Publication Date

Spring 2016


Forced ranking systems became popular among major companies in the 1980s. However, researchers discovered that, in the long term, forced ranking systems damage morale, deter teamwork, and stifle innovation. As a result, companies have replaced formalized ranking systems with two alternative performance appraisal methods: ongoing feedback/coaching and objectives setting. These two methods hold their own benefits in addressing the negative consequences of forced rankings. However, these methods also produce drawbacks. A full understanding of each is important to decide whether or not they are worthwhile replacements for a company.


Suggested Citation
Zeng, M. (2016). What alternative performance appraisal methods have companies used to replace forced rankings? Retrieved [insert date] from Cornell University, ILR School site:

Required Publisher Statement
Copyright held by the authors.