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Technical Manuals

These technical manuals are available for online viewing and download.


The Korn Ferry Assessment Solution (KFAS) offers a new and innovative process for assessing talent. It shifts the focus away from specific assessment products to solutions suitable for applications across the talent life cycle. Whether a need pertains to talent acquisition or talent management, the participant will experience a single, seamless assessment process.

This process utilizes Korn Ferry’s contemporary, robust portfolio of assessment tools. The research base behind these assessments is summarized in the technical manuals described below.

Details on the KFAS for talent acquisition needs, and where to find the technical information on the relevant assessments, is provided in a brief overview at the beginning of each technical manual.

Cognitive Ability

For information on cognitive ability tests for individuals in entry-level roles (e.g., vocational or procedural contributors), download the Aspects Psychometric Review.


For information on cognitive ability tests for people in graduate, professional, managerial, or leadership roles, download the Elements Psychometric Review.



Competencies, Traits, & Drivers

For information on Competencies for entry-level contributors and graduates, download the Dimensions KFLA Competency Report, Development Guide, and Interview Guide.


For information on Competencies, Traits, and Drivers for individuals in entry-level first-line leadership, professional, managerial, or leadership roles, download the KF4D Enterprise Assessment Research Guide and Technical Manual.


Leadership Potential

The KFAS is also designed to support a variety of talent management applications. One of these applications is the identification of talented individuals who have the potential to succeed in future leadership roles. The Leadership Potential Report is designed to provide organizations with insights about the long-term leadership potential of their internal talent. Specifically, it provides information about individuals’ Leadership Traits, Learning Agility, Drivers, Experience, Capacity (coming in spring/summer 2019), and Derailment Risks. For information on the science behind the Leadership Potential Report, download the Leadership Potential Research Guide and Technical Manual.


Technical information for additional talent management applications based on self-assessment of Competencies, Traits, and Drivers is covered in the KF4D Enterprise Assessment Research Guide and Technical Manual. Multi-rater assessments, such as KF360, may also be a part of talent management solutions. Technical information on KF360 is available here.


Korn Ferry’s Four Dimensions of Leadership & Talent

Korn Ferry's Four Dimensions of Leadership and Talent (KF4D) takes a contemporary, whole-person view of behavior. It values individual qualities that impact and govern leaders’ job performance in the areas of Competencies, Experiences, Traits, and Drivers. KF4D provides insights underpinned by data from 7 million executive and professional candidate profiles and 2.5 million assessments, spanning every industry, job function, and level from individual contributor to CEO.

Korn Ferry offers two assessments to measure KF4D Competencies, Traits, and Drivers, designed for supplemental use in selection, development, succession, readiness, and fit for role.

  • The KF4D Executive Assessment is designed for upper-level management and executive roles.
  • The KF4D Enterprise Assessment is intended for all job types and managerial levels. This assessment is part of the suite of tools brought together in our Korn Ferry Assessment Solution.

Both variations of the assessment have their own Research Guide and Technical Manual. Each one provides a technical description of the KF4D assessment it supports, including the scientific foundation and assessment methodology. The manuals report on Korn Ferry’s empirical studies designed to validate measures and underscore their descriptive and predictive utility in leadership selection.

KF4D Executive Assessment - Research Guide & Technical Manual



KF4D Enterprise Assessment - Research Guide & Technical Manual



KF4D Executive Assessment - Technical Brief

The Technical Brief presents a summary of some of the most salient information that is covered in much greater depth in the KF4D Executive Assessment Research Guide and Technical Manual. The brief describes the person measures assessed via Korn Ferry’s Four Dimensional Executive Assessment, i.e., Traits, Drivers, and Competencies. It provides insight into the technical features of the assessment, including how response faking is avoided through the forced-choice response model. The brief explains outcome prediction as well as how the assessment is designed to be fair and not disadvantage any group.



