Hiring and Escalation Bias in Subjective Performance Evaluations: A Laboratory Experiment

16 Pages Posted: 18 Dec 2013

See all articles by Andrej Angelovski

Andrej Angelovski

Middlesex University

Jordi Brandts

Instituto de Analisis Economico (CSIC) Barcelona

Carles Solà

CUNY College of Staten Island; Autonomous University of Barcelona - Department of Business Administration

Date Written: December 11, 2013

Abstract

In many organizations the measurement of job performance can not rely on easily quantifiable information. In such cases, supervising managers often use subjective performance evaluations. We use laboratory experiments to study whether the way employees are assigned to a manager affects managers’ and co-employees’ subjective evaluations of employees. Employees can either be hired by the manager, explicitly not hired by him and nevertheless assigned to him or exogenously assigned to him. We present data from three different treatments. For all three we find escalation bias both by managers and by co-employees. Managers exhibit a positive bias towards those employees they have hired or a negative one towards those they have explicitly not hired. Managers’ and employees’ biases are connected. Exogenously assigned employees are biased in favor of employees hired by the manager and against those explicitly not hired.

Keywords: Escalation Bias, Performance Appraisals, Experiments

JEL Classification: C91, C92, M61, M54

Suggested Citation

Angelovski, Andrej and Brandts, Jordi and Solà, Carles, Hiring and Escalation Bias in Subjective Performance Evaluations: A Laboratory Experiment (December 11, 2013). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2368478 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2368478

Andrej Angelovski (Contact Author)

Middlesex University ( email )

London
United Kingdom

Jordi Brandts

Instituto de Analisis Economico (CSIC) Barcelona ( email )

UAB Campus
E-08193 Bellaterra
Spain

Carles Solà

CUNY College of Staten Island ( email )

NY
United States
7189822927 (Phone)

Autonomous University of Barcelona - Department of Business Administration ( email )

Campus Bellaterra, Edifici B.
Bellaterra (Barcelona), 08193
Spain
935814291 (Phone)
935812525 (Fax)

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