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The effects of process and outcome accountability on judgment process and performance

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  • Langhe, Bart de
  • van Osselaer, Stijn M.J.
  • Wierenga, Berend

Abstract

This article challenges the view that it is always better to hold decision makers accountable for their decision process rather than their decision outcomes. In three multiple-cue judgment studies, the authors show that process accountability, relative to outcome accountability, consistently improves judgment quality in relatively simple elemental tasks. However, this performance advantage of process accountability does not generalize to more complex configural tasks. This is because process accountability improves an analytical process based on cue abstraction, while it does not change a holistic process based on exemplar memory. Cue abstraction is only effective in elemental tasks (in which outcomes are a linear additive combination of cues) but not in configural tasks (in which outcomes depend on interactions between the cues). In addition, Studies 2 and 3 show that the extent to which process and outcome accountability affect judgment quality depends on individual differences in analytical intelligence and rational thinking style.

Suggested Citation

  • Langhe, Bart de & van Osselaer, Stijn M.J. & Wierenga, Berend, 2011. "The effects of process and outcome accountability on judgment process and performance," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 115(2), pages 238-252, July.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:jobhdp:v:115:y:2011:i:2:p:238-252
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Simonson, Itamar & Nye, Peter, 1992. "The effect of accountability on susceptibility to decision errors," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 51(3), pages 416-446, April.
    2. Siegel-Jacobs, Karen & Yates, J. Frank, 1996. "Effects of Procedural and Outcome Accountability on Judgment Quality," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 65(1), pages 1-17, January.
    3. Bartels, Daniel M., 2006. "Proportion dominance: The generality and variability of favoring relative savings over absolute savings," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 76-95, May.
    4. Ashton, Robert H., 1992. "Effects of justification and a mechanical aid on judgment performance," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 52(2), pages 292-306, July.
    5. Arkes, Hal R. & Dawes, Robyn M. & Christensen, Caryn, 1986. "Factors influencing the use of a decision rule in a probabilistic task," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 37(1), pages 93-110, February.
    6. Slaughter, Jerel E. & Bagger, Jessica & Li, Andrew, 2006. "Context effects on group-based employee selection decisions," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 100(1), pages 47-59, May.
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    Cited by:

    1. Min, Kyeong Sam, 2014. "Reviewers are not perfect but could they try harder?," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 67(9), pages 1967-1970.
    2. Peecher, Mark E. & Solomon, Ira & Trotman, Ken T., 2013. "An accountability framework for financial statement auditors and related research questions," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 38(8), pages 596-620.
    3. repec:eee:ijrema:v:28:y:2011:i:2:p:89-101 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Kausel, Edgar E. & Culbertson, Satoris S. & Leiva, Pedro I. & Slaughter, Jerel E. & Jackson, Alexander T., 2015. "Too arrogant for their own good? Why and when narcissists dismiss advice," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 131(C), pages 33-50.

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