360 Degree Performance Appraisal. Research Project

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EXPLORING 360-DEGREE FEEDBACK PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL

EXECUTIVE ANALYSIS OF FIRE SERVICE OPERATIONS IN EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT

BY: Thomas R. Parker Wilson Fire/Rescue Services Wilson, North Carolina

An applied research project submitted to the National Fire Academy as part of the Executive Fire Officer Program

November 1998

ABSTRACT In a time when hierarchy is being replaced by teamwork, participative leadership, empowering employees, improving customer service and re-engineering, employers need to look at other alternatives that will support and enhance personnel development. Organizations are asking personnel for more productivity with less resources. Layers of management are being reduced causing increased work loads and supervisors are managing larger work groups with larger spans of control. The traditional top down supervisor-only evaluation systems are no longer practical. Supervisors with increased workloads and a large number of reporting relationships lack the opportunity to observe and provide fair, accurate, credible and motivating performance appraisals. The purpose of this research project was to gather information that would assist in the development of a fair, accurate, honest and objective performance appraisal system. This research project utilizes an evaluative research methodology. The following questions were answered while completing this project. 1. 2. What is 360-degree feedback performance appraisals? Should 360-degree feedback be used for development or for management decisions such as raises and promotion also? 3. 4. What are the advantages and disadvantages of 360-degree feedback? Should the raters providing feedback be anonymous?

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The procedures included an extensive literature review of three research papers located at the National Fire Academy and several books by noted authors on the subject of multiple source performance appraisals. An inter-department survey was conducted to determine how personnel felt about our current performance appraisal system and the possibility of a multi-source performance appraisal. Telephone conversations were conducted with the authors of two of the research papers used for this project. The results of this research project confirmed that most organizations are using the traditional supervisor-to-subordinate appraisal. It also concludes that multi assessors increase validity and that subordinates and peers are in a better position to provide accurate feedback to their supervisors and co-workers. The survey concluded that personnel are dissatisfied with the traditional performance appraisal and are willing to evaluate their superiors, peers and subordinates. The recommendation is that personnel growth and development will be more probable with the adoption of 360-degree feedback performance appraisal.

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TABLE OF CONTENTS Page Abstract................................................................................................................... ii Table of Contents.................................................................................................... iv Introduction............................................................................................................. 1 Background and Significance.................................................................................. 2 Literature Review..................................................................................................... 5 Procedures................................................................................................................ 10 Results....................................................................................................................... 14 Discussion.................................................................................................................. 21 Recommendations.................................................................................................… 22...
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