Mediating mechanisms of the feedback-performance relationship



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The positive effects of feedback on performance are well known. Very little, however, is known about how feedback improves performance. The purpose of this research is to test mediating mechanisms that would help to explain the positive effects of feedback on performance. A theory of organizational behavior proposed by Naylor, Pritchard, and Ilgen (1980) is used to organize the conceptualization of the mediating mechanisms. The proposed mediating mechanisms are acceptance, role clarity, evaluation clarity, clarity of the act-to-product relationship, intrinsic motivation, and goal setting. The data for this study comes from a field study on the effects of feedback on productivity with two organizations of the U. S. Air Force. The design of this study consisted of a baseline and feedback phase. Attitude data was collected once during each phase; productivity data was collected monthly. Productivity across the two organizations increased approximately 45^. Within the two organizations there were increases in task clarity, evaluation clarity, and goal setting, although the changes were not consistent across both organizations. Acceptance was positively related to goal setting and to increases in evaluation clarity.



Feedback (Psychology), Employee motivation