Mapping cognitions to better understand attitudinal and behavioral responses in appraisal research

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

54 Citations (Scopus)


Perceptions are important in determining performance appraisal system success. The growing body of research in this area has clearly documented the differences in perceptions between appraisers and appraisees. However, many of these findings are predominately based on aspects of the system in judging its overall effectiveness and rely heavily on self-report questionnaire responses with weak methodological rigor. Not much is known about the deeper cognitive perceptions of appraisers and appraisees in better explaining their attitudinal and behavioral outcomes. This paper breaks away from conventional questionnaire-generated perceptions and applies a unique clinical cognitive mapping methodology called the repertory grid technique to elicit the personal constructs of how real respondents perceive appraisal systems based on their real-life experiences. The method allowed the investigation to go much deeper than past research into the core perceptions that influenced respondents' attitudes and subsequent behaviors. Though the findings showed some commonality in personal constructions of appraisal systems with those found in the literature, new constructs, core perceptual dimensions, and collective cognitive maps were elicited for the very first time, opening up new questions and issues for further research. Implications to theory and practice are also discussed.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)339-374
Number of pages36
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Psychology(all)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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