Les auteurs cherchent ici à faire le point sur l'état de la recherche en évaluation du potentiel humain.
The purpose of this article is to clarify the present situation of research on evaluation of human potential. To accomplish this, we have adopted a critical perspective which differs from traditional approaches to this question. It is apparent that research efforts until now have devoted themselves to the development of valid tools of measurement, while results have been unfortunately less satisfying. Conclusions in the area of evaluation drawn by researchers vary from study to study, and are presently inconclusive.
This state of affairs has led us to attempt to redefine the research hypothesis. As our point of departure, we have chosen a distinction between two approaches: traditional (based on the search for control and prediction) and non-traditional (taking into consideration both compatible and incompatible results available).
Rather than confine ourselves to proving the validity of tools of measurement with the objective of establishing better control of the human factor in organizations, we propose tackling the following problem: What can be drawn from the relative successes and the failures to date?
This question has forced us to reconsider the predominant use of research methods based on the scientific approach, a habit which seems to have compelled researchers to constantly repeat the same mistakes while preventing them from redefining their hypotheses. We suggest the introduction of methods resulting from non-traditional approaches, for they have permetted us to advance our research objectives from the stage of "why" to that of "how", giving us access to information on another level and with different consequences. Traditional methods have, in short, prevented us from answering the question: "Why can we not predict at present?" and drawing the necessary conclusions.
This effort of critical reflection and reinterpretation suggests that it is necessary to make reference to a series of principles concerning the evaluation of human potential: We formulate them as follows:
If it is presently difficult to predict, if would be simpler to observe. (Let us base our decisions on facts rather than probabilities).
For purposes of evaluation, look for indications of what is desired rather than attempting to predict future indications. (Adapt our tools of measurement so that they will permit us to observe what we want to rather than to predict ).
All lists of criteria involving decision must be formulated systematically so that the evaluator can reply "yes" or "no" regarding the presence of items associated with the quality sought after. (Evaluate what candidates do rather than pronouncing on the value of their acts).
We are fully aware that our criticism brings us to propose a general redefinition of the recherche hypothesis in evaluation of human potential. In order to illustrate the significance of the three principles proposed and avoid confining ourselves to severe criticism without advancing an alternative, we present briefly, through a sample evaluation grid, how evaluation and selection of human resources could be rethought.