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

See all articles by Kip Holderness

Kip Holderness

West Virginia University

Kari Olsen

Utah Valley University

Todd A. Thornock

University of Nebraska at Lincoln - School of Accountancy

Date Written: July 1, 2016

Abstract

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

Suggested Citation

Holderness, Darin Kip and Olsen, Kari and Thornock, Todd A., Who Are You to Tell Me that?! The Moderating Effect of Performance Feedback Source and Psychological Entitlement on Individual Performance (July 1, 2016). Journal of Management Accounting Research, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2736518 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2736518

Darin Kip Holderness

West Virginia University ( email )

PO Box 6025
Morgantown, WV 26506
United States
3042937847 (Phone)
3042930635 (Fax)

Kari Olsen (Contact Author)

Utah Valley University ( email )

800 West University Parkway
Orem, UT 84058
United States

Todd A. Thornock

University of Nebraska at Lincoln - School of Accountancy ( email )

307 College of Business Administration
Lincoln, NE 68588-0488
United States

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