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Nursing Organization

“The Impact of Feedback Orientation and the Effect of Satisfaction With Feedback on In-Role Job
Performance”

Anwar Rasheed, Saif-Ur-Rehman Khan, Mazen F. Rasheed, Yasin Munir

1.0 Introduction

In recent years, feedback based on formal performance appraisal in human resource development
(HRD) has come to be commonly seen as a variable influencing the performance of employees (Salas &
Rosen, 2010; Youngcourt, Leiva, & Jones, 2007). Organizations acknowledge that talented employees are
vital to organizational success and are an organization’s most valuable asset (Maurer & Weiss, 2010).
Thus, formal human resource programs are implemented in organizations in which feedback is
incorporated, such as performance management. However, numerous complications dealing with
individual differences have been identified in the feedback process (Herold & Fedor, 1998), which is a
major concern for HRD practice. In a theoretical article, London and Smither (2002) developed a variable
called feedback orientation, related to individual differences in overall feedback receptivity. Feedback
orientation has received significant attention in various new theoretical models on performance
management and learning in HRD (e.g., Gregory & Levy, 2008; London & Maurer, 2004). In these
studies, feedback orientation has included components like behavioral propensity toward feedback
seeking, belief in the value of feedback, liking feedback, sensitivity to others’ views about oneself,
cognitive tendency to deal with feedback, and feeling of accountability.

This study is primarily driven by the work of Linderbaum and Levy (2010), who defined, built
up, and validated a construct known as the Feedback Orientation Scale (FOS) based on the measures of
utility, accountability, self-efficacy, and social awareness. These measures were selected on the basis of
theories of attitude (Ajzen & Fishbein, 1977) and motivation (Vroom, 1964) and the belief that
organizational and job attitudes might be influenced by satisfaction with feedback (Ilgen, Daniel, Richard,
Beth, & Daniel, 1981). More specifically, these theories propose the major factors that are taken to
influence individual behaviors and characteristics such as expectations, perceptions, attitudes, values,
intentions, and satisfaction. Satisfaction with feedback is an important dimension of the reaction of the
feedback recipient (Keeping & Levy, 2000; Mishra & Farooqi, 2013). Reaction to feedback is more
critical than feedback itself that can influence work performance (Kluger & DeNisi, 1996).

Although performance appraisal involves giving and receiving feedback, the perspective of the
“receiver” is less widely discussed. Receivers are likely to use performance feedback to improve their
performance to the degree of their feedback orientation and level; such feedback influences their
perception of satisfaction with feedback. In fact, if receivers are less oriented toward feedback and
perceive the feedback to be useless and are dissatisfied with it, they will probably ignore the feedback
(Levy & Williams, 2004; Linderbaum & Levy, 2010). Thus, Jawahar (2010) called to further investigate
the antecedents of satisfaction with feedback that can impact performance.

Since feedback orientation is considered to be a central part of the broader performance


management process, insufficient research exists in this domain (Dahling, Chau, & O’Malley, 2012).
Thus, the contribution of this study is to add new insight in this area by examining (a) the perceptions of
individual “receivers” toward the performance appraisal feedback they receive and (b) the under-
researched link between these perceptions and in-role performance. Specifically, this study describes
ways of employee development from a human resource viewpoint in which employee feedback
orientation influences performance through the mediating role of satisfaction with feedback. Future
researchers on individual differences in the feedback process should be highly assisted by the
investigation conducted and model presented in this study.

2.0 Methods

Sample, procedures, measures, and statistical tools adopted are discussed in this section.

2.1 Sample and Procedures

A stratified random sampling technique was applied and a positivist approach adopted to collect
data from the nursing staff of three major public hospitals in Riyadh, the capital city of Saudi Arabia. It
was prechecked that the target hospitals had formal performance feedback systems. Out of 290 distributed
questionnaires, 239 were returned; after responses with more than 10 percent blank items or with
haphazard responses to reverse-scored distracter items were separated, 225 matched subordinate–
supervisor dyads involving 45 supervisors were selected for analysis, yielding a final response rate of
77.6%. The demographics of the subordinates were as follows: 46.7% less than 30 years old and 40%
between 31 and 40 years. Female participants accounted for 89.3%. In addition, 83.5% of respondents
had earned a bachelor’s degree or higher. Respondents were of diverse nationalities: 32% Sri Lankan,
23% Indian, 27% Filipino, and 18% others including Saudi nationals. Low participation of Saudi
nationals is due to lack of interest in nursing jobs. Supervisor demographics were as follows: 36%
between 31 and 40 years, and 64% above 41. Female participants accounted for 74%. Again, diverse
nationalities were represented: 22% Sri Lankan, 44% Indian, 9% Filipino, and 25% others. This
diversification may help in enhancing the generalizability of the study. Students in an undergraduate-level
research methodology class collected the data and were rewarded with extra credit. Subordinates were
asked to consider recent formal performance appraisal feedback to respond about FOS measures and
satisfaction with feedback, whereas supervisors were contacted to assess the subordinates’ in-role
performance. The purpose of the study was explained to participants in a cover letter in addition to ensure
the anonymity of data.

