Time To Change the Bathwater: Correcting Misconceptions About Performance Ratings

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Recent commentary has suggested that performance management (PM) is fundamentally “broken,” with negative feelings from managers and employees toward the process at an all-time high (Pulakos, Hanson, Arad, & Moye, ; Pulakos & O'Leary, ). In response, some high-profile organizations have decided to eliminate performance ratings altogether as a solution to the growing disenchantment. Adler et al. () offer arguments both in support of and against eliminating performance ratings in organizations. Although both sides of the debate in the focal article make some strong arguments both for and against utilizing performance ratings in organizations, we believe there continue to be misunderstandings, mischaracterizations, and misinformation with respect to some of the measurement issues in PM. We offer the following commentary not to persuade readers to adopt one particular side over another but as a call to critically reconsider and reevaluate some of the assumptions underlying measurement issues in PM and to dispel some of the pervasive beliefs throughout the performance rating literature.