Managers' Implicit Assumptions About Personnel

Current Directions in Psychological Science, Vol. 17, pp. 219-223, 2008

5 Pages Posted: 25 Jun 2008

See all articles by Peter A. Heslin

Peter A. Heslin

UNSW Sydney

Don Vandewalle

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Management and Organizations Department

Date Written: June 20, 2008

Abstract

Effective managers recognize both positive and negative changes in employee performance and take appropriate remedial action when required. Managers' assumptions about the rigidity or malleability of personal attributes (e.g., ability and personality) affect their performance of these critical personnel management tasks. To the extent that managers assume that personal attributes are fixed traits that are largely stable over time, they tend to inadequately recognize actual changes in employee performance and are disinclined to coach employees regarding how to improve their performance. However, a growth-mindset intervention can lead managers to relinquish their fixed mindset and subsequently provide more accurate performance appraisals and helpful employee coaching. Implications for performance evaluation procedures and avenues for future research are outlined.

Keywords: Implicit theories, assumptions, mindset, performance appraisal, coaching, employee development

Suggested Citation

Heslin, Peter A. and Vandewalle, Don, Managers' Implicit Assumptions About Personnel (June 20, 2008). Current Directions in Psychological Science, Vol. 17, pp. 219-223, 2008, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1149034

Peter A. Heslin (Contact Author)

UNSW Sydney ( email )

UNSW Business School
High St
KENSINGTON, NSW 2052
Australia

Don Vandewalle

Southern Methodist University (SMU) - Management and Organizations Department ( email )

United States

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