Date of Award

Fall 1983

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)




Industrial/Organizational Psychology

Committee Director

Glynn D. Coates

Committee Member

Raymond H. Kirby

Committee Member

E. Bruce McAfee


The purpose of this research was to develop an initial model of employee perceptions of performance appraisal systems which would integrate available literature and provide a point of departure for future research endeavors. To accomplish these goals, this study had three objectives: (1) integrate the large body of literature to develop constructs that adequately describe employee perceptions of appraisal processes and systems, (2) integrate these constructs into a causal model that is consistent with current literature, and (3) test the model using linear structural modeling.

Seven constructs hypothesized as representing various aspects of employee perceptions were conceptualized and operationalized, and multiple indicators were generated for each construct. Questionnaires containing these items were distributed to two samples--non-exempt employees in a university setting, and police officers in a large metropolitan police department. Confirmatory factor analyses, which resulted in a six-factor solution that was successfully replicated on a hold-out sample, were used to demonstrate and improve construct validity.

These constructs, as well as several other measures, were integrated into a causal model of employee acceptance of their appraisal systems. This model was then tested using the LISREL V computer program (Joreskog & Sorbom, 1981). Results indicate substantial support for the proposed model, with system acceptability found to be a function of the perceived fairness, accuracy, and use of the appraisal system. Furthermore, both perceived accuracy and fairness varied as a function of the supervisor (i.e., trust in supervisor; supervisor's knowledge of performance), satisfaction with both the content and atmosphere of the performance review session, and of the level of performance rating received. These findings were discussed in terms of limitations, future research directions, and implications for practice.


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