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Rating performance or contesting status: evidence against the homophily explanation for supervisor demographic skew in performance ratings

Pearce, Jone L. and Xu, Q. J. (2012) Rating performance or contesting status: evidence against the homophily explanation for supervisor demographic skew in performance ratings. Organization Science, 23 (2). pp. 373-385. ISSN 1047-7039

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Identification Number: 10.1287/orsc.1100.0585

Abstract

We propose and test an argument in which the well-documented skew in supervisory performance appraisal ratings toward those with the same demography as themselves is better explained by the status contests than the reigning theory of homophily. We conduct the test in a field study of 358 supervisor–subordinate dyads in 10 organizations, using hierarchical linear modeling with various controls. We find that supervisors' ratings of subordinates' contextual and task performance only skew toward similar subordinates when supervisors' status is contested by a higher demographic status subordinate, as predicted by social dominance and status characteristics theories. None of the general homophily preference hypotheses is supported. This study provides a richer theory more consistent with the accumulating evidence about demography effects in organizations and demonstrates the value of head-to-head strong inference tests and status explanations for the field of organizational behavior.

Item Type: Article
Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1287/orsc.1100.0585
Additional Information: © 2010 Informs
Divisions: Management
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
Date Deposited: 26 Sep 2013 14:38
Last Modified: 28 May 2024 06:15
URI: http://eprints.lse.ac.uk/id/eprint/50041

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