Why do raters pursue different rating goals? The role of rater personality and accountability context
Oswald, Frederick L.
Doctor of Philosophy
Although performance ratings are often put to use in making critical decisions that have important practical implications for organizations (e.g., personnel decisions), there is a wide concern among both researchers and practitioners alike that performance ratings are poor indicators of the job performance construct. Among the number aspects of the criterion problem (e.g., measurement, rater cognition), performance appraisal literature has also emphasized the role of rater motivation in the performance appraisal that is in part determined by the individual differences in rater characteristics and their interaction with the context in which performance appraisal takes place as important factors that affect the quality of performance ratings. The goal of this study was to examine how rater personality (agreeableness, conscientiousness, neuroticism) and accountability context (ratee, supervisor, baseline) affect the level of performance and accuracy of the ratings that raters provide. The results generally showed support for the hypothesis that rater personality affects performance ratings through its influence on rating motivation that rater chooses to pursue in performance appraisal. However, contrary to my hypothesis, accountability context did not significantly affect this relationship. Theoretical and practical implications of these study findings are discussed.
Performance appraisal; accountability; personality