Who Are You to Tell Me that?! The Moderating Effect of Performance Feedback Source and Psychological Entitlement on Individual Performance
Posted: 24 Feb 2016 Last revised: 24 Jul 2016
Date Written: July 1, 2016
As organizational structures have become more flat, firms are increasing the use of peer reviews as a performance monitoring tool. Research suggests that the effectiveness of performance feedback, particularly negative feedback, depends on the feedback source and the recipient’s sense of psychological entitlement. We conduct an experiment wherein we manipulate the valence and source level of performance feedback and examine how psychological entitlement moderates the effect of feedback on subsequent performance. We find that when providing negative performance feedback, the effect of feedback source on performance is moderated by the level of psychological entitlement of the feedback recipient. Specifically, relative to peer feedback, the effectiveness of feedback from a superior increases with the feedback recipient’s entitlement. We also find that psychological entitlement and source level do not affect responses to positive feedback. Our results suggest that companies should encourage supervisors to deliver negative performance feedback, particularly to psychologically entitled employees.
Keywords: Feedback Source, Psychological Entitlement, Feedback Valence
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