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Performance Appraisals and the Impact of Forced Distribution: An Experimental Investigation

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Author Info

  • Berger, Johannes

    ()
    (University of Cologne)

  • Harbring, Christine

    ()
    (RWTH Aachen University)

  • Sliwka, Dirk

    ()
    (University of Cologne)

Abstract

A real effort experiment is investigated in which supervisors have to rate the performance of individual workers who in turn receive a bonus payment based on these ratings. We compare a baseline treatment in which supervisors were not restricted in their rating behavior to a forced distribution system in which they had to assign differentiated grades. We find that productivity was significantly higher under a forced distribution by about 8%. But also in the absence of forced distribution, deliberate differentiation positively affected output in subsequent work periods.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA) in its series IZA Discussion Papers with number 5020.

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Length: 46 pages
Date of creation: Jun 2010
Date of revision:
Publication status: published in: Management Science, 2013, 59 (1), 54-68
Handle: RePEc:iza:izadps:dp5020

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Keywords: motivation; performance measurement; experiment; forced distribution;

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Cited by:
  1. Agne Kajackaite, 2014. "If I close my eyes, nobody will get hurt. The effect of ignorance on performance in a real effort experiment," Cologne Graduate School Working Paper Series 05-03, Cologne Graduate School in Management, Economics and Social Sciences.
  2. Dohmen, Thomas, 2014. "Behavioural Labour Economics: Advances and Future Directions," IZA Discussion Papers 8263, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  3. Kampkötter, Patrick & Sliwka, Dirk, 2011. "Differentiation and Performance: An Empirical Investigation on the Incentive Effects of Bonus Plans," IZA Discussion Papers 6070, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
  4. Sliwka, Dirk & Manthei, Kathrin, 2013. "Multitasking and the Benefits of Objective Performance Measurement - Evidence from a Field Experiment," Annual Conference 2013 (Duesseldorf): Competition Policy and Regulation in a Global Economic Order 79968, Verein für Socialpolitik / German Economic Association.

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