2.2 Measures

All items were translated from English to Arabic by a professional translator and then, following
the Brislin (1980) method, translated again into English to evade any linguistic errors. Five items were
used for each measure. All responses were assessed on a 5-point Likert-type scale (1 = strongly disagree
to 5 = strongly agree).

The feedback orientation measures—utility, accountability, feedback self-efficacy, and social


awareness—were adopted from Linderbaum and Levy’s (2010) Feedback Orientation Scale. Utility here
refers to the individual’s beliefs regarding the effectiveness of feedback. An example of a utility item is
“Feedback contributes to my success at work.” Cronbach’s alpha for the measures of feedback utility
was .84. Accountability measures focus on the ability of individuals to participate in the feedback process
responsibly. An example item is “I hold myself accountable to respond to feedback appropriately.” The
Cronbach’s alpha for feedback accountability was .87. Self-efficacy refers to the perceived confidence of
an individual relating to understanding and complying with feedback correctly. To measure feedback self-
efficacy, a sample item was “I am positive that I can deal with feedback effectively.” The Cronbach’s
alpha for feedback self-efficacy was .81. Finally, social awareness in connection with feedback refers to
the tendency of individuals to absorb external pressure to respond to feedback. An example item is
“Feedback helps me to manage the impression I make on others.” The Cronbach’s alpha for social
awareness was .85.

Satisfaction with feedback refers to a prominent reaction of recipients toward performance


appraisal feedback (Keeping & Levy, 2000). Satisfaction with feedback of subordinates was measured
with a scale developed by Tonidandel, Quinones, and Adams (2002), with fi ve items, for example, “I
think my feedback exactly represents my output.” The Cronbach’s alpha for satisfaction with feedback
was .80. In-role performance refers to activities related to the employees’ formal role requirements
(Borman & Motowidlo, 1997).

In-role performance of subordinates was measured by their immediate supervisors, based on the
degree to which the employee achieved tasks as per their job description. Five items were adopted from
the measure of “in-role behavior” developed by Williams and Anderson (1991) to measure in-role
performance. An example is “Meets formal performance requirements of the job.” Internal consistency
for performance was α = .88.

Age was assessed as a control variable, on the basis of studies that showed age had a significant
negative impact on receptiveness to formal performance appraisal feedback (Gupta, Govindarajan, &
Malhotra, 1999; Ryan, Brutus, Greguras, & Hakel, 2000).

Gender was considered as a control variable in line with earlier studies on behaviors related to
feedback (e.g., Roberson, Deitch, Brief, & Block, 2003). Literature advocates that men and women vary
in locus of control, self-criticism, and anxiety, which are associated with feedback (Fletcher, 1999).

Organizational tenure was also selected as a control variable, as previous research has shown that
newer employees are more sensitive to feedback than those with longer tenure (e.g., Ashford &
Cummings, 1983; Roberson et al., 2003).

2.2.1 Statistical Tools

The data were analyzed using SPSS software and relevant statistical techniques: specifically, the
t-test for significance, coefficient of correlation using Karl Pearson’s method, and regression analysis
were performed. Structural equation modeling (SEM) was also applied to validate overall model fi t.

3.0 Results

Table 1 shows the correlations, means, and standard deviations between the measures of feedback
orientation and in-role performance. All four measures of FOS and satisfaction with feedback were
positively correlated with performance (p < .01). The highest correlation (r = .66, p < .01) was between
feedback utility and performance, whereas social awareness and satisfaction with feedback were least, but
still positively, correlated (r = .32, p < .01).

The current study aimed to identify the direct effects of FOS measures— utility, accountability,
self-efficacy, and social awareness—on in-role job performance and the mediating role of satisfaction
with feedback. Figure 1 and Table 2 show the linear regression analysis of the measures of feedback
orientation and satisfaction with feedback, depicting their direct interactions with performance, which
explained support for our Hypotheses 1 through 5: utility (β = .44, p < .001), accountability (β = .15, p < .
05), self-efficacy (β = .21, p < .01), social awareness (β = .20, p < .001), and satisfaction with feedback
(β = .58, p < .001).

