Predictors of attitudes toward a 360-degree feedback system and involvement in post-feedback management development activity


School of Psychology, 274 5th Street, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA 30332-0170, USA (e-mail:


This study examined predictors of 150 managers' attitudes toward a 360-degree feedback system and their degree of involvement in on- and off-the-job development activity in response to the feedback, as reported an average of 10 months following receipt of feedback. Three sets of predictors were: (a) feedback ratings from four sources (supervisor, peer, subordinate, self), (b) individual characteristics of the feedback recipients and, (c) perceived characteristics of the feedback recipients' work contexts. Despite adequate statistical power, few relationships were observed between feedback ratings and subsequent involvement in development activities and attitudes toward the feedback system. Three exceptions were a positive relationship between subordinate and peer ratings of managers and managers' attitudes toward the system as well as an interaction between self and peer ratings: the more unique or different peer ratings were compared to self-ratings, the more favourable ratee attitudes toward the system were. Other predictors of these dependent variables were: (1) a work context that includes people who are supportive of skill development (i.e. social support) and, (2) beliefs by feedback recipients that it is not only possible for people to improve their skills (i.e. incremental implicit theory of skill malleability), but also that they themselves are capable of improving and developing (i.e. self-efficacy for development). These results suggest that there are variables which are just as important (or possibly even more important) than differences in feedback level for predicting attitudes toward the feedback system and subsequent involvement in development activity following feedback. Practical implications, limitations, and suggestions for future research are discussed.