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Performance Management: Putting Research into Action by James W. Smither

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Defining Forced Ranking

Virtually all performance rating systems can be grouped into one of two general categories: absolute and relative (Cascio, 1991). Absolute systems such as behaviorally anchored rating scales (BARS), weighted checklists, and behavioral observation scales (BOS) involve making judgments about people in relation to descriptions of job-related behaviors and/or traits. Under such systems, all individuals are independently assessed against the same standards, and it is conceivable that multiple individuals could attain essentially the same rating in relation to either specific behaviors and traits or overall performance.
Relative rating and forced ranking are synonymous terms. Such approaches require raters to assess individuals ...

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