Select Research

July 21, 2016
  • Ravnican, S. (2013). Employee assessment using the Model of Hierarchical Complexity (MHC): Case study.
    The Model of Hierarchical Complexity (MHC) is a framework to quantify the complexity of tasks. This study assigns employees to different stages according to MHC and identifies the differences in stage between groups of employees at a Slovenian firm. One would expect executive managers to achieve the highest mean score since they are a company’s highest level, and vice versa for employees. However, this study found that executive managers did not always achieve the highest mean scores, and employees did not always score the lowest mean scores. The outcomes suggest that MHC stage of job performance could be more widely used in human resources planning to achieve greater organizational efficiency.
  • Miller, P. M.; Commons, M. L.; Li, E. Y.; Golino, H. F.; Commons-Miller, L. A. H.; and Tuladhar, C. T. (2015). Stage of pricing strategy predicts earnings: A study of informal economics.
    This study examined the effects of country of origin, level of education, and stage development of pricing strategies of peddlers’ (people who sell things from a stand or at a flea market) and carters’ (people who transport things) incomes in Brazil and the United States. Participants were asked how they set their prices and how much money they earned per day, week, or month. An initial regression analysis showed that stage and country of origin were the best predictors of income. A second regression analysis introduced education as a variable, and found that education did not significantly better predict income than stage and country of origin. These results suggest that education alone is not enough to increase incomes, and that interventions to increase stage development are necessary to ameliorate growing income inequality.
  • Goodheart, E. A.; Commons, M. L.; and Chen, S. J. (2015). Stage of development and million dollar per year earning from sales.
    This article shows that people with higher stages according to MHC are better equipped to handle more complicated job responsibilities. Participants included account executives and consultants from a training company. The Hierarchical Complexity Scoring System (HCSS) scores participants based on the highest stage exhibited by the participant during the interview. Six of 9 account executives performed at Metasystematic Stage 13, whereas only 4 of 15 consultants performed at Stage 13. These results suggest that people who perform at Stage 13 are more likely to realize higher compensation than people who perform at lower stages.
  • Dattilio, F. M.; Commons, M. L.; Adams, K. M.; Gutheil, T. G.; and Sadoff, R. L. (2006). A pilot Rasch scaling of lawyers’ perceptions of expert bias.
    This study examined attorneys’ perceived biases of mental health experts. Forty members of the Pennsylvania Bar Institute were chosen at random to complete a questionnaire on mental health expert witnesses. A Rasch analysis produced a linear scale of perceived biases of different scenarios. Results suggest that attorneys view experts who testify for both sides as more balanced and court-appointed experts as the most neutral. However, attorneys’ behaviors also suggest that they prefer to use individuals who repeatedly testify for one side.
  • Commons, M. L.; Rodriguez, J. A.; Adams, K. M.; Goodheart, E. A.; Gutheil, T. G.; and Cyr, E. D.(2006) Informed consent: Do you know it when you see it?
    This study focuses on informed consent in counselor-patient relationships. Informed consent includes information, voluntarity, and the patient’s capacity to take in and process relevant information. The 118 participants were a sample of students, friends, and relatives of a group of Salem State College graduate students. Participants were given exposed to brief vignettes illustrating the interactions between counselors and patients in a discussion about treatment in a foreign country. Participants rated how well counselors obtained informed consent from a scale of 1 to 6, how likely each counselor would be liable for damages or malpractice if the procedure failed on a scale of 1 to 99, where 1 is not at all and 99 was certainly, how likely each counselor was to be sued, and how much money the patient should be awarded in court. Each counselor’s instructions were scored on the Model of Hierarchical Complexity and scaled in a Rasch analysis. Results showed that counselors who exhibited the lowest order of MHC were 4.7 times more likely to be seen as liable for damages, 4.4 times more likely to be sued, and be sued for 2 times the amount of counselors who performed at the highest level of complexity. This study advocates for the positive role of informed consent in counselor-patient and general healthcare provider-patient relationships.
  • Commons, M.L.; Robinett, T.L. (2013) Adult Development: Predicting Learning Success
    This article discusses the importance of understanding adult development in the context of corporate training programs. The Model of Hierarchical Complexity assigns a stage to each task or set of tasks that correspond to job positions and a stage for each employee. If the employee’s stage development is two or less stages lower than what the employee’s job requires, then they will not be able to successfully complete their job regardless of all the training programs and job aids the company provides. Similarly, if the company’s job training program requires a stage that is two or more higher than the employee’s current stage, the job training program will not have an impact on the employee’s performance and will result in inefficiency. However, an employee’s stage can be increased through proper support and training, which in turn will allow them to complete more complex tasks. This article highlights the significance of understanding stage development to increase efficiency in the workplace.