Employee responses to formal performance appraisal feedback.

by Jone L. Pearce, Lyman W. Porter
Journal of Applied Psychology ()


Investigated the attitudinal impacts of receiving formal performance appraisal feedback. Based on the suggestion that the feedback that one is "satisfactory" will be disconfirming for many feedback recipients, it was hypothesized that attitudes toward the performance appraisal systems and organizational commitment will decrease and remain lower for those receiving satisfactory ratings, whereas the attitudes of those receiving higher appraisal ratings will remain unchanged. The hypotheses were tested on panels of management and nonmanagement employees (the latter receiving new appraisals 12 mo after their managers) in 2 federal agencies over a 30-mo period using perceived and actual performance ratings. There was a significant and stable drop in the organizational commitment of satisfactory employees after the introduction of formal appraisals, with mixed results for attitudes toward the appraisal system. Findings suggest that potentially negative consequences of implicitly comparative formal performance appraisals can occur for those performing at a satisfactory, but not outstanding, level. (21 ref)

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