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On the Folly of Linear Rating Scales for a Nonlinear World

  • Kaiser Leadership Solutions

Abstract and Figures

It seems like a blinding glimpse of the obvious to suggest that there are two basic classes of managerial performance problems: deficiencies and excesses. However, the kinds of rating scales typically used to assess performance, like those on 360-degree feedback surveys, don't reflect this reality. Through action research consulting to executives about their leadership, the authors have created and refined a solution to this oversight. In this chapter, they explain limitations with existing rating scales and then summarize their program of research that led to the development and validation of a new format that captures deficiencies and strengths as well as excesses--when strengths can become a weakness through overuse. This innovation in rating technology opens up new doors for leadership theory, research, and the practice of leadership development.
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