Performance Measurement, Feedback, and Reward Processes in Research and Development Work Teams: Effects on Perceptions of Performance

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Organizations have had difficulty managing the performance of their knowledge work teams. Many of these troubles have been linked to antiquated or inadequate performance management systems along with a scarcity of empirical research on this important human resource initiative. These problems are magnified when managing the performance of research and development teams because greater ambiguity and uncertainty exists in these environments, while projects are unique and continually evolving. In addition, performance management in R&D has only recently been accepted as important while individuals in these settings are often resistant to teams. This study represented the first step in the process ... continued below

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Roberts, M. Koy December 2000.

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  • Roberts, M. Koy

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Organizations have had difficulty managing the performance of their knowledge work teams. Many of these troubles have been linked to antiquated or inadequate performance management systems along with a scarcity of empirical research on this important human resource initiative. These problems are magnified when managing the performance of research and development teams because greater ambiguity and uncertainty exists in these environments, while projects are unique and continually evolving. In addition, performance management in R&D has only recently been accepted as important while individuals in these settings are often resistant to teams. This study represented the first step in the process of understanding relationships between performance management practices and perceptions of performance in R&D work teams. Participants were 132 R&D team leaders representing 20 organizations that agreed to complete a survey via the Internet. The survey instrument was designed to examine the relationships between performance measurement, feedback, and reward processes utilized by teams in relation to measures of customer satisfaction, psychological and team effectiveness, and resource utilization and development. The most important level of performance measurement occurred at the business unit level followed next by the individual level while team level measurement was unrelated to team performance. A simple measurement system with three to seven performance measures focused on objective results, outcomes, and customer satisfaction appeared ideal. Team participation in the performance management process, most notably the process of setting performance measures, goals, and objectives was also important. The use of multiple raters, frequent performance appraisals, and frequent feedback were identified as meaningful. Specific types of rewards were unrelated to performance although some evidence suggested that business unit rewards were superior to team and individual rewards. It was speculated that R&D teams function more like working groups rather than real teams. The focus in R&D seems to be on business unit projects, products, or designs where the aggregate of individual and team contributions determine larger project outcomes.

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  • December 2000

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  • Sept. 25, 2007, 9:22 p.m.

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  • May 13, 2016, 5:41 p.m.

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Roberts, M. Koy. Performance Measurement, Feedback, and Reward Processes in Research and Development Work Teams: Effects on Perceptions of Performance, dissertation, December 2000; Denton, Texas. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc2701/: accessed October 18, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; .