The Impact of Tenure, Demographics and Leadership on Quality and Performance in a Field Setting



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This study examined the applicability of skill development and performance evaluation theories in a real-world context. Studies of expertise generally show that skills develop according to a power law function, while the performance appraisal literature suggests that rater behavior can be constrained by the quality of the available data and social/organizational forces. A database donated by a public opinion polling company as part of an ongoing consultation, which contains both objective employee performance and subjective ratings of that performance, was used to examine the validity of the literature in these two areas. In general, the data revealed that performance followed a power law curve asymptoting after about 12-18 working days, as predicted by current theory. Subjective ratings showed less variation with practice and differences in score patterns depending on the concreteness of the dimension evaluated, in line with current theory. Recommendations for the client organization are also included.



Performance, Quality, Tenure, Demographics