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The performance appraisal congruency scale: an assessment of person‐environment fit

Hal J. Whiting (Bigby, Havis & Associates, Dallas, Texas, USA)
Theresa J.B. Kline (Department of Psychology, University of Calgary, Calgary, Canada)
Lorne M. Sulsky (School of Business and Economics, Wilfrid Laurier University, Waterloo, Canada)

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 7 March 2008




The purpose of this paper is to construct an instrument to assess employee‐perceived performance appraisal congruency and then to use the scale to predict employee attitudes about their performance appraisal systems.


The scale was developed using 28 subject‐matter experts and researcher knowledge of the extant literature. The scale was then completed by a sample of 135 individuals using internet administration.


Regression analyses showed that performance appraisal congruency predicted overall system satisfaction, perceived usefulness and fairness. Supplementary analyses of the performance appraisal congruency items were conducted so as to refine the original instrument for future research.

Research limitations/implications

Limitations of the study include: the interviews conducted to develop the instrument were conducted in a single organization; the study used an internet sample that was made up of university alumni; all measures were self‐report; and single item measures were used as the criterion variables. The findings support the utility of the use of the P‐E fit model in performance management systems. Future research should assess outcomes that would be of interest to organizations, such as the relationships with performance system satisfaction and employee commitment and turnover.

Practical implications

If employees perceive that the performance appraisal system is congruent with their expectations, then positive outcomes should be expected.


While congruency has been linked to important outcomes such as job satisfaction, organizational commitment, turnover intention, and actual turnover, it has not been used within a performance appraisal framework.



Whiting, H.J., Kline, T.J.B. and Sulsky, L.M. (2008), "The performance appraisal congruency scale: an assessment of person‐environment fit", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 57 No. 3, pp. 223-236.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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