In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Assessment Centers: Theory, Practice and Research

  • Introduction
  • Textbooks
  • Journals
  • History and Foundations of Assessment Centers
  • Assessment Center Guidelines and Professional, Legal, and Ethical Issues
  • Assessors and Assessment Center Design
  • Developmental Assessment Centers
  • Current Issues and Further Advancements in ACs

Management Assessment Centers: Theory, Practice and Research
Young Jae Kim, Andrea Hetrick, Brian Hoffman
  • LAST REVIEWED: 01 March 2023
  • LAST MODIFIED: 30 March 2017
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780199846740-0120


According to the 2015 International Task Force on Assessment Center Guidelines, an assessment center (AC) is a procedure involving multiple behavioral exercises designed to simulate critical job tasks. These job tasks aim to elicit behaviors that are observed, recorded, and evaluated by multiple trained assessors. Behaviors rated in the AC are used to inform a variety of talent management processes including selection, administrative decision-making, and developmental feedback.


ACs are a common topic discussed in selection and human resource management textbooks. ACs are often included in chapters that also discuss situational judgment tests and performance assessments. These textbooks typically discuss the AC method as a procedure to inform selection, promotion, and developmental procedures. Also covered are fundamental elements of ACs including descriptions of commonly used exercises and dimensions, applications in human resource management, validity considerations, and rater training. Cascio and Aguinis 2011 provides coverage of multiple aspects of AC research including assessment, assessor training, performance feedback, reliability and validity, adverse impact, and utility (value). Gatewood, et al. 2011 presents practical issues regarding the use of AC in industry, descriptions of specific types of AC exercises, assessor training, AC costs, and AC validity evidence. While Cascio and Aguinis 2011 and Gatewood, et al. 2011 explain ACs in detail with specific chapters, Guion 2011 presents overall information about selection and assessment. Chapter 15 of Guion 2011 provides an explanation of AC validity issues.

  • Cascio, Wayne F., and Herman Aguinis. Applied Psychology in Human Resource Management. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall, 2011.

    This book covers extensive information including theories and issues related to topics in human resource management. Chapter 13 provides in-detail information about the latest research involving selection methods and AC operations.

  • Gatewood, Robert, Hubert S. Feild, and Murray Barrick. Human Resource Selection. 7th ed. Mason, OH: South-Western Educational, 2011.

    The contents of this book discuss selection procedures. Chapter 13 focuses on the validity of using ACs in industry.

  • Guion, Robert M. Assessment, Measurement, and Prediction for Personnel Decisions. 2d ed. New York: Routledge, 2011.

    This textbook covers selection and assessment in human resource management. Chapter 15 discusses the use of ACs in practice and outlines research on the criterion-related validity of AC ratings.

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