Korn Ferry’s Emotional & Social Competency Inventory Research Guide & Technical Manual

The Emotional and Social Competency Inventory (ESCI), developed by Richard Boyatzis and Daniel Goleman in partnership with Korn Ferry, is one of the most scientifically sound 360-degree measures of emotional and social intelligence. The ESCI focuses on a specific group of competencies that relate to outstanding performance for leaders and individual contributors. It is used by business organizations, education institutions, researchers, and independent consultants and coaches. The assessment is validated by a database of 80,000 participants from over 2,200 organizations.

This Research guide and technical manual presents the latest review of the ESCI’s psychometric-based properties and is built on the foundation of the updated global norm, an extensive source of behavioral data. It includes descriptions of the ESCI competencies and guidance on their use. It also offers summaries of recent empirical studies conducted by Korn Ferry, Boyatzis, and other researchers that underscore its descriptive and predictive utility in talent and leadership development.



Korn Ferry's Superior Performance Model Technical Report

Superior performance is achieved through creating organizational conditions that encourage people to put forth their best effort and invest energy in achieving the goals of the organization. Based on this belief, Korn Ferry has developed the Superior Performance Model, a multifaceted conceptual overview showing organizational and people components that improve key organizational outcomes.

Organization enablers start with defining purpose and vision—what the organization needs to achieve and why. The organization must have a clear strategic focus, which drives and supports choices regarding its operating model and structure, in order to achieve the vision and purpose. Also fundamental to achieving organizational goals is that people are clear on their accountabilities. These must be considered fair through being realistic and lead to rewards that are commensurate with performance. And superior performance can only be achieved if the people drivers are right. Employees must have clarity on what they need to do and how their goals align to the strategy. They must have the capabilities to perform and the commitment to succeed. Ultimately, what holds all of this together and encourages discretionary energy is the leadership of the organization.

This technical report presents the scientific basis for the Superior Performance Model. It integrates published scientific literature and research conducted by Korn Ferry, as well as a number of case studies providing rich examples of the relationships among the components.



Korn Ferry Assessment of Leadership Potential

The Korn Ferry Assessment of Leadership Potential is a comprehensive assessment measuring the Seven Signposts of leadership potential: Drivers, Experiences, Awareness, Learning agility, Leadership traits, Capacity, and Derailment risks. It relates to what could be in the future, rather than what is in the present. It assesses capacity and interest to develop the qualities for successful performance in significantly more challenging leadership roles.

This Research guide and technical manual is designed to build your knowledge of the research behind the Korn Ferry Assessment of Leadership Potential, help you understand the Seven Signposts pointing to high potential leaders, and provide answers to some commonly asked questions.



Korn Ferry Leadership Architect™ Research Guide and Technical Manual


The Korn Ferry Leadership Architect™ is a global competency framework. It comprises the 38 behavior-based leadership skills that enable someone, from entry level to the very top of the organization, to make a meaningful contribution in a dynamic business environment. These competencies are the “how” of performance.

This Research guide and technical manual is designed to help you understand the research behind Korn Ferry Leadership Architect™. It also provides findings from our normative studies and answers the questions most frequently asked about the competency framework.




Learning agility refers to the ability and willingness to learn from experience, and subsequently apply that learning to perform successfully under new or first-time conditions. viaEDGE® is an online psychometric self-assessment of learning agility.

This technical manual will help you understand the research upon which viaEDGE® is based. It presents the psychometric information and empirical research behind the development of the instrument. It provides some evidence of predictive and construct validity. The manual also answers the most frequently asked questions associated with the application of the assessment.



Korn Ferry Readiness Assessment (KFRA)

The Korn Ferry Readiness Assessment (KFRA) comprises a suite of tests, interviews, and high-fidelity “year in a day” simulations designed to predict the performance of leaders and senior professionals at all levels. The focus is on readiness for the demands of those roles and fit with the environment in which the roles exist. The KFRA is a high-touch, simulation-based assessment founded on the assessment center method. The methodology applied ensures valid, fair assessment of candidates for a wide variety of jobs.

This Research guide and technical manual is designed to build knowledge of the research behind the KFRA and provide insight into the foundations of the methodology. It also answers the questions most commonly asked about the KFRA.