Alan M. Saks, Steven F. Cronshaw, A Process investigation of realistic job previews: Mediating variables and channels of communication, Journal of Organizational Behavior May 1990. Vol. 11, Iss. 3; p. 221-236
A laboratory experiment was conducted to investigate the role of three possible mediating variables (job attitude, job knowledge, and job acceptance intention) to explain the effects of realistic job previews (RJPs) on entry-level outcomes. In addition, the effectiveness of an oral realistic job preview presented by an employment interviewer was compared to a written RJP. Sixty undergraduate student volunteers were randomly assigned to one of three conditions: (1) an oral RJP presented to job applicants by the employment interviewer during an employment interview; (2) a written RJP given to job applicants to read before an employment interview; and (3) a control condition in which job applicants received general job information from the interviewer during an employment interview. Results indicated that knowledge was an important mediator of RJP effects on several entry-level outcomes whereas attitude and job acceptance intention did not mediate RJP effects although both were strongly related to job acceptance decisions. In addition, the oral RJP was more effective than both the written RJP and general job information in creating positive preceptions of interviewer and organization honesty. Both the oral and the written RJP lowered subjects' job expectations and increased role clarity in comparison to the control group but did not affect job acceptance or commitment to job choice. The implications for future RJP research and application are discussed.