Cutting-Edge Performance Management

The Center for Effective Organizations is actively conducting research on cutting-edge performance management, which includes ratingless appraisal, ongoing performance feedback, and crowd-sourced performance feedback. This listing provides links to publications arising from this research. The listing includes CEO working papers that are usually published in journals or books at a later date. The citation for the printed work is included here. Due to copyright restrictions, we link the CEO working paper version rather than the final print version in most cases.

Ledford, G., and Benson, G.
Ratingless Performance Reviews: A Quasi-Experiment
Published by WorldatWork and CEO, November 2019

Performance management is often called the human resources process most hated by employees and managers alike (Ledford, Benson, and Lawler 2016). The history of research and practice on performance management is, most of all, the search for new techniques that will finally turn this vexing HR process into one that is effective at improving performance and developing employees, while offering a less frustrating experience to both employees and managers. The ratingless review is the latest in a long line of techniques that have been advocated for these purposes. Read more to find out what the analysis suggests.

Prospectus for new CEO Study – Performance Feedback Culture

Click here for a prospectus on the the new CEO multi-company study on performance feedback culture.  We are interested in finding other companies that would like to participate in this important new study.  Contact information is included in the prospectus.

Ledford, G., and Schneider, B.
Performance Feedback Culture Drives Business Impact
Published by i4cp and CEO, June 2018

The study of 234 organizations shows that the key to performance management effectiveness is creating a performance feedback culture (PFC).  PFC creates the necessary environment that determines whether managers feel compelled to deliver high-quality performance feedback to employees. 

Key findings:

    1. Performance feedback culture has strong effects on organizational financial performance and other positive consequences.
    2. Performance feedback culture has significantly stronger effects on performance management effectiveness than performance management techniques, which have been the overwhelming focus of research and practice for decades.
    3. Performance management effectiveness for employee-oriented outcomes (such as employee development, employee motivation, and employee retention) has an extremely strong effect on organization financial returns. 

Ledford, G., Benson, G., and Lawler, E.
Cutting-Edge Performance Management: 244 Organizations Report on Ongoing Feedback, Ratingless Reviews and Crowd-Sourced Feedback
Published by WorldatWork, September 2016

This monograph provides a comprehensive report of findings from a large-scale study of cutting-edge performance management practices. It covers several topics not discussed in other papers, such as detail on types of organizations that adopt cutting edge practices and change management issues in implementing these practices.

Ledford, G.
New Research on Cutting-Edge Performance Management: What Are We Learning?
Compensation Cafe, June 6, 2016

Results and insights from CEO study of 244 organizations that use one or more cutting-edge practices.

Ledford, G., Benson, G., and Lawler, E.
Aligning research and the current practice of performance management
Industrial and Organizational Psychology, June, 2016

An excellent debate on ratingless appraisal at a Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) conference led to a journal article summarizing the debate and a number of commentaries about this practice, including ours.

Ledford, G., Lawler, E., and Benson, G.
Cutting-edge performance management: What about rewards?
Workspan, April 2016

Focuses on issues related to rewards in the CEO study of 244 organizations that use one or more cutting-edge practices.

Ledford, G., Benson, G., and Lawler, E.  (2016)
A study of cutting-edge performance management practices: Ongoing feedback, ratingless reviews, and crowd-sourced feedback
WorldatWork Journal, 25(2), pp.8-24

Detailed presentation of the findings from the CEO study, supported by WorldatWork, of 244 organizations that use one or more cutting-edge practices.  This is easily the large study of its kind.

Ledford, G.  (2016).
Guest editor’s introduction.
WorldatWork Journal, 25(2), pp.6-7

Overview of a special issue of the WorldatWork Journal on cutting-edge performance management practices, including the CEO study (cited above) and excellent, detailed case studies from Adobe, Microsoft, Cardinal Health, Sears.  Gerry Ledford was Guest Editor of this issue.

Ledford, G., and Lawler, E. (2015).
Can technology save performance management?
WorldatWork Journal, 24(4), pp.6-15.

Looks at the role of the new wave of HR technology on performance management, including the ways in which it facilitates or enables cutting-edge practices.

Jaffe, J. Dollwet, M., Conner, T., Duffel, K., and Lucy, M.
From performance management to forward focus – How DIRECTV revolutionized the process, experience, and culture of feedback
CEO Working Paper G15-20(667), July 2015

Excellent case study in which the company tried different combinations of performance management practices and used analytics to assess the effects of different approaches.

Updated November 2016