al. (17), suggests that interview structure ought to be measured as a multidimensional and continuous variable; however, there is no multidimensional and continuous measure of structure in existence. Given this restriction, the limitations of our field sample, and in the interest of providing more interpretable results, we chose to use Kohn and Dipboyes (18) three-level description of interview structure.





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