Comparison of online and traditional performance appraisal systems Academic Article uri icon


  • PurposeThe purpose of this paper is to compare employee reactions to the use of an online performance appraisal (PA) system to the traditional paperandpencil (P&P) approach.Design/methodology/approachA quasiexperimental study is conducted comparing the reactions of a group of 83 employees evaluate with a traditional P&P PA instrument to the reactions of a group of 152 employees evaluated with an online version of the same assessment tool.FindingsEmployees rate with the online version reported significantly higher levels of rater accountability and employee participation than employees rate with the traditional instrument. They report no difference in perceived security of the ratings, utility of the ratings, or satisfaction with the PA. Online employees report significantly lower levels of quality for the PA ratings than traditional employees.Research limitations/implicationsThe paper is limited to employees in one organization and the variables examined. In the future, researchers should examine supervisor and human resource (HR) manager reactions to the system, additional individual difference variables, variables related to technology acceptance and use, and additional PA reactions.Practical implicationsThe findings inform HR managers about how one sample of employees' reacted to an online appraisal. It is important for organizations to ensure all system users are welltrained in how to provide quality ratings and feedback through the system.Originality/valueThis is the first quasiexperiment comparing employees' attitudes toward an online administration of PA to a traditional P&P administration.

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Payne, S. C., Horner, M. T., Boswell, W. R., Schroeder, A. N., & Stine-Cheyne, K. J.

citation count

  • 45

complete list of authors

  • Payne, Stephanie C||Horner, Margaret T||Boswell, Wendy R||Schroeder, Amber N||Stine-Cheyne, Kelleen J

editor list (cited editors)

  • Gueutal, H. G.

publication date

  • January 2009