Assigned versus Chosen Relative Performance Information: The Effect of Feedback Frequency on Performance

Journal of Management Accounting Research (2019)

51 Pages Posted: 15 Aug 2016 Last revised: 20 Apr 2019

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: April 2019

Abstract

Technological advancements have greatly improved the ability of management information systems to gather, compile, and provide relative performance information (RPI). Many of these systems are capable of providing feedback on demand, either at the discretion of managers or employees. We use an experiment to examine the effect of RPI feedback frequency on task performance when RPI is assigned by managers and when RPI is solicited by employees. When RPI is assigned to employees, we hypothesize and find a non-linear relationship between RPI frequency and performance such that an increase in frequency first increases and then decreases performance. In contrast, we hypothesize and find that when RPI is chosen by employees, the negative effect of higher frequency feedback on performance is not only mitigated, but reversed, due to individuals placing greater weight on chosen feedback than assigned feedback. We also find that when individuals choose to view RPI feedback, strategic effort (i.e., expending short-term resources for long-term benefits) mediates the relation between viewing RPI and subsequent performance.

Keywords: Feedback Frequency, Relative Performance Information, Information Choice, Personality Characteristics

JEL Classification: M10, M40, M41

Suggested Citation

Holderness, Darin Kip and Olsen, Kari and Thornock, Todd A., Assigned versus Chosen Relative Performance Information: The Effect of Feedback Frequency on Performance (April 2019). Journal of Management Accounting Research (2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2822899

Darin Kip Holderness

West Virginia University ( email )

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

Kari Olsen

Utah Valley University ( email )

800 West University Parkway
Orem, UT 84058
United States

Todd A. Thornock (Contact Author)

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

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

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