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Subjective performance evaluations and employee careers

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  • Frederiksen, Anders
  • Lange, Fabian
  • Kriechel, Ben

Abstract

Employees who work in complex environments are often evaluated by their supervisors. Data on these evaluations promise to be valuable for analyzing career dynamics and human resources practices. However, existing literature on subjective evaluations is based on data from individual firms. Furthermore, how supervisors evaluate workers and how firms use these evaluations might vary substantially with context, precisely because these evaluations are subjective. Thus, little is known regarding whether findings from single-firm studies generalize to broader settings. We examine personnel data from six large companies and establish how subjective performance ratings correlate with objective career outcomes. We find many similarities across firms in how these ratings correlate with base pay, bonuses, promotions, demotions, separations, quits, and dismissals and cautiously propose these as empirical regularities.

Suggested Citation

  • Frederiksen, Anders & Lange, Fabian & Kriechel, Ben, 2017. "Subjective performance evaluations and employee careers," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 134(C), pages 408-429.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jeborg:v:134:y:2017:i:c:p:408-429
    DOI: 10.1016/j.jebo.2016.12.016
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    Cited by:

    1. Frederiksen, Anders, 2013. "Incentives and earnings growth," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 85(C), pages 97-107.
    2. Frederiksen, Anders & Kahn, Lisa B. & Lange, Fabian, 2017. "Supervisors and Performance Management Systems," IZA Discussion Papers 10725, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Patrick Kampkötter & Dirk Sliwka, 2016. "The Complementary Use of Experiments and Field Data to Evaluate Management Practices: The Case of Subjective Performance Evaluations," Journal of Institutional and Theoretical Economics (JITE), Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, vol. 172(2), pages 364-389, June.
    4. Jed DeVaro & Antti Kauhanen, 2016. "An “Opposing Responses” Test of Classic versus Market-Based Promotion Tournaments," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(3), pages 747-779.
    5. Meta Brown & Elizabeth Setren & Giorgio Topa, 2016. "Do Informal Referrals Lead to Better Matches? Evidence from a Firm's Employee Referral System," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 34(1), pages 161-209.
    6. Müller, Julia, 2017. "Verzerrungen bei Personalbeurteilungen durch Führungskräfte
      [Biases in performance appraisals by managers]
      ," Discussion Papers of the Institute for Organisational Economics 12/2017, University of Münster, Institute for Organisational Economics.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Subjective performance ratings; Personnel data; Employee careers;

    JEL classification:

    • M5 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Personnel Economics

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