Performance appraisals sometimes represent a certain level of biasness for certain employees and this biasness can depict a negative attitude among the employees of the organization. Gabris and Mitchell have discussed this disruptive effect as the Mathew Effect. This effect is said to occur when the employees of the organization keep receiving the same results for different years. Employees can easily judge this activity and they might depict their negative behavior towards their organization. These generalized results go on like this that if they have done poorly then they will continue their poor performance and if they have done well then they will continue to do well. The Mathew effect stress on the point that past effect of employees would prejudice their future attempts to improve (Grote 1996).
A study by Heneman, Anonyou and Greenberger (1989) supports this theory that poor performance in the organization might not be given a fair chance to improve. This study involved supervisors of 40 different organizations and these subordinates would be divided into two groups: in groupers and out groupers. The in-groupers are subordinates that are favored by their supervisors and they enjoy a high level of trust and involvement in terms of support and rewards. On the other hand out-groupers don’t possess a healthy relationship with their supervisors and they are permanently out of favor (Guerra-Lopez 2008). They experience elements like distrust and criticism. Supervisors on the other hand seek evidence that supports their opinion.
Biasness in performance appraisals arises when an in-grouper performs a task poorly and it is overlooked by his/her superior. Similarly, when they did well their success is admitted and they receive applause in the form of extrinsic and intrinsic rewards. On the other hand a well performed task by an out-grouper is rarely attributed. Similarly, if the task is poorly performed then the supervisor addresses this situation quite seriously and relates the failure of a certain task with laziness or bad timing. Therefore the criterion of judging in-groupers and out-groupers is not reliable and equitable. This biasness in the behavior can lead to distortion in the entire appraisal process. Employees can develop a sense of prejudice against the organization and this can lead to frustration for employees who are discriminated.
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