Implications and consequences : how can learning from the use of a psychometric tool inform other HRD interventions?

Freer, Bridget Heather

January 2016

Thesis or dissertation

© 2016 Bridget Heather Freer. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

This thesis presents findings on the implications and consequences of using a personality preference model as an organizational development tool. Whilst the research focuses on the proprietary model Insights Discovery®, the intention is not to validate or test the instrument or to see if it ‘works’ in a technical sense. Rather, the aim is to critically evaluate the ramifications of its use from an individual perspective. In doing so, the thesis explores the conflicting purposes and values associated with this psychometric tool and discovers how its use is rationalised, vindicated and proliferated by studying five case study organizations.

There appears to be an assumption that the Insights Discovery psychometric test is an innocuous tool which is fun and entertaining to use, producing mutual benefit to participants and the organization. This research challenges these assumptions and explores to what extent the promotional ‘hype’ is accurate.

Although the findings might be of particular interest to both those who instigate the use of Insights Discovery within organizations and practitioners who deliver it, the aim is that the conclusions will have a broader application. The focus is therefore on organizational development implications, considering if the learning from delivery of the Insights Discovery model can inform other HRD interventions.

The thesis emphasizes the complexities and potential contradictions and implications of utilising a psychometric tool in organizational learning and change initiatives. Indications suggest that psychometric profiling has the potential to be damaging to the individual and thereby, ultimately the organization. The thesis therefore sets out to establish if it is really possible that the potential ‘fallout’ of using such tools could ‘make or break’ a career?

Business School, The University of Hull
Thursfield, Denise
Qualification level
Qualification name
2 MB
QR Code