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Development and Validation of the Work Style Analyser

Research and trials: how the Work Style Analyser was developed and validated

The inspiration for the development of the Work Style Analyser came from the inputs of real-life Human Resources and Training/L &D professionals and other people who used psychometrics in their day to day work. The findings of this research are detailed in the Technical Manual as are the logical steps behind the theory conception and construction supporting the instrument.

The technical development of the Work Style Analyser progressed through the following five stages:

First Trial

A small cohort group of 50 managers helped to clarify the scales, relationships between them and the most appropriate scoring style.

Second Trial

Here we acknowledge the generous support of the Hawker Siddeley Group PLC who provided unlimited access to a group of 100 work-experienced graduates for testing the Work Style Analyser. As part of this trial the MBTI, 16PF, Honey and Mumford scales and Belbin's Team Types were also administered. This provided an unprecedented wealth of hard data, not seen outside of academia, which enabled a thorough construct validity examination to test that the Work Style Analyser was measuring what it was supposed to be measuring.

Third Trial

Here we acknowledge the enormous support offered by The Burton Group (now Arcadia), who gave us access to 320 middle and senior managers from all functions within their business. Self-rating forms were provided and, importantly, real rating forms were also completed by each individual's manager. This trial was designed to test how well the Work Style Analyser could predict an individual's potential strengths and weaknesses when compared to the views of themselves and their managers. The instrument achieved a remarkable 82% level of agreement with the ratings of the individuals' managers.

Fourth Trial

Here we acknowledge the very generous support of Laura Ashley PLC who provided access to 179 Branch Managers for our research. Forty of these managers were interviewed by twelve experienced Occupational Psychologists and consultants to provide objective behavioural data with which to compare the Work Style Analyser results. Also provided were the ratings of every manager from their established appraisal system and an attitude survey which was customised for the trial. This rather technical trial was designed to further test that the Work Style Analyser scales were valid and robust and that they covered a wide spectrum of behaviours on each scale. The full technical tables and statistics appear in the instrument's Technical Manual.

Fifth Trial

Trial by fire. Over a period of two years, a group of highly experienced consultants used the Work Style Analyser in their day-to-day work. The outcome was a sample of 286 individuals, ranging from CEO's to middle managers, on which a wealth of information had been gathered for comparison with their Work Style Analyser results. This final and conclusive checking of the WSA scales reconfirmed the positive validity statistics found in the fourth trial.

Should you be interested in the more technical nature of the Work Style Analyser's development we invite you to enquire for a Technical Manual which is available upon request.

Valid, reliable and robust

The extensive research and work-based trials used to develop the Work Style Analyser into a valid, reliable and robust psychometric instrument is comprehensive by any standards. Perhaps more importantly, the development was based on real people in real work situations guided by the constant feedback over a number of years from practitioners in the HR and Training/Learning & Development fields. 

We believe the time and money invested in developing this great instrument has been well worth it. Client feedback consistently praises its simplicity and accuracy, proving its worth to any organisation needing to improve organisational performance by optimising the effectiveness of its people.

© 2021 Medwin Poots Associates