Management Control Systems, Evaluative Style, and Behaviour: Exploring the Concept and Behavioural Consequences of Evaluative Style Defended on Friday, 21 December 2007

Organisations develop and implement performance measurement and performance evaluation systems to motivate employees to take actions that -in the end- improve organisational (financial) performance. But do these systems really influence employee behaviour as intended? This thesis shows that to answer that question not only the design of the system should be considered, but also the manner in which managers within an organisation use the system. This book describes a study on the influence of evaluative style of leaders on subordinates’ behaviour. Evaluative style refers to the manner in which a leader evaluates the performance of subordinates, controlling for the specific design of the performance evaluation system and the broader organisational context. This study improves our understanding of the concept of evaluative style by defining evaluative style, similar to leadership style, as a (behavioural) characteristic of leaders. The study also improves our understanding of the influence of evaluative style on subordinates’ behaviour. A literature review first reveals six topics that help improve this understanding. Subsequently, these six topics are investigated in an empirical study at Van den Bergh Netherlands (VDBN) that involves twelve leaders and their subordinates. The findings show that different evaluative styles exist within VDBN. These styles influence subordinate’s trust in superior and perceived fairness of evaluation, but no effect is found on functional (learning) or dysfunctional behaviour. These findings are context-specific and cannot be generalised outside the context of VDBN. However, the six topics and the way in which these topics have been investigated within a specific organisational context can be generalised and are relevant for future research.


performance evaluation, leadership, evaluative style, reliance on accounting performance measures (RAPM), job related tension, job satisfaction, budget emphasis, trust, performance appraisal, performance assessment, fairness of evaluation, level of analysis, multilevel study

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