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A Critical Evaluation of the State of Assessment and Development for Senior Leaders

  • Douglas H. Reynolds (a1), Cynthia D. McCauley (a2), Suzanne Tsacoumis (a3) and The Jeanneret Symposium Participants (a1) (a2) (a3)

Practice and research with senior leaders can be rewarding but also challenging and risky for industrial and organizational (I-O) psychologists; the fact that much of the work with these populations is difficult to access elevates these concerns. In this article we summarize work presented by prominent researchers and practitioners at a symposium organized to share common practices and challenges associated with work at higher levels of organizational management. We review implications for research and practice with senior leaders by examining how assessments are applied at senior levels, how assessments and development practices can be linked, and the challenges associated with research and evaluation conducted with these leaders. Also, we offer suggestions for advancing research and practice at senior levels.

Corresponding author
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Douglas H. Reynolds, DDI, 1225 Washington Pike, Bridgeville, PA 15017. E-mail:
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This paper summarizes research, best practice guidance, and discussion points reviewed at the Jeanneret Symposium conducted in February 2016; the event was made possible through a grant from the SIOP Foundation supported by a generous donation by Dick Jeanneret. The symposium comprised 45 experts in leadership development and assessment; all participants are listed in the Appendix. The symposium planning committee included Morton McPhail (chair), Alex Alonso, Eric Braverman, Deborah Rupp, and Sharon Sackett. The authorship subcommittee for this summary included Cindy McCauley, Doug Reynolds, and Suzanne Tsacoumis. Doug Reynolds served as coordinator and corresponding author.

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Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • ISSN: 1754-9426
  • EISSN: 1754-9434
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