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La validité des résultats obtenus en évaluation du rendement : un modèle conceptuel

André Petit et Thomas A. De Cotiis

Résumé

Sur la base d'une revue sélective de la littérature, les auteurs présentent un modèle conceptuel des déterminants de la validité ou de l’exactitude des évaluations du rendement. Trois variables majeures sont identifiées: (1) la motivation de l'évaluateur; (2) son habileté; ainsi que (3) la possession de normes ou standards d'évaluation. D'autres variables sont présentées à titre d'antécédents et viennent compléter le modèle conceptuel

Abstract

The Determinants of the Validity of Performance Ratings: A Conceptual Model

In this article, a literature-based model of the determinants of the validity or accuracy of performance ratings is presented. In this model, the dependent variable is a set of ratings on a performance appraisal instrument, the accuracy of which is shown to be affected by several independent variables. The purposes of the article are to (1) organize the relevant literature in terms of existing theory ; (2) provide a set of propositions bearing on appraisal problems ; and finally, (3) increase our understanding and control of this important process in organizations.

MAJOR COMPONENTS OF THE CONCEPTUAL MODEL

Based on Taft's theory of interpersonal judgment, the model indicates that the major determinants of accuracy are: (a) rater motivation; (b) rater ability; and (c) availability of the appropriate judgmental norms. Then, a first proposition follows:

Accurate performance ratings are most likely to occur when the rater is motivated to rate accurately, uses the appropriate rating standards, and has the ability to correctly interpret ratee job behavior in terms of these standards.

The respective determinants of each of the three major variables are then presented, and propositional implications are discussed, always with a focus on the dependent variable: performance appraisal accuracy.

RATER MOTIVATION

Six possible determinants of rater motivation are considered. Without regard to the order of their importance, they are: (1) the perceived consequences of accurate ratings for both the rater and the ratee ; (2) rater perceptions of the adequacy of the performance appraisal instrument used; (3) the relevant organizational policies and practices; (4) the rating format itself; (5) the availability of appropriate standards of performance; and (6) the purpose of appraisal.

A conclusion derived from the ensuing discussion is that most of the consequences for the rater of assigning accurate performance ratings appear to be negative. It should not be surprising, therefore, that many raters approach the performance appraisal event with reluctance and assign inaccurate ratings. Another conclusion is that if the content of a performance appraisal instrument is based on job analysis, it will have the potential of being both face and content valid and thereby of having a positive impact on rater perceptions of its adequacy for the purpose at hand.

RATER ABILITY

Four determinants of rater ability are discussed. They are (1) the rater's opportunity to observe ratee job behavior; (2) some of the rater's characteristics ; (3) rater training, and (4) the availability of the appropriate rating standards.

Among other things, it is concluded that the more opportunities to observe ratee job behavior the rater takes advantage of, the higher his or her ability to assign accurate performance ratings. Also, the closer the rater's organizational level is to the rater's organizational level, the higher the rater's ability to assign accurate performance ratings. Finally, raters trained in the principles and problems of performance appraisal are presented as having higher ability to assign accurate ratings than untrained raters.

AVAILABILITY OF APPROPRIATE RATING STANDARDS

In the model, the availability of appropriate rating standards is viewed as a function of: (1) ratee job characteristics; (2) ratee personal characteristics; (3) appraisal format used; and (4) organizational policies and procedures with respect to performance appraisal.

It is suggested that organizational policies and procedures could be used to tip the balance of consequences in favor of accurate ratings if the rater perceives that he or she will be held accountable for the ratings assigned.

CONCLUSION

Performance appraisal literature and research have had a strong tendency to focus on instrumentation at the expense of other, perhaps more important variables. Current research on topics such as rater training, rating simulation, rater motivation, however, indicate that researchers are pursuing other promising avenues for future research. The model presented is an initial attempt to view performance appraisal in systematic terms. As such, its purpose is to stimulate further research and thought on performance appraisal as a process of interpersonal judgment.