The Influnce of Metacognition on Managerial Hiring Decision Making: Implications for Management Development


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Virginia Tech


Cognitive processing has a primary role in decision making. In addition, metacognition, the regulation and knowledge of cognition, affects decision making in a consistent and predictable way. Novices explain situations in a simple way. Novices are more likely to make inappropriate decisions. Research suggests that training the novice on efficient use of metacognitive strategies can improve decision outcomes. The influence of metacognitive strategies on managerial decisions has received little attention. Two questions developed to guide this research. First, how do expert and novice managers differ on metacognitive awareness? And second, how does the level of metacognitive awareness influence successful hiring decisions? Subjects for this study were thirty-one hiring managers employed by a large national corporation. And two hundred eight-five hiring professionals from an association.

Data collection involved four sources: (1) A hiring ratio used to report hiring outcomes, (2) Five hiring scenarios provided a measure of managers' ability to select the most appropriate candidate; (3) A 52-item instrument designed to assess metacognitive awareness in both knowledge of cognition and regulation of cognition; and (4) demographic data relating to expertise and experience in hiring. The results identified that metacognition has three underlying structures that influence hiring decision making. Expert and novice managers differ in a consistent way on metacognitive awareness. In exploring and testing the ill-defined mental process model of hiring decision making a methodological tool was established. And the results provided important implications for human resource development professionals with respect to the relevance of metacognitive awareness on managerial development and instructional design.



decision making, cognitive development, management