Seeing the Forest but Missing the Trees: The Role of Judgments in Performance Management

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Various solutions have been proposed to “fix” performance management (PM) over the last several decades. Pulakos, Mueller Hanson, Arad, and Moye (2015) have presented a holistic approach to improving PM in organizations. Although this approach addresses several key elements related to the social context of PM, namely the buy-in of organizational stakeholders, timely and regular feedback, and future-directed feedback, we believe that several robust findings from the PM research literature could further improve this process. Are Pulakos et al. looking at the forest but missing the trees? In the following commentary, we offer several reasons that performance judgments and perhaps even informal ratings are still operating and occurring in the proposed holistic system. Therefore, advancements in other areas of PM research may offer additional ways to fix PM.