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Discounting IQ's Relevance To Organizational Behavior: The "Somebody Else's Problem" In Management Education
Open Differential Psychology
  • Bryan J. Pesta, Cleveland State University
  • Michael A. McDaniel, Virginia Commonwealth University
  • Peter J. Poznanski, Cleveland State University
  • Timothy DeGroot, Cleveland State University
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  • Intelligence; emotional intelligence; organizational behavior
We hypothesize the existence of a “somebody else’s problem” in management education for the subdiscipline of organizational behavior (OB). The problem regards human intelligence, specifically, the general factor, g. Although g is arguably the most powerful variable in social science, OB educators largely ignore it. To demonstrate the former, we review a vast literature establishing g’s construct validity. To demonstrate the latter, we show that current OB textbooks place far less emphasis on g relative to a popular but less potent predictor of organizational success, emotional intelligence. We also show that when textbooks do reference g, it is often just to offer criticism. Misconceptions about empirical data on intelligence testing, denial that a general factor of intelligence exists, the reality of mean racial differences in mental ability, and the finding that genes play a non-trivial role in causing intelligence, seem to make OB’s treatment of this topic “somebody else’s problem.”
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Pesta, B.J., McDaniel, M.A., Poznanski, P.J., DeGroot, T. (2015). Discounting IQ's relevance to organizational behavior: The "somebody else's problem" in management education. Open Differential Psychology, 1-11. Retrieved from