A Cognitive Approach to Performance Appraisal: A Program of Research

A Cognitive Approach to Performance Appraisal: A Program of Research

A Cognitive Approach to Performance Appraisal: A Program of Research

A Cognitive Approach to Performance Appraisal: A Program of Research

Synopsis

Based on experiments conducted with over 300 participants, this book provides a careful and thorough investigation of appraisal decisions. The evidence described can be used to assess the validity of appraisal techniques used in management.

Excerpt

This book had the most modest beginnings I can imagine. It all began with my need to write a Ph.D. dissertation that I could claim as being all my own, rather than another in a series of dissertations on the Position Analysis Questionnaire written under Ernest McCormick. My respect and admiration for Dr. McCormick (I never could call him "Mac") was never in question, and performance appraisal simply seemed like a reasonable alternative to job analysis for a topic. Yet, the decision to write a dissertation on performance appraisal and, specifically, to try to focus on how raters acquired information needed for appraisal decisions, started me down a path I am still traveling. Along the way, there were models, reviews, and a number of empirical studies, and a program of research which looks more systematic now than it ever seemed to be when I was in the middle of it. In fact, only when I was asked to write a volume for his series did I really step back and realize that the pieces did actually come together to form a picture.

In this book, I have tried to convey to the reader more than just a model, hypotheses, and a list of studies and results. There was a logic as we went from one study to another, and there were many disappointments, frustrations, and failures along the way as well. I feel that, too often, scholars present their research in a way that makes it seem like everything worked out exactly as planned at every step along the way. Maybe that is true for others, but it was not true for me, and I wanted to communicate some of the feelings as well as the ideas themselves that went into this program of research.

I have also tried to provide a realistic picture of what I and my colleagues accomplished. As I note several times in the book, there are other cognitive models of the appraisal process, and ours is not necessarily better than the others. Furthermore, there have been a number of other scholars working in this area, and many of them have published more and may have more to say than I do. So why did I write this book? I am associated with a model that did make a contribution to cognitive research in perf ormance appraisal and, I have used this model and the results of earlier studies based on the model

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