Overcoming the Tragedy of Personnel Evaluation?


Human beings are essentially – by nature or second nature - members of groups. They contribute to these groups not just as isolated individuals but also through their interaction with others. Consequently, personnel evaluation in companies and organizations requires assessing not only evaluating individual performance but also the overall direct and indirect effect one has on a team. Others’ work may be improved or hampered by the presence of a particular employee. We investigate Two-level Personnel-Evaluation Tasks (T-PETs) with information on individual and group earnings, where an individual focus may lead to evaluate the overall best employee as being the worst. We have previously found a Tragedy of Personnel Evaluation where focus on direct individual impact did have such systematic effect. In two experiments, one on team size, the other on kinds of information provided, we explore the boundary conditions of this effect and suggest how it may be overcome.

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