Giving feedback to engineers



Title Giving feedback to engineers: a systematic review
Author(s) Garry M. MacDonald
Date 2011
Institution University of Prince Edward Island
Supervisor(s) Blake Jelley
Degree earned Master of Business Administration
Place published Charlottetown, P.E.I.
Abstract The present signature project investigated the topic of giving feedback to engineers through a systematic literature review. This review found twenty-four articles on the topic of feedback where the subjects of focus were engineers. An interpretation approach was used to synthesize the evidence. The interpretation helped reveal themes of effects on performance, perceptions, validity, and opinions. A summary of the salient finding follows. There are performance benefits when engineers receive non-threatening, constructive feedback. This occurs when engineers are able to engage in their own assessments, receive objective-oriented feedback, and receive personalized feedback. When engineers view feedback as sincere and constructive, they also perceive their performance appraisals to be more fair and accurate. In one study, a supervisor’s knowledge of the subordinate’s work, development of action plans related to performance weakness, and subordinate trust in supervisor, explained 42% of the variance in perceived fairness and accuracy. In addition to perceived fairness and accuracy, validity informs on actual fairness and accuracy. Supervisors that have more opportunity to observe an engineer’s performance give appraisals that have greater validity. Organizations that have employees rated within the top tier or bottom tier of performance, and the race of employees also have implications for validity. The paper concludes with a discussion and recommendations for practitioners.
Use/Reproduction In presenting this signature project report in partial fulfilment of the requirements for a Master of Business Administration degree from the University of Prince Edward Island, the author has agreed that the Robertson Library, University of Prince Edward Island, may make this signature project freely available for inspection and gives permission to add an electronic version of the signature project to the Digital Repository at the University of Prince Edward Island. Moreover the author further agrees that permission for extensive copying of this signature project report for scholarly purposes may be granted by the professor or professors who supervised the project work, or, in their absence, by the Dean of the School of Business. It is understood that any copying or publication or use of this signature project report or parts thereof for financial gain shall not be allowed without the author's written permission. It is also understood that due recognition shall be given to the author and to the University of Prince Edward Island in any scholarly use which may be made of any material in the author's report.

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