Culture is the key to 360-degree success, says IPD

Industrial and Commercial Training

ISSN: 0019-7858

Article publication date: 1 July 2000




(2000), "Culture is the key to 360-degree success, says IPD", Industrial and Commercial Training, Vol. 32 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

Culture is the key to 360-degree success, says IPD

Culture is the key to 360-degree success, says IPD

Keywords Corporate cultures, Feedback

Research from the Institute of Personnel and Development (IPD) shows that an organization's culture can mean the difference between success and failure for 360-degree feedback, where employees are assessed by all the people they work with – peers, customers and suppliers as well as line managers. Says Imogen Daniels of the IPD:

What our research has found is that culture and feedback are closely related.

Moving towards a more open culture is linked towards a greater acceptance of feedback – particularly 360 degree – but for that feedback to be most effective, it needs an open culture to encourage it.

360 Degree Feedback and Culture has built on previous IPD research into performance management and looks at six organizations which have been using 360-degree feedback for at least four years. Says Daniels:

What our 1998 research showed was that many organizations weren't satisfied with traditional top-down appraisals and were jumping into 360-degree feedback without considering all the issues – including culture. 360-degree feedback can be a valuable way to manage people's performance but that potential is lost if attention isn't paid to how organizational culture would affect the way 360-degree appraisal was introduced and accepted by their people.

Factors such as how people communicate, how they're trained in giving and receiving feedback and if senior managers act as role models all have a big impact on whether 360-degree feedback is going to work out or not.

What the new research is showing is that the organizations which succeed with 360-degree feedback are those which encourage an open culture where giving and receiving feedback at all levels is seen as normal and nothing to be afraid of.

Daniels continues:

Information from 360-degree feedback is still mainly used for developing people but increasingly it is beginning to be used for strategic planning such as training and resourcing. However, our research shows that there is no trend towards linking 360-degree feedback to decisions about pay and reward.

360 Degree Feedback and Culture is published by the IPD. It costs £11.95 per copy and is available from Plymbridge Distributors Ltd on +44(0)1752 202301, or on the IPD Web site at

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