In Search of Organizational Alignment Using a 360-Degree Assessment System: A Field Experiment in a Retail Chain

58 Pages Posted: 27 Jan 2018 Last revised: 13 Mar 2019

See all articles by Carolyn Deller

Carolyn Deller

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School

Susanna Gallani

Harvard Business School

Tatiana Sandino

Harvard Business School - Accounting and Control

Date Written: March 12, 2019

Abstract

We analyze the effects of a field experiment introducing a values-based 360-degree assessment system at an Indian retailer. The director intended to encourage store managers, rewarded based on high-powered incentives linked to financial results, to behave according to the organization’s long term values and goals. Surprisingly, we find that the intervention drove even higher effort on performance associated with pre-existing monetary incentives, but, on average, did not affect nonfinancial performance dimensions linked to long term goals. We integrate our statistical results with qualitative information from interviews, which highlighted the importance of reinforcing the organizational goals’ message and providing support for their attainment. We also show more favorable effects for stores with tenured managers and higher availability of inventory (a proxy for support). Our findings highlight important factors for successful implementations of 360-degree systems as complements to explicit incentives. Finally, we share some lessons learned with respect to performing field experiments.

Keywords: 360-degree assessments, values, implicit incentives, field experiment, performance evaluation.

Suggested Citation

Deller, Carolyn and Gallani, Susanna and Sandino, Tatiana, In Search of Organizational Alignment Using a 360-Degree Assessment System: A Field Experiment in a Retail Chain (March 12, 2019). Harvard Business School Accounting & Management Unit Working Paper No. 18-069. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3109900 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3109900

Carolyn Deller

University of Pennsylvania - The Wharton School ( email )

1311 Steinberg Hall - Dietrich Hall
3620 Locust Walk
Philadelphia, PA 19104-6365
United States

Susanna Gallani (Contact Author)

Harvard Business School ( email )

Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163
United States

Tatiana Sandino

Harvard Business School - Accounting and Control ( email )

367 Morgan Hall
Soldiers Field
Boston, MA 02163
United States
617-495-0625 (Phone)

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