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While there is a robust business management research field on rater motivation related to personnel appraisals, almost no research in the public sector exists on this topic. This paper makes the case for a theory based, on the public sector, and offers a preliminary model of rater motivation focused on the performance appraisal context. Expansion and empirical testing of comprehensive models of rater motivation is also offered and comparative perspective is sought by accounting for organization culture differences between the U.S. and Korea public organizations. The rater motivation theory, in this study, is built using three primary factors related to how accurately a supervisor is willing to conduct a performance appraisal: 1) incentive structure (incentives and disincentives), 2) felt accountability, and, 3) public service motivation. The main interest is how the three primary factors affect the outcome of perceived performance rating accuracy of the raters. In addition, this study also examines the variations in perceived rating accuracy depending on the existence of a reward system for accurate appraisers and a forced distribution rating system. The logics of Vroom's expectancy theory and Skinner's reinforcement theory are used in explaining the relationship between variables. The findings suggest that all three determinants of rater motivation positively affected perceived performance rating accuracy of the raters. Also, it was revealed that the presence of a forced distribution system negatively influenced the rating accuracy. The availability of reward systems for accurate appraisers also had a positive influence on perceived rating accuracy but was only partially supported. Contradictory to this study's expectation, raters in U.S. generally perceived lower rating accuracy than Korean raters. Overall, the findings contribute to developing a preliminary comprehensive model of rater motivation designed for the public sector, and they have implications for both the public administration literature and practice.
Felt accountability, Motivation, Performance appraisal, Public service motivation
Date of Defense
March 20, 2013.
A Dissertation submitted to the Askew School of Public Administration and Policy in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
Includes bibliographical references.
Frances S. Berry, Professor Directing Dissertation; Gerald R. Ferris, University Representative; James S. Bowman, Committee Member; Kaifeng Yang, Committee Member.
Florida State University
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