Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Science




Dr. Richard Goffin


Multi-source feedback often includes ratings from one’s subordinates; however, there is little research on the accuracy of these ratings. With multi-source feedback systems being used more for administrative decisions there is a precedent to test how accurate subordinate ratings are. The present study distinguishes between two types of accountability; appeasement-accountability and accuracy-accountability in an attempt to increase the accuracy of subordinate ratings of job performance. The result was three experimental conditions. The first was the anonymous condition which is in line with current practice; subordinates are typically granted anonymity when submitting ratings about their supervisor. The second was the appeasement-accountability condition, and the third was the accuracy-accountability condition. One hundred and fifty participants rated videos of four different trainers’ job performance using behaviorally anchored rating scales (BARS). The dependant variables of interest were Cronbach’s (1955) accuracy components of differential accuracy, elevation accuracy, stereotype accuracy, and differential elevation. Significant differences were found between Conditions 1 and 3 for Differential Elevation. Additionally, the comparison between Conditions 2 and 3 was nearing significance for Differential Elevation. These findings are indicative of increased accuracy for administrative decisions for those in the accuracy-accountability condition. Possible explanations for the results found, study limitations, and directions for future research are discussed.