To begin with, we tested the likelihood that common method variance (CMV) as recommended
by Podsakoff, MacKenzie, Lee, and Podsakoff (2003) may have affected the degree of the observed
relationships. Single-method factor tests were conducted for the impacts of CMV among the measures
reported by subordinates (utility, self-efficacy, social awareness, accountability, and satisfaction with
feedback) and the supervisor-reported variable (in-role job performance). Regarding the subordinate
measures, a measurement model without the inclusion of a latent methods factor was fi rst run: χ2 (265) =
694.28, p < .001; CFI = .85, RMSEA = .08, SRMR = .06. After that, we altered the measurement model
to avert the model from being underidentified by adding a latent methods factor and setting equivalent
loading on all indicators: χ2 (263) = 691.33, p < .001; CFI = .85, RMSEA = .08, SRMR = .06. Change in
the model fi t was insignificant based on the addition of the latent common method factor, χ2 (2) = 2.95, p
> .05, which signifies that our findings were unaffected by the common measurement method. The
supervisor reported variable, in-role job performance of subordinates, provided similar results. The fi ts
for the measurement model without the inclusion of a latent methods factor, χ2 (5) = 19.89, p < .001; CFI
= .97, SRMR = .03, RMSEA = .08, and the measurement model with a latent methods factor, χ2 (3) =
17.23, p < .001; CFI = .97, SRMR = .03, RMSEA = .08, were not much different. A chi-square difference
test based on the addition of the latent common method factor also indicated the insignificant
improvement in the model fi t: χ2 (2) = 2.66, p > .05. Thus, CMV was determined unbiased in our
findings.

Subsequently, following the procedures recommended by Kline (2005), we tested the


measurement model with a confirmatory factor analysis, which revealed acceptable fi t to the data: χ2
(360) = 908.60, p < .001; CFI = .89, TLI =.83, RMSEA = .08, SRMR = .06. Finally, Figure 2 shows the
results of the structural model depicting good fi t to the data: χ2 (366) = 920.69, p>.05, providing support
for the structural model.

4.0 Discussion

The vital role of appraisal feedback is widely recognized in the performance appraisal process, as
is the significance of studying reactions to feedback; in this context, the absence of research on FOS
measures’ interaction with performance was the major motivation for this study. We investigated this
ignored area of research by examining the probable impacts of satisfaction with feedback—in particular
its mediating role between FOS measures and performance. Applying FOS measures to performance
measurement offers a distinctive perspective on the previous work on performance measurement. The
significance of feedback orientation for understanding this work has been apparent for years; nonetheless,
the specific theoretical implications for performance improvement and its link with satisfaction with
feedback from an HRD viewpoint have not been much discussed.
We found that all the study constructs—utility, accountability, self-efficacy, and social awareness
including satisfaction with feedback—had positively significant impacts on performance, consistent with
our Hypotheses 1 through 5. Although Jawahar (2010) could not find a significant relationship between
perceived utility of feedback and performance, in line with Keeping and Levy’s (2000) argument that
performance could be affected by perceived utility, our results extend the linkage between an individual’s
exposure to the benefi ts of feedback and increased in-role performance. Similarly, according to
Linderbaum and Levy (2010), social awareness is positively linked with self-monitoring, while Day,
Shleicher, Unckless, and Hiller (2002) found selfmonitoring to be related to improved performance,
which supports our fi nding that a sense of social awareness can positively impact the performance of
employees.

In-role performance ratings may highly be related to the feedback that has been provided earlier
so that it is possible that the found results can be explained by feedback valence/desirability. However,
providing negative or constructive feedback cannot be avoided by managers, yet expect positive
employee reaction to it (Elicker, Levy, & Hall, 2006). Explaining positive reactions based only on level
of ratings indicates that there will be similar responses of all individuals receiving the same feedback
(Jawahar, 2010). Individual differences of feedback receivers that might be linked with satisfaction with
feedback and performance, irrespective of the nature of the feedback, can also be important
considerations. Thus, the current article developed a model of employees’ feedback orientation and
satisfaction with feedback in shaping employee performance that underlines the importance for HRD
practitioners

5.0 Conclusion

Feedback orientation is a largely unexplored area in the performance management literature. Our
study provides considerable support for the proposition that understanding of the perceptions of
individual receivers toward the performance appraisal feedback is imperative, and it is valuable to
consider the relationship between feedback orientation and performance as well as the mediating role of
satisfaction with feedback. This implies that there are opportunities for further research on the effects of
feedback receivers’ perceptions on performance. Further consideration of feedback orientation in this
domain will support researchers and HRD practitioners to move away from traditional approaches to
employee development and develop new innovative practices.

Reference:

Rasheed, A., Khan, S.-U.-R., Rasheed, M. F., & Munir, Y. (2015). “The Impact of Feedback Orientation
and the Effect of Satisfaction With Feedback on In-Role Job Performance. Human Resource

Development Quarterly”, 26(1), 31–51. doi:10.1002/hrdq.21202