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Working Positively in

Teams and Peer Evaluation

Christine Symons
Communication Skills Centre
Curtin Business School
Curtin University

Dr Peter Hosie
Curtin Business School
Curtin University
Student expectations
• For general announcements about Business Capstone regularly check
Blackboard > Business Capstone > ‘Announcements.’
• Regularly check Curtin student email. Only communicate with tutors
using Curtin student email accounts (@student.curtin.edu.au).
Email from other addresses (e.g. @gmail.com, @yahoo.com, etc) may
end up in a Junk folder and not be seen or answered.
• Finding tutor’s name, email address and Industry ID:
Blackboard > Business Capstone > Contacts > Timetable and Tutors
• Email sent to a tutor, administrator or the Unit Coordinator must
provide Curtin University ID number and Industry ID.
(Help us to help you)
• Email directed to the Business Capstone Unit Coordinator will usually
only be answered if the issue has been first discussed and cannot be
resolved with the relevant tutor.
1) What’s important for Business Capstone
2) Some areas of potential conflict
3) What can you do when conflict arises?
4) Why use peer evaluation?
5) Ratings and solutions for rating errors
6) Conclusion
What’s important in your
Business Capstone team
Clarifying roles

Communicating often and effectively

Knowing your team

Self-evaluating each week

Celebrating wins
Business Capstone teams’
tasks: What are they?
1. Study the Team Members’ guide

2. Appoint a leader

3. Allocate and define roles and tasks

4. Spread the workload

5. Write a Team Contract and a Mission Statement

6. Prepare analysis and decisions for each module

7. Complete Peer Evaluations

Team roles in Business Capstone
(Focusing on point 3 in team tasks)
Define roles in two areas:

1) Position roles: manage team processes,

team leader, meeting facilitator, minute

2) Function roles: technical expertise of

team members, research and development,
marketing, finance, human resource,
Stages of a team: What do you think?





Some areas of potential conflict
• Team leader selection
• Leadership styles
• Power struggles
• Personality traits
• Communication styles
• Perceived favouritism
• Exclusion and isolation
• Uncertainty and stress
• Culture – what is ‘normal’?
What can you do
when conflict arises?
• Communicate clearly • Set goals, objectives
• Listen actively • Acknowledge anger
• Have conversations and frustration
• Respect others • State expectations
• Respect cultural • Clarify team roles
differences • Recognise personal
• Have social events and work
• Celebrate results commitments
• Evaluate honestly
In short, conflict:
• Can be about decisions, procedures, roles
• Can be open or disguised, physical or
• Can bring benefits: stimulate debate, bring
fresh ideas, contribute to growth and

• Shouldn’t be ignored
Peer evaluations

Remember to:

• Give honest and fair assessments

• Discuss results openly with team

• Be aware that there are some traps when

evaluating others … What are they?
Peer Evaluation

Dr Peter Hosie
CBS Teaching and Learning
Rater errors
(Boxall, Peter and John Purcell. 2011.
Strategy and Human Resource Management, 3rded. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.)

• Performance management systems are plagued with rater

errors; “as long as about 1,700 years ago, the Wei dynasty in
China implemented a performance management system for its
household members. The philosopher Sin Yu has been quoted
as saying that “an Imperial Rater of Nine Grades seldom rates
men according to their merits, but always according to his likes
and dislikes.”

• Rater error training makes raters more aware of what rating

errors they are likely to make and helps them develop strategies
to minimize errors. Rater error training increases rating accuracy
by reducing unintentional errors.
Why use peer evaluation?
• Peers rate team members’ performance

• Recognise contribution to team dynamics

• Keep on track

• Reality checks
Peer evaluation items
Reliability of peer evaluation

• Time series evaluations

• Perceptions change in behaviour over time

• Same items
– Time 1 (Honeymoon)
– Time 2 (Reality)
Making raters aware of rating errors

• Make raters aware of types of rating errors

• Help raters minimize errors

• Increase rating accuracy

Intentional rating errors

• Leniency (inflation)

• Severity (deflation)

• Central tendency

Identify the (Un)intentional rating errors as

indicated in the distribution graph on the next slide
(Un)intentional rating errors
(Un)intentional rating errors

• Similar to Me • Stereotype
• Halo (all “5”) • Negativity
• Primacy • Recency
• First Impression • Spillover
• Contrast • Attribution
Possible solutions for
types of rating errors
• Intentional
– Focus on motivation
– Demonstrate benefits of providing accurate
– Other raters (tutors) to balance peer ratings

• Unintentional
– Alert raters to different errors and their causes
Behavioral observation
• Minimize unintentional rating errors

• Improve rater skills by focusing on how raters:

−Observe performance
−Store information about performance
−Recall information about performance
−Use information about performance
References and Sources
Aguinis, Herman. 2010 (2nd ed). Performance
management, Pearson Prentice Hall, NJ, pp.161-

Tuckman, Bruce,W. and Mary Anne, C. Jensen.1977.

Stages of Small-Group Development Revisited
Group and Organization Management 2 (4): 419-

Capstone® Team Member Guide.