Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Arts



First Advisor

Dr. Dale Brethower

Second Advisor

Dr. Norman Peterson

Access Setting

Masters Thesis-Open Access


The central theme of the research is the experimental manipulation of three different appraisal processes, namely positive, negative, and balanced appraisals to determine which evaluation tool would be perceived as most useful in motivating and stimulating employees to improve on their performance. Subjects were randomly assigned to groups and presented with scripts exemplifying three appraisal approaches and asked to evaluate the perceived effectiveness of each approach in producing a desired performance outcome. The results showed significant differences between the balanced approach and the other two approaches. However, there was no significant difference between the means of the positive versus negative evaluations. Thus the hypothesized superiority of the positive evaluations over negative evaluations was not borne out.

It is concluded on the basis of previous research and the current research that employees' active participation in the appraisal process itself coupled with the appraiser's ability to accurately describe performance and listen to employees' concerns should be an integral part of whatever approach is used in periodic evaluation of employee performance.