Testing assumptions: Can performance rating feedback result in objective performance improvements?
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Performance appraisal is intended to be an instrument for performance improvement and the use of ratings is based on the assumption that rating feedback will have an impact on objective performance outcomes. Yet, most studies measure improvement as changes in performance ratings over time and there is limited empirical evidence to support this assumption. The present experiment was designed to address this gap in the literature by directly testing the effect of rating feedback on objective performance. Groups completed two problem solving tasks, receiving rating feedback on several team performance dimensions after the first task. Improvement in ratings and objective performance scores on the second task was measured to evaluate the impact of the feedback. Results replicated past research, demonstrating that rating feedback leads to improvement in subsequent ratings. Further, this experiment provides empirical evidence in support of the assumption that rating feedback can result in objective performance improvement.