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Unpacking the notion of subjectivity: performance evaluation and supervisor discretion
journal contributionposted on 2017-11-01, 00:00 authored by Vincent Bicudo de CastroVincent Bicudo de Castro
This study puts forward the notion of subjectivity according to supervisor discretion and the organization's subjective performance evaluation rules. This is needed because most studies investigating subjectivity do not distinguish supervisor idiosyncrasies from features of the organization's management control systems. This study uses a survey to capture subjectivity and suggests that subjectivity entails two concepts. One concept is related to the amount of discretion that supervisors can exercise under the organization's current performance evaluation. The other concept concerns supervisor's idiosyncrasies when evaluating subordinates. This study provides evidence that subjectivity is multidimensional and may not represent a single concept. The results suggest that studies investigating subjectivity should treat supervisor discretion and subjective performance evaluation rules separately because of their different associations towards subordinate performance, psychological empowerment, and supervisor-subordinate conflict.