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Future Research

A chapter like this is not complete without suggesting some avenues for future research and mentioning some issues that are still unexplored. As for fresh avenues, I concur with Schmitt (2014; Schmitt & Frandre, 2008) that new studies on the validity of GMA and specific cognitive abilities should be undertaken given that, in general, the databases used in meta-analyses included in primary studies were undertaken 25 years or more ago. In addition, conceptions of job performance have changed and are now envisaged in multidimensional terms, but many of the early primary studies did not include criterion measures to capture performance subdimensions. Although some research on the relationship between cognitive ability and performance has been undertaken recently, this contrasts with the scarcity of primary studies in the past two decades. Thus, further studies are required to examine new aspects of organizational behaviour. The following list is a brief overview of some unexplored areas, which deserve some attention:

  • 1 Additional cross-cultural research should be done on the relationship between GMA and specific cognitive abilities with job performance and other organizational criteria in Latin American, African and Asian-Pacific countries.
  • 2 Studies on the relationships between cognitive abilities and CBW are also needed. As Gonzalez-Mule and colleagues (2014) have pointed out, their meta-analyses contained only 35 primary studies, which clearly contrast with the number of primary studies included in the meta-analyses of cognitive ability-performance relations, many of which analysed hundreds of studies (e.g., Hartigan & Wigdor, 1989; Hunter & Hunter, 1984; Salgado et al, 2003b). Furthermore, the relationship between cognitive ability and CWB should be examined to determine if it is moderated by the nature of CWB itself (e.g., organizational CWB vs. interpersonal CWB).
  • 3 New models of cognitive abilities and re-examination of older models (e.g. Thomson’s) pose the question whether specific abilities are more valid predictors than GMA and whether they show incremental validity beyond GMA. The studies based on Spearman (e.g., Ree & Earles, 1991; Ree et al., 1994) showed that specific cognitive abilities did not increase validity over GMA. However, this is not necessarily the case with nested models of cognitive abilities and some studies have suggested a new way for exploring this area (e.g., Lang et al., 2009), or with the Gf-Gc model (Nisbett et al, 2012; Postlethwaite, 2011), and the studies by Campbell and Cattano (2004) and Mount et al. (2008) for perceptual speed ability.
  • 4 Studies are required on differential validity and differential prediction, taking into account the methodological shortcomings underscored by Aguinis and colleagues (2010).
  • 5 Further research on the relationship between cognitive ability and well-being in organizations should expand the number the criteria and add important organizational behaviours. The relationships between GMA and job satisfaction, happiness, burnout, abusive supervision, mobbing and subjective well-being should be analysed. Such studies will make relevant contributions to the study of abilities at work.
  • 6 New studies should be conducted to explore the relationship between GMA and the Big Five personality factors as measured by quasi-ip sative forced-choice (QI-FC) personality inventories. Since 2014, meta-analyses have demonstrated that QI-FC personality inventories are more valid for predicting job performance than standard, single-stimulus (SS) personality inventories (Salgado, Anderson & Tauriz, 2015; Salgado & Tauriz, 2014). Several researchers have suggested that the cognitive strategies used to respond to SS and FC personality measures are different, with the first being less cognitively demanding than the second (e.g., Brown & Maydeu, 2013; Meade,
  • 2004; Vasilopoulus, Cucina, Dyomina, Morewitz & Reilly, 2006). Consequently, QI measures may show a higher correlation with GMA than SS measures.
  • 7 Another important area for future research is the potential relevance of group intelligence for predicting team performance and interpersonal performance. Woolley, Chabris, Pentland, Hasmi and Malone (2010) have shown that collective intelligence can be a valid predictor of team performance. This fresh area extends the number of criteria, adding to others such as group cohesion, team climate, team socialization, leadership effectiveness.
  • 8 Finally, an interesting area for future research is the variability within groups in cognitive abilities and its potential effects on performance and differential prediction.
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