Is cost accounting the answer? Comparison of two behaviorally based methods for estimating the standard deviation of job performance in dollars with a cost-accounting-based approach.


Accurate estimation of the standard deviation of job performance in dollars (SDy) can improve the precision of utility estimates of expected payoffs from personnel programs. The purpose of this study was to compare directly the estimates of SDy obtained using a cost-accounting-based estimate of SDy, the Global Estimation Model, and the CREPID procedure. The study was conducted in a large, soft-drink bottling company. Each method for estimating SDy was applied to the job classification, route salesman, producing three independent estimates of SDy. These estimates were tested for significant differences. Results indicated that the Global Estimation Model estimate and the cost-accounting-based estimate were not significantly different, whereas the estimate produced by the CREPID procedure was significantly smaller. Limitations of the cost-accounting-based estimate are identified and results are discussed in terms of their implications for the theory and practice of utility analysis in organizations.


School of Accountancy

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Journal of Applied Psychology