Title

21st-Century Human Resource Development: The Cross-Cultural Compatibility of 360-Degree Feedback

Publication Date

1-1-2005

Degree Name

MA in International Education

First Advisor

William Hoffa

Abstract

The attempt to quantify the contribution and achievement of individual workers in a given environment has resulted in what is commonly known as performance appraisal systems. These systems, which are primarily developed in the United States or in other Western cultures, aim to improve employee productivity in the workplace and identify development needs in individuals. The increasingly global nature of the business world obliges human resources professionals and managers to evaluate the effectiveness of performance appraisal systems in diverse populations. Currently, U.S.-developed appraisal instruments are exported to other countries with little consideration of cultural influences. The subject of my research, 360-degree feedback, is a relatively new form of performance appraisal stemming from years of organizational and behavioral research.

The purpose of this research is to examine the cross-cultural compatibility of 360-degree feedback in four cultures – North American, British, Japanese and Chinese -- with the goal of assessing its effectiveness and documenting employees’ perceptions toward this appraisal method in Western versus Eastern cultures. Will employees from countries with low power-distance indexes be more comfortable with the open and honest communication 360-degree feedback necessitates?

The implementation of a 360-degree feedback cycle in one global company is used as a case study for examining cultural perceptions of this U.S.-developed management tool. By exploring questions of cultural compatibility, practitioners can enhance their understanding of the factors to be considered when implementing a 360-feedback system in Western versus Eastern cultures.

Disciplines

Business Administration, Management, and Operations | International and Intercultural Communication

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