Human Resources and Functional Illiteracy Article Review

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001), in part because BSD workers were unable to comprehend rules and policies. However, these agencies encountered few problems when promoting these same employees (p < 0.001), despite BSD workers having higher rates of absenteeism, accidents, and job loss across all types of agencies. It should be noted that the authors mentioned that increased accident rates tend to be associated with low-skill jobs. These agencies were also more likely to adapt the job to the BSD employee's skill level through de-skilling the job (p < 0.01), rather than provide basic skills training (p < 0.05).


The study by Anderson and Ricks (1993) represented a quantitative survey study. They used a 41-item survey instrument to collect the data, but also left room for individualized responses concerning problems human resource professionals experience with the hiring and managing BSD workers. The primary hypothesis tested was whether functionally illiterate workers were being hired by government agencies and they found that only 24% intentionally hire BSD workers. Anderson and Ricks (1993) then asked whether there existed factors which could predict the practice of knowingly hiring BSD workers. They found that geographic location, local unemployment rates, employment of union members, and a willingness to provide basic skill training were significant predictors of whether a government agency intentionally hired BSD workers or not.Download full Download Microsoft Word File
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TOPIC: Article Review on Human Resources and Functional Illiteracy Assignment

The survey utilized a Likert scale and the data collected was therefore primarily ordinal in nature (Anderson and Ricks, 1993). The grouping of survey respondents by BSD worker hiring policies created categories. The use of the chi-square to test for significant interactions between categories and the ordinal data was therefore appropriate. The one-way ANOVA can be used for ordinal data by treating agency categories as independent variables. However, the data must meet certain assumptions before ANOVA can be used. Bias must be minimized, independent variables truly independent, the data randomly sampled, and the variance equivalent across all variables. With respect to the bias requirement, the authors examined whether unionization was over- or under-represented in the data and whether there were significant differences between early and late respondents and found no evidence of bias. In addition, the authors limited the ANOVA analysis to one independent variable. Given the lack of evidence for bias, the data can probably be assumed to be randomly sampled. No information was provided concerning the magnitude of variance, so this cannot be examined. The use of the chi-square and the one-way ANOVA therefore appears to have been appropriate given what is known about the data.

Based on their findings, Anderson and Ricks (1993) noted a troubling trend. The agencies that knowingly hired BSD workers tend to maintain a philosophical view that government agencies will always need a ready pool of unskilled labor. When this view is combined with the other tendency by these same agencies to de-skill a job to meet the functional literacy abilities of a BSD worker, rather than provide skills training, there appears to be substantial support for the existence of a worker caste system within some government agencies. Importantly, these agencies tended to concentrated geographically in the Southeastern and upper Midwestern United States.

These results are interesting in light of the great migration of African-Americans out of the South, beginning during WWI and lasting until the early 1970s (History Channel, 2013). Due to a great need for industrial workers in the Northern U.S., the Black populations in Chicago and Detroit grew by 148% and 611%, respectively. Given this history, it is… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Human Resources and Functional Illiteracy" Article Review in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Human Resources and Functional Illiteracy.  (2013, February 13).  Retrieved July 28, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Human Resources and Functional Illiteracy."  13 February 2013.  Web.  28 July 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Human Resources and Functional Illiteracy."  February 13, 2013.  Accessed July 28, 2021.