The Effect of Information Format and Performance Pattern on Performance Appraisal Judgments in a Computerized Performance Monitoring Context1


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    Thanks are due to William Moltzen for his help with this study, and to Alison Davis-Blake, Javier Lerch, Marshall Schminke, and Laurie Weingart for comments on earlier drafts of this paper.

Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Maureen L. Ambrose, Strategy and Organization Management, College of Business and Administration, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO 80309.


This paper examines how the presentation of computer-monitored performance information affects performance judgments. Two factors were examined: the performance pattern and the information format. In a computer simulation, subjects were responsible for evaluating the performance of a computer-monitored typist. They were assigned to one of three format conditions: a periodic, delayed, or summarized format. The pattern of the typist's performance was also varied: It either improved, worsened, or remained about the same during the simulation. Results indicate that performance pattern affected subjects' ratings of overall performance, performance quality, and performance consistency. Both factors influenced ratings of future performance and recall of specific performance information. Implications of these results for performance appraisals and computerized performance monitoring systems are discussed.