Gerald E. Ledford, Jr.

Affiliated Research Scientist


Dr. Gerald Ledford is a nationally recognized authority on aligning human capital practices to business strategy. His areas of focus include compensation and total rewards, employee engagement and involvement, talent management, the design of work, and large-scale organizational change. He recently has focused on the implications of new HR information technology for organizational effectiveness and the HR role. Dr. Ledford returned to CEO in September 2012 after working as a human capital consultant from 1998-2012; he previously was a key contributor at the Center from 1982-1998.

Research Partners & Clients

Gerry has conducted research and consulted with scores of Fortune 1000 companies. He has extensive experience in many industries, including manufacturing, aerospace and defense, high technology, insurance, health care, telecommunications, paper and forest products, and consumer products.

Professional Work

Gerry is active in the Academy of Management, HRPS, WorldatWork, and the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology. He is past chair of the Organizational Development and Change Division of the Academy of Management. His awards include the Society for Human Resource Management’s (SHRM’s) Yoder-Heneman Personnel Research Award. He is a frequent speaker at professional groups. From 1998-2003, Gerry was a Sibson Consulting leader. He was Senior Vice President and National Practice Leader for Employee Effectiveness, the largest Sibson practice. Since 2004, he has been President of Ledford Consulting Network. His research and opinions have been cited in many print and broadcast media outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Business Week, Fortune, the Washington Post, and PBS. He is the author of over 100 articles and ten books.

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Recent Research

Ratingless Performance Reviews: A Quasi-Experiment

We conducted a study of ratingless reviews in an organization that had an innovative and effective performance management process prior to adopting ratingless reviews. We collected data from the pilot and comparison units before and after the change to ratingless reviews. Results indicated some positive changes and no clear negative changes in the pilot units compared to the comparison units. Analysis suggests that positive results are primarily the result of more frequent feedback that is more oriented toward employee development rather than the ratingless reviews, per se.

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New CEO-WorldatWork (WaW) Monograph on Cutting Edge Performance Management

Cutting-Edge Performance Management: 244 Organizations Report on Ongoing Feedback, Ratingless Reviews and Crowd-Sourced Feedback Published by WorldatWork, September 2016

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Performance Feedback Culture Drives Business Impact

A new publication by Gerald E. Ledford, Jr. Ph.D. and Benjamin Schneider, Ph.D. highlights the study of 234 organizations and shows that the key to performance management effectiveness is creating a performance feedback culture (PFC).

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The Elusive Linkage Between CEO Pay and Corporate Performance

Gerry Ledford and Ed Lawler comment on Aguinis, Martin, Gomez-Mejia, O’Boyle, and Joo, adding another perspective on CEO pay.

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Human Resource Consulting

The field of human resources (HR) consulting is large, extremely diverse, and highly dynamic. This introductory update to the 2005 chapter by Gerald E. Ledford (CEO), Edward Lawler III (CEO), Susan A. Mohrman (CEO) provides an updated view of the HR consulting marketplace and the types of individuals and consulting firms that occupy it, as well as the organizational actors who purchase and consume HR consulting services.

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