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How calibration committees can mitigate performance evaluation bias: An analysis of implicit incentives

Isabella Grabner (), Judith Künneke () and Frank Moers ()

No 04/2020, Department for Strategy and Innovation Working Paper Series from WU Vienna University of Economics and Business

Abstract: While prior research on performance evaluation bias has mainly focused on the determinants and consequences of rating errors, we investigate how a firm can provide implicit incentives to supervisors to mitigate these errors via its calibration committee. We empirically examine the extent to which a calibration committee incorporates supervisors' evaluation behavior with respect to their subordinates in the performance evaluation outcomes, i.e., performance ratings and promotion decisions, for these supervisors. In our study, we distinguish between lack of skills and opportunism as two important facets of evaluation behavior, which we expect the calibration committee to address differently. Using panel data of a professional service firm, we show that supervisors' opportunistic behavior to strategically inflate subordinates' performance ratings is disciplined through a decrease in the supervisors' own performance rating, while the supervisors' skills to provide less compressed and thus more informative performance ratings is rewarded through a higher likelihood of promotion.

Keywords: subjective performance evaluation; performance evaluation bias; calibration committees; promotions; supervisory skills (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2020-01-08
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