واژه مقابل اعداد: اکتشاف نظری دریافت و ارائه نظرات روایتی در ارزیابی عملکرد
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||تعداد صفحات مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی|
|20124||2010||14 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید|
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Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Human Resource Management Review, Volume 20, Issue 2, June 2010, Pages 144–157
Performance ratings have long dominated research on performance appraisal yet very little is known about the usage of narrative comments despite the fact that they are a common methodology to assess performance in organizations. Using theoretical streams from the fields of industrial–organizational psychology, communication, and human resource management, this paper explores the implications of using narrative comments for the various stakeholders in the performance appraisal process. The psychological processes underlying the production of narrative comments are explored. The paper also discusses the processes related to the reception and the impact of receiving performance information in this format for evaluatees.
A cursory look at performance appraisal research is sufficient to discover the overwhelming attention given to quantitative approaches (Pearce & Porter, 1986). Indeed, most of what is known about the process of evaluating individual performance in organizations hinges on the use of numerical ratings, a proven yet relatively narrow operationalization of this process. In organizational practice, however, performance appraisal systems are not really limited to rating scales. These systems also include a qualitative component in the form of narrative comments (e.g., Rose and Walsh, 2004, Smither and Walker, 2004, Timmreck and Bracken, 1995 and Woods et al., 1998). While it is difficult to pinpoint the prototypical performance appraisal process, it is fair to assume that a majority of them combine quantitative and qualitative formats. That is, most individuals going through the task of evaluating others are presented with a rating scale and with an opportunity to write comments about the target of their evaluations. Conversely, those being evaluated are also presented with quantitative data (often at an aggregate level) and with comments that have been written about them. Even so, the role of narrative comments in performance appraisal has rarely been the subject of systematic investigation and only very recently has some researchers begun to focus on this element. For example, Gillipsie, Rose, and Robinson (2006) used experts to code the clarity of comments provided as part of a 360-degree feedback exercise. The results of this study indicate significant variation in the clarity of comments across sources: comments provided by supervisors and subordinates were significantly clearer than comments from peers. In a longitudinal study on the impact of comments, Smither and Walker (2004) also uncovered a weak but significant link between the characteristics of comments provided by direct reports and the subsequent performance of recipients. More specifically, these authors found that a combination of the valence of comments, their specificity, and how many of these comments were provided explained a small but significant portion of individual improvement. While these research efforts hint at the rich dynamic that underlies the production and reception of narrative comments, there is an overall lack of consideration for narrative comments in performance appraisal research. This is problematic not only because this element is typical of the performance appraisal process but also because such a distinct approach is bound to have significant implications for the collection and communication of performance information. Communication theorist Marshall McLuhan argued that each medium, independent of the content it mediates, has its own intrinsic effects and that all media have characteristics that engage users and recipients in different and unique ways (McLuhan, 1962). For the evaluator, the format sets the parameters within which the information is collected and there are profound differences between agreeing to a performance-related statement by ticking a box and actually writing a statement about someone's performance. In his seminal work on self-report measures, Schwarz (1999) brought to light the sensitivity of respondents to subtle variations in question formats. Structural elements of closed-ended questions provide strong cues that not only influence the intended meaning of a question but also remind respondents of alternatives that they may not have considered otherwise. While Schwarz's work underscores the potency of fine variations within closed-ended questions, the present paper focuses mainly on variation across formats (i.e., quantitative and qualitative). The current paper also frames these effects within the unique context of performance appraisal. In appraisal situations, format structure has implications beyond its influence on evaluators. The evaluative information offered by different formats also has significant implications for the evaluatee, the receiver of the performance information. For example, obtaining a below average rating on a leadership scale is certainly distinct from reading: “Bob is rarely willing to accept our input as to the best strategy to take. In the weekly meetings, he never seriously considers our suggestions about budget allocation. Most of us don't even prepare our numbers anymore”. It is posed that a variation in evaluation methodology shapes, in very significant ways, how performance information is collected, presented and, very likely, interpreted. The aim of this paper is to shed light on the psychological processes related to evaluating others with narrative comments and to receiving these comments as part of a performance evaluation process that is used for individual development. This paper has the following construction: First, I provide some background as to the neglected role of narrative comments in the performance appraisal literature. Second, the implications of using narrative comments, from the point of view of the evaluator, are probed. Third, the influence of format is scrutinized from the perspective of the feedback recipient. In these sections, a series of testable propositions are offered to help structure the paper and stimulate future research. Fourth, and finally, some implications and broad research questions on the use of narrative comments in performance appraisals are considered.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
For over two decades, researchers have called for a moratorium on format research in performance appraisal. It is a widely held belief that greater advances in performance appraisal research lies in understanding the process underlying evaluations rather than in their format. The present paper argues that format, defined along a qualitative–quantitative axis, probably matters a great deal because it is so intimately linked fundamental elements of the evaluation and communication of performance. Narrative evaluations remove much of the structure found in traditional evaluation systems and profoundly alter the way performance information is collected and presented to recipients. As evidenced by the numerous questions raised in this paper, research on narrative comments needs to catch up with the significant role that they play in organizational practice.