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Managers' motivation to evaluate subordinate performance

by Sylvie St-Onge, Denis Morin, Mario Bellehumeur, Francine Dupuis
Qualitative Research in Organizations and Management: An International Journal ()


Purpose - This paper aims to focus on one of the most frequently cited problems with respect to the performance management process: the prevalence of performance appraisal distortion. Design/methodology/approach - Through semi-structured interviews with managers, this paper attempts to answer the following question: Which factors influence managers' motivation to distort the performance evaluation ratings of their subordinates? Findings - This paper offers three main contributions or implications. First, from a methodological point of view, using a qualitative research design to investigate the appraisal of subordinates' performance is useful because it allows us to reduce the gap between research and practice. Second, this study shows that researchers must embrace or integrate various theoretical perspectives (rational, affective, political, strategic, cultural, justice, and symbolic), given that managers' motivation to evaluate subordinate performance cannot be analyzed outside of the social context. Third, from a practical point of view, managers' motivation to evaluate subordinate performance is less about the technique used and more about leadership support, execution, and overall performance culture. Originality/value - To date, prior research has focused on improving performance appraisal accuracy through experimental research design by emphasizing rating criteria, rater errors, rater training, and the various rating methods. Despite extensive research, very little progress has been made toward improving rater accuracy. [PUBLICATION ABSTRACT]

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