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The benefits of limited feedback in organizations

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Abstract

In most firms, managers periodically assess workers' performance. Evidence suggests that managers withhold information during these reviews, and some observers argue that this necessarily reduces surplus. This paper assesses the validity of this argument when workers have career concerns. Disclosure has two effects: it exposes the worker to uncertainty about future effort levels, but allows him to use current effort to influence his employer's beliefs about future effort. The surplus-maximizing disclosure policy reveals output realizations in the center of the distribution, but not in the tails. Thus, it is efficient for firms to reveal some but not all performance information.

Suggested Citation

  • Stephen Eliot Hansen, 2010. "The benefits of limited feedback in organizations," Economics Working Papers 1232, Department of Economics and Business, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
  • Handle: RePEc:upf:upfgen:1232
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    File URL: https://econ-papers.upf.edu/papers/1232.pdf
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    1. Arijit Mukherjee, 2008. "Career Concerns, Matching, And Optimal Disclosure Policy," International Economic Review, Department of Economics, University of Pennsylvania and Osaka University Institute of Social and Economic Research Association, vol. 49(4), pages 1211-1250, November.
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    Cited by:

    1. Ghazala Azmat & Nagore Iriberri, 2010. "The Provision of Relative Performance Feedback Information: An Experimental Analysis of Performance and Happiness," Working Papers 454, Barcelona Graduate School of Economics.
    2. Gibbs, Michael, 2012. "Design and Implementation of Pay for Performance," IZA Discussion Papers 6322, Institute for the Study of Labor (IZA).
    3. Maria Goltsman & Arijit Mukherjee, 2011. "Interim Performance Feedback in Multistage Tournaments: The Optimality of Partial Disclosure," Journal of Labor Economics, University of Chicago Press, vol. 29(2), pages 229-265.

    More about this item

    Keywords

    Performance Appraisal; Career Concerns; Incentives; Risk.;

    JEL classification:

    • D82 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Asymmetric and Private Information; Mechanism Design
    • D86 - Microeconomics - - Information, Knowledge, and Uncertainty - - - Economics of Contract Law
    • L20 - Industrial Organization - - Firm Objectives, Organization, and Behavior - - - General
    • M12 - Business Administration and Business Economics; Marketing; Accounting; Personnel Economics - - Business Administration - - - Personnel Management; Executives; Executive Compensation

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