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
Date Written: April 2019
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: Suggested Citation