Psykologiske tests: Et udviklende eller hæmmende værktøj?

Jo Thillemann

Student thesis: Master thesis


My interest in this subject comes from the fact that during the last couple of years, organizations tend to use more and more psychological testing, for all kinds of HR-related purposes. The aim of this thesis is therefore to investigate why organizations implement the use of psychological testing, how they use the tests and what consequences this use might have. In order to answer my research questions, I have divided my analysis into two parts. The first is a theoretically based analysis of the reasons the organizations might have to implement psychological testing. The second part is empirically based, and the aim of this part is to answer how organizations use psychological tests. To answer this, I have conducted a qualitative study of how Netto Denmark uses psychological tests. The study consists of twelve interviews with shop managers, district managers, a regional manager and the HR manager. The answer to my third research question can be found in my discussion. I find this necessary, since my qualitative approach makes it difficult to conclude on consequences. My study shows that regarding the implementation of psychological tests, the main impact comes from the concept of isomorphism and the constant struggle between and inside organizations for the right cultural capital. Furthermore, I have discovered that the reason why most organizations tend to implement tools with no scientifically proven effect is that the tests have become naturalized. Regarding the use of psychological tests, my study in Netto Denmark shows that they are used in far more situations than the headquarter has asked the shop managers to do. Beside the normal use of tests for recruitment and development, the shop managers in Netto use tests to delegate the daily tasks and to cover for their missing leadership skills. Furthermore, they use the tests in an informal way, which means that they never tell their employees about their test results. The testing is not all bad though. When shop managers or district managers have issues with some of their employees, they use the test as a shared language, which allows them to separate the problem from the person. When it comes to the consequences of the psychological tests, I see two major issues. First of all, by using psychological testing in their recruitment processes and having favorite profiles, Netto Denmark narrows the number of potential employees in a market that tends towards a lack of candidates. Second, the idea of using psychological tests for development purposes is lost when the employees are not actively involved in the process.

EducationsMSc in Human Resource Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2012
Number of pages102