Graduation Year


Document Type




Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.)

Degree Granting Department


Major Professor

Michael D. Coovert, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Michael T. Brannick, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Judith B. Bryant, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Chad Dubé, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Stephen Stark, Ph.D.

Committee Member

William H. Young, Ph.D.


personnel selection, biographical data, biodata, cross-national, test validation


In an increasingly interconnected economy, organizations are frequently operating beyond national borders. International partnerships, joint ventures, mergers, and acquisitions have expanded the labor market from a domestic to an international perspective. In this environment, multinational organizations demand cost-effective personnel selection tools to help them identify top talent from different countries, geographical regions, and cultures.

The purpose of the current research was to evaluate the global utility of biographical data inventories, a standardized self-report selection method that asks job applicants questions about prior behaviors and experiences. Results from two studies involving participants from 7 country clusters, across four continents, and two different occupational groups, managers and manufacturing technicians, provided evidence to support the hypothesis that the validity of biographical data inventories, empirically keyed in the United States, generalizes to all country clusters examined.

These results are important because they suggest that multinational organizations interested in deploying a single standardized selection system across geographical boundaries may want to consider including biographical data inventories, in addition to other commonly used instruments such as cognitive ability and personality assessments, to enhance the overall validity of their selection systems. This approach has the potential to reduce organizations’ costs related to developing, implementing, and maintaining selection processes while enabling them to manage their human capital efficiently by ensuring all new hires have the necessary knowledge, skills, and abilities to succeed on the job and contribute to their strategic objectives.