Executive selection represents an important means of gaining competitive advantage for today’s organizations. However, such selection has not traditionally used the rich history of conceptual and empirical research on personnel selection that exists within the domain of industrial and organizational psychology. The high failure rate of today’s executives points to the need for more effective selection of top organizational leaders, and there has been a recent upsurge in research focused on sharpening knowledge and practices of executive selection.

In 2001, Ann Howard described four central topics that reflect key issues in executive selection. The first issue refers to executive competencies that ought to guide the process of executive selection. These competencies are necessarily broader and more complex than those for lower and middle-level organizational leaders. The ...

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