Journal of Business and Psychology

, Volume 17, Issue 2, pp 261–274 | Cite as

Accountability Forces in Performance Appraisal: Effects of Self-Appraisal Information, Normative Information, and Task Performance



This study investigated the effects of self-appraisal information, normative information, and task performance on performance appraisal ratings. Participants rated a fictitious “subordinate's” performance on a clerical task (which was either very good or moderately poor) subsequent to receiving self-assessment information (high or low) and normative information (present or absent). Self-appraisals affected performance ratings for poor performers but not for good performers, suggesting that judges are more motivated to please ratees than they are merely to adopt the “subordinate's” view of their own performance. Furthermore, objective normative information had greater influence than self-appraisals on performance ratings, suggesting that information source credibility has more influence than felt accountability on performance appraisals. Implications of the findings for organizations were discussed.

self-appraisal accountability performance appraisal 


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Antonioni, D. (1994). The effects of feedback accountability on upward appraisal ratings. Personnel Psychology,47,351–356.Google Scholar
  2. Baumeister, R.F., & Leary, M.F. (1995). The need to belong: Desire for interpersonal attachments as a fundamental human motive.Psychological Bulletin,117, 497–529.Google Scholar
  3. Bramble, W.J. (1998). Integrity in organizations: General ability, conscientiousness, and stability as predictors of regional airline first officer job performance.Proceedings of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Annual Meeting,1:831.Google Scholar
  4. Campbell, D.J., & Lee, C. (1988). Self-appraisal in performance evaluation: Development versus evaluation.Academy of Management Review,13,302–314.Google Scholar
  5. Chen, S., Shecter, D., & Chaiken, S. (1996). Getting at the truth or getting along: Accuracyversus impression-motivated heuristic and systematic processing.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,71,262–275.Google Scholar
  6. Farh, J., Werbel, J.D., & Bedeian, A.G. (1988). An empirical investigation of self-appraisalbased performance evaluation.Personnel Psychology,41,141–156.Google Scholar
  7. Feldman (1986). A note on the statistical correction of halo error.Journal of Applied Psychology, 71,173–176.Google Scholar
  8. Ferris, G.R., Yates, V.L., Gilbron, D.C, & Rowland, K. (1985). The influence of subordinate age on performance ratings and causal attributions.Personnel Psychology,38, 545–557.Google Scholar
  9. Frink, D., & Klimoski, R. (1999). The moderating effect of accountability on the conscientiousness-performance relationship.Journal of Business and Psychology,13,515–524.Google Scholar
  10. Frink, D., & Klimoski, R. (1998). Toward a theory of accountability in organizations and human resources management.Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, 16:1–51.Google Scholar
  11. Harris, M.M. (1994). Rater motivation in the performance appraisal context: A theoretical framework.Journal of Management,20,737–756.Google Scholar
  12. Harris, M.H., & Schaubroeck, J. (1988). A meta-analysis of self-supervisory, self-peer, and peer-supervisor ratings.Personnel Psychology,41,43–62.Google Scholar
  13. Higgins, E.T., & Stangor, C. (1988). A change-of-standard perspective on relations among context, judgment and memory.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,54,181–192.Google Scholar
  14. Ilgen, D.R., & Knowlton, W.A. (1980). Performance attributional effects on feedback from supervisors.Organizational Behavior and Human Performance,25,441–456.Google Scholar
  15. Kernis, M.H., & Reis, H.T. (1984). Self-consciousness, self-awareness, and justice in reward allocation.Journal of Personality,52,58–70.Google Scholar
  16. Klimoski, R., & Inks, L. (1990). Accountability forces in performance appraisal.Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes,45,194–208.Google Scholar
  17. Korsgaard, M.A., Roberson, L., & Klein, D.A. (1991). The effect of self-appraisal and participation on subsequent performance. Paper presented at the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology Conference, 1991.Google Scholar
  18. Latham, G. (1986). Job performance and appraisal. In C. Cooper and I. Robertson (Eds,), International Review of Industrial and Organizational Psychology. Chichester, England: Wiley.Google Scholar
  19. Lerner, J.S., & Tetlock, P.E. (1999). Accounting for the effects of accountability.Psychological Bulletin,125,255–275.Google Scholar
  20. Maslach, C., Santee, R.T., & Wade, C. (1987). Individuation, gender role, and dissent: Personality mediators of situational forces.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 53,1088–1093.Google Scholar
  21. Shore, T.H., Adams, J.S., & Tashchian, A. (1998). Effects of self-appraisal information, 274 JOURNAL OF BUSINESS AND PSYCHOLOGY appraisal purpose, and feedback target on performance appraisal ratings. Journal of Business and Psychology,12,283–298.Google Scholar
  22. Tesser, A. & Rosen, S. (1975). The reluctance to transmit bad news. In Berkowitz (Ed.), Advances in experimental social psychology (Vol. 8). New York: Academic Press.Google Scholar
  23. Tetlock, P.E., Skitka, L., & Boettger, R. (1989). Social and cognitive strategies for coping with accountability: Conformity, complexity, and bolstering.Journal of Personality and Social Psychology,57,632–640.Google Scholar
  24. Thornton, G.C. III. (1980). Psychometric properties of self-appraisals of job performance. Personnel Psychology, 33,263–271.Google Scholar
  25. Wexley, K.N,. & Klimoski, R.J. (1984). Performance appraisal: In Research in Personnel and Human Resources Management, Vol. 2,Greenwich, CT: JAI Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Human Sciences Press, Inc. 2002

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of ManagementHRMLong Beach
  2. 2.Kennesaw State UniversityUSA

Personalised recommendations