Nonperformance influences on performance evaluations: A laboratory phenomenon?
AbstractReviews research that investigated the effects of nonperformance factors (i.e., gender and race) on a variety of organizational criteria, including performance evaluations. It is argued that previous findings are attributable to a research design that bears little resemblance to the performance appraisal process in real organizational contexts. 134 Black and 417 White male candidates for a police-department promotion were rated on a battery of attitude and behavior measures by 3 of the 14 Black and 18 White interviewers to examine the effects of 2 nonperformance factors (ratee and rater race) and an index of ratee past performance on performance ratings. Results of a higher-order MANOVA showed significant effects of ratee race, past performance, rater race, and a Ratee × Rater interaction. All of these sources of variance combined, however, accounted for no more than 4% of the total variance in performance ratings. Reasons for the low relationship between past performance and oral interview performance, which involve dissimilarity between rating dimensions and interview demand characteristics, are discussed. Thus, the applicability of results from past laboratory studies to performance evaluation in real organizational environments is questioned. (45 ref)