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[Excerpt] We examine the effects of separating the evaluative and developmental components of PA, so it is important to define development and evaluation. Development is any effort concerned with enriching attitudes, experiences, and skills which improve the effectiveness of employees. Specific examples of developmental PA use include: identifying an individual’s strengths and weaknesses, setting goals, and identification of training needs. Evaluation is characterized as comparing an individual’s performance to a set standard, other organizational members, or the individual’s previous performance. Evaluation frequently supports human resource activities such as salary administration, promotion or termination decisions, and identification and/or recognition of good or bad performance. Development and evaluation may appear interdependent (i.e., how can one develop an employee without some sort of evaluation), thus rendering separation difficult or impractical. However, previous research suggests that although developmental PA use strongly correlates with evaluative PA use, the uses are emphasized differently across organizations and differentially relate to organizational characteristics (Cleveland, Murphy, & Williams, 1989). As discussed in more detail below, development and evaluation have also been shown to differentially influence outcomes (e.g., appraisal accuracy) and rating processes (e.g., Murphy et al., 1984; Williams et al., 1985) further indicating that development and evaluation are distinct PA uses.


Suggested Citation
Boswell, W. R. & Boudreau, J. W. (1999). Separating the developmental and evaluative performance appraisal uses (CAHRS Working Paper #99-09). Ithaca, NY: Cornell University, School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Center for Advanced Human Resource Studies.
Published in the Journal of Business and Psychology, 16, 391-412.