The Performance Appraisal Milieu: A Multilevel Analysis Of Context Effects In Performance Ratings

ASU Author/Contributor (non-ASU co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
J. Kemp Ellington PhD, Assistant Professor (Creator)
Appalachian State University (ASU )
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Abstract: The purpose of this study was to take an inductive approach in examining the extent to which organizational contexts represent significant sources of variance in supervisor performance ratings, and to explore various factors that may explain contextual rating variability. Using archival field performance rating data from a large state law enforcement organization, we used a multilevel modeling approach to partition the variance in ratings due to ratees, raters, as well as rating contexts. Results suggest that much of what may often be interpreted as idiosyncratic rater variance, may actually reflect systematic rating variability across contexts. In addition, performance-related and non-performance factors including contextual rating tendencies accounted for significant rating variability. Supervisor ratings represent the most common approach for measuring job performance, and understanding the nature and sources of rating variability is important for research and practice. Given the many uses of performance rating data, our findings suggest that continuing to identify contextual sources of variability is particularly important for addressing criterion problems, and improving ratings as a form of performance measurement.

Additional Information

Ellington, J.K. & Wilson, M.A. J Bus Psychol (2017) 32: 87. Publisher version of record available at:
Language: English
Date: 2016
Job performance, Performance appraisal, Performance ratings, Multilevel Rater effects, Context effects

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