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

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The Pros and Cons of Forced Ranking Systems

Most arguments for and against the process can be grouped in relation to four general concerns that are important to people on both sides of the debate. These are concerns for fairness and accuracy; performance; morale; and legal compliance. For each of these areas, I’ll first describe the general positions taken by advocates and opponents of forced ranking. Next, I’ll consider what relevant research does and does not say about the positions taken.

Fairness and Accuracy

Forced choice advocates argue that the process combats the problem of artificially inflated ratings. While there is little empirical evidence to characterize the extent to which appraisal ratings are inflated, there is plenty of ...

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