Performance Appraisal and Performance Management: 100 Years of Progress?

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We review 100 years of research on performance appraisal and performance management, highlighting the articles published in JAP, but including significant work from other journals as well. We discuss trends in eight substantive areas: (1) scale formats, (2) criteria for evaluating ratings, (3) training, (4) reactions to appraisal, (5) purpose of rating, (6) rating sources, (7) demographic differences in ratings, and (8) cognitive processes, and discuss what we have learned from research in each area. We also focus on trends during the heyday of performance appraisal research in JAP (1970-2000), noting which were more productive and which potentially hampered progress. Our overall conclusion is that JAP’s role in this literature has not been to propose models and new ideas, but has been primarily to test ideas and models proposed elsewhere. Nonetheless, we conclude that the papers published in JAP made important contribution to the filed by addressing many of the critical questions raised by others. We also suggest several areas for future research, especially research focusing on performance management.

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