A Field Study of the Effects of Gradually Terminated Public Feedback on Housekeeping Performance1


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    This study was supported by the Academy of Finland (Project #42394) and Finnish Ministry of Economy. The management and the employees of the study sites made this study possible. 1 am thankful to them and wish them all the best in their future development work. The support of the Finnish National Road Administration is kindly acknowledged. Special thanks go to Jorma Saari and Heikki Summala for their constructive comments on earlier versions of the manuscript, and to Armi Muhonen for her capable assistance during the project.

2 Correspondence concerning this article should be addressed to Ari Leivo, Department of Safety, Finnish Institute of Occupational Health, Laajaniityntie 1, F1N–01620 Vantaa, Finland, e-mail: ari.leivo@occuphealth.fi


Recent studies have shown that more feedback is not always better. A multiple baseline across-groups design was used to assess the impact of infrequent (at gradually increasing intervals), publicly posted housekeeping feedback on the housekeeping level. The housekeeping performance of 3 road maintenance areas and I garage was monitored over a 6- to 17-month period. The increases in performance were equivalent to studies giving more frequent housekeeping feedback at a fixed-interval schedule. The length of feedback interval was not significantly correlated to the change in housekeeping index. The results suggest that after a learning period, the frequency at which feedback is provided may not be a critical factor. The appropriateness of feedback frequency may be affected by learning level (i. e., the information value of feedback at that particular time).