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Aligning Research and the Current Practice of Performance Management

  • Gerald E. Ledford (a1), George Benson (a2) and Edward E. Lawler (a1)

The debate over eliminating performance ratings addresses many important theoretical and practical issues. However, the academic debate on the topic is disconnected from the concerns of practitioners. Knowledge gained from theory-driven research is not leading practice on the use of performance ratings, despite the large volume of potentially relevant research findings. Many organizations are charging ahead with performance management solutions that seem sensible to them. They may be interested in academic research, but they are not waiting for it. We will argue that academic researchers who hope to influence practice need to better understand the concerns of practitioners and the research opportunities that are presented by contemporary practice.

Corresponding author
Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Gerald E. Ledford Jr., Center for Effective Organizations, Marshall School of Business, University of Southern California, 1149 South Hill Street, Suite 950, MC ATT950, Los Angeles, CA 90015. E-mail:
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Adler, S., Campion, M., Colquitt, A., Grubb, A., Murphy, K., Ollander-Krane, R., & Pulakos, E. D. (2016). Getting rid of performance ratings: Genius or folly? A debate. Industrial and Organizational Psychology: Perspectives on Science and Practice, 9 (2), 219252.
DeNisi, A. S., & Peters, L. Y. (1996). Organization of information in memory and the performance appraisal process: Evidence from the field. Journal of Applied Psychology, 81, 717737.
Ledford, G., Benson, G., & Lawler, E. (in press). A study of cutting edge performance management practices: Ongoing feedback, ratingless reviews, and crowd-sourced feedback. WorldatWork Journal.
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Industrial and Organizational Psychology
  • ISSN: 1754-9426
  • EISSN: 1754-9434
  • URL: /core/journals/industrial-and-organizational-psychology
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