The Performance Effects of Narrative Feedback

48 Pages Posted: 13 Apr 2021 Last revised: 30 Jun 2021

See all articles by Jan Hendrik Lampe

Jan Hendrik Lampe

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management

Utz Schäffer

WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management

Daniel Schaupp

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management

Date Written: April 12, 2021

Abstract

This paper investigates how narrative feedback affects employee performance. We use archival data from a European e-commerce firm to investigate the effects of the length, level of detail, and causal understanding facilitation of narrative feedback on performance improvement. We find that both higher levels of detail in feedback regarding strengths and more facilitation of causal understanding in feedback regarding weaknesses increase the likelihood of performance improvements. We also find a negative effect of inconsistent signals from ratings and narrative feedback. In additional analyses, we show differing effects for employees who receive positive or negative feedback surprises and differing effects on stronger and weaker areas of performance. Our findings contribute to the accounting literature on feedback by showing which aspects of narrative feedback can help improve future employee performance, thereby advancing our understanding of the types and characteristics that make feedback valuable.

Keywords: performance feedback, narrative feedback, textual feedback, performance management

JEL Classification: C99, J24, M12, M41, M51

Suggested Citation

Lampe, Jan and Schäffer, Utz and Schaupp, Daniel, The Performance Effects of Narrative Feedback (April 12, 2021). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3825100 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3825100

Jan Lampe

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management ( email )

Burgplatz 2
Vallendar, 56179
Germany
+492616509476 (Phone)

Utz Schäffer

WHU Otto Beisheim School of Management ( email )

Burgplatz 2
Vallendar, D-56179
Germany

HOME PAGE: http://www.whu.edu/controlling

Daniel Schaupp (Contact Author)

WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management ( email )

Burgplatz 2
Vallendar, 56179
Germany

Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Downloads
64
Abstract Views
360
rank
426,949
PlumX Metrics