The generalist bias

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review

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Detail(s)

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)47-61
Journal / PublicationOrganizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes
Volume120
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2013

Abstract

This research introduces the generalist bias - a tendency to reward and select people with general skills when complementary, specialized skills are needed. Five studies investigated its effects. Study 1 confirmed the existence of the bias in a context-free experiment. Study 2 showed that the compensation of players in NBA teams was related to their two- rather than their three-point scoring. Study 3 showed that basketball fans favored all-around players even when three-point shooters would better complement a team's needs. Study 4 showed that the generalist bias occurred in HR recruiting, and Study 5 showed that companies often recruited specialists to handle multiple, unrelated jobs. In addition, studies 3 and 4 also showed that joint evaluations (comparing specialists and generalists side-by-side) strengthened the generalist bias, whereas separate evaluations weakened it. © 2012 Elsevier Inc.

Research Area(s)

  • Decision bias, Generalists, Selection, Social comparisons, Specialists

Citation Format(s)

The generalist bias. / Wang, Long; Keith Murnighan, J.

In: Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Vol. 120, No. 1, 01.2013, p. 47-61.

Research output: Journal Publications and Reviews (RGC: 21, 22, 62)21_Publication in refereed journalpeer-review