Date of Award
Doctor of Philosophy
Dr. Dale M. Brethower
Dr. Alyce M. Dickinson
Dr. John Austin
Dr. Maria Malott
Performance measurement approaches such as the Balanced Scorecard (BSC) offer a format for attending to a few performance metrics rather than several different performance indicators. While the BSC approach offers a nice format for tracking performance, it does not provide a conceptual framework for improving performance. That framework can be found in Behavioral Systems Analysis. The Total Performance System emphasizes the importance of internal and external feedback in improving performance. Several studies have investigated feedback interventions in organizational settings. The intervention found to be most effective is a combination of feedback, goals, and consequences. The purpose of the current study was to investigate the effectiveness of a combination of feedback, goals, and consequences in improving the performance of four small businesses.
The participants in this study were four chimney restoration companies. The setting was the office of the supplier who provided restoration materials to participants. The dependent variables were the number of marketing contacts, the number of estimates, the volume of completed work, and the volume of backlog work. The independent variable was a combination of feedback, goals, and consequences. The participating companies received feedback on the most recent 13 weeks of performance. Companies were given weekly feedback for each of the dependent measures. A goal line appeared on each feedback graph. If the company met or exceeded the goal on 13 (52 possible) occasions then it qualified for a discount of $0.50 per bag on purchases of chimney restoration mix. If the company met or exceeded the goal on at least 33 occasions it received a discount of $1.00 per bag.
The combination of feedback, goals, and consequences yielded no improvement in the dependent measures for the companies participating in this study. Companies #2 and #4 stopped submitting performance data early in the intervention. In general, the performance of Companies #1 and #3 was unaffected. Based upon the results obtained in this study, it is not possible to conclude that the intervention was effective in improving the performance of the participants. The implications of this study for future research, as well as the implications for small businesses are discussed.
Nolan, Timothy V., "The Effects of a Combination of Feedback, Goals, and Consequences on the Performance of Four Small Businesses" (1999). Dissertations. 1525.