Critical Incident Technique

Necessary information included in a CI
1. A statement of the context (what led up to eh situation)
2. The employee behavior
3. The consequences of the behavior
Difficulties of CIs
-Hard to get SMEs to generate CI at first (helpful to use other words like "behavioral examples" or to give a list to generate ideas)
-SMEs tend to recall good, rather than bad performance when about the self
-May doubt purpose of data collection (always collect good before bad to avoid this)
Tips for writing a CI
1. Get key circumstances/context
2. Get the behavior
--Make it specific
--Focus on behavior (not inference on qualities)
--Was the behavior adequate? Effective? Ineffective?
3. Get the outcome
Tips for running a meeting of SMEs
1. Avoid the term "CI"
2. Start with the good examples
3. Have SMEs imagine specific people when telling stories
4. Make stories job-related
5. Use dimensions/tasks as prompts
6. Report percent to which person was responsible for the outcome
Research on CI
-Minor changes in wording of CI has little effect
-Source of info does mater in terms of kind of incidences written (different sources attend to different aspects of performance)
-Group incidences in to categories/dimensions
-CIs provide richness of detail about actual work behaviors
-CIs not as reliable as other psychometric approaches to performance appraisal
-CIs also used for selection, training needs assessment, and training design