Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy


Industrial and Organizational Psychology

Major Professor

John W. Lounsbury

Committee Members

John M. Larsen, Gerald H. Whitlock, & H. Dudley Dewhirst


The purpose of this study was to examine a theoretical model developed to predict the influence of rater job involvement and organizational commitment on the process of appraising employee job performance . The model is based upon Fishbein ' s (1967) theory relating attitudes to behavioral intentions and specific behaviors . Organizational commitment is incorporated as an indication of the subjective norm and the performance -- self-esteem definition of job involvement represents the attitudinal component . Hypotheses proposed to test the model addressed the psychometric characteristics of ratings assigned by individuals with varying levels of a composite measure of job involvement and organizational commitment . A field study was conducted with subjects employed at three locations of a department store . Ratings of 199 sales clerks were made by 38 section leaders on nine dimensions of a graphic rating scale and a behavioral checklist . Measures of rater job involvement and organizational commitment were obtained . Multiple operational procedures were used to assess the extent of leniency , central tendency , restriction of range , and halo in the ratings . Contrary to the predictions o f the model , scores on the composite attitude variable were directly related to the prevalence of the four rating errors . The correspondence between rater attitude scores and the amount of each error was not significantly different for evaluations made on either rating format . Rater ability levels moderated the relationship between composite scores and the amount of leniency and central tendency in ratings on the graphic rating scale . Scores on the composite variable were rating reliability or convergent not and discriminant validity .Suggestions were made for revisions of the model . Alternative explanations proposed for the contrary experimental results included inconsistencies between rater attitudes and the behavioral performance criteria considered , the influence of alternative self-esteem contingencies , and failure to incorporate assignment of error-free ratings into the subjective norm . The results of the study imply that the reward structures and values of organizations must be altered if performance appraisal programs are to succeed .

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