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You will be doing a self-assessment as well as applying the concepts from the module to your own organization. The checklist on page 37 of Fleenor, et al. is especially important for this assignment. It’s one of the uploaded documents.

This assignment has five sections. For each section, the suggested length is one half to one full page, for a total length of at least four pages not including the title page and references. You should also make sure to cite Fleenor, et al. (2008) and other sources multiple times throughout the paper as well as any additional references that you find:

1. Most 360-degree surveys are not free and in fact are very expensive if you want to get a license to use them at your organization. However, there are a few free sample 360-degree surveys out there. Do a search on Google or other search engines using terms such as “free 360-degree feedback survey.” Find two or three free surveys and choose one of them that you think would be most applicable to your organization. Explain the reasoning for your choice and try to use criteria from the readings such as the checklists from Fleenor, et al. (2008, p. 37).

2. Now take the survey that you chose in your answer to Question 2 above. Fill out the survey as a self-evaluation – that is, use the survey to evaluate your own leadership skills and other skills. Report the results of your survey. Do you think the survey was useful? What areas for improvement in your leadership skills did you find from using the survey?

3. As a next step, fill out the survey again, but this time evaluate your current supervisor or a previous supervisor that you worked with. Report your results. Were the results fair to your supervisor? What are the main areas for improvement for your supervisor based on your results?

4. Now that you have taken the survey twice, what areas for improvement would you make for it before using it again? Would you change the wording of the questions? Any questions that you would add? Use the concepts from Fleenor, et al. (2008) as well as your own experiences filling out the survey to assess the usefulness of the survey that you took.

5. Finally, take a look at pages 65-69 of Fleenor, et al. (2008) where they discuss issues, advantages and disadvantages of 360 degree assessment surveys. Which issues do you think would apply to your organization and the leaders you work with? How might you overcome these issues if you were to lead a 360-degree survey process in your organization? Next Start or as Soon as Possible.

c h a p t e r

F I V E

65

� Current Issues and Future Directions for 360 – Degree Feedback

Despite its long history, the process of using 360 – degree feedback for development has not settled into a complacent, accepted practice. Several issues are still debated within the community of HR

professionals, providers, researchers, scholars, and others about its

use, its place in development, and its effect. Three important issues are

the merits of re – administering 360 – degree feedback instruments over

a period of time, the usefulness of creating norms among participants

in a 360 – degree feedback process, and what it means to have agree-

ment or disagreement between rater and participant responses.

In addition, there are several trends that may infl uence the design and use of

360 – degree feedback processes in the future. These trends include a shift organi-

zations are making toward customized instruments and away from off – the – shelf

solutions, and the growing use of comments to add to the numerical ratings.

RE – ADMINISTERING ASSESSMENTS The re – administration of 360 – degree feedback involves having the participants

go through the process again after a period of time (after one year, for example).

There are advantages and disadvantages to re – administering surveys. Advantages

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Fleenor, J. W., Taylor, S., Chappelow, C., Fleenor, J. W., & Taylor, S. (2008). Leveraging the impact of 360-degree feedback. ProQuest Ebook Central <a onclick=window.open(‘http://ebookcentral.proquest.com’,’_blank’) href=’http://ebookcentral.proquest.com’ target=’_blank’ style=’cursor: pointer;’>http://ebookcentral.proquest.com</a> Created from trident on 2021-01-19 08:37:57.

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66 Leveraging the Impact of 360-Degree Feedback

include the ability to spot development trends in individuals and groups, and

disadvantages include (1) raters having different expectations the second time

around, which infl uences their feedback and (2) changes in the organization that

may affect how the feedback is interpreted when the instrument is used at two

points in time.

Advantages There are defi nite benefi ts to re – administering a 360 – degree feedback survey. The

re – administration will allow the recipients to focus on trends by comparing

the data from the two surveys. This can be valuable in helping the participants

determine whether they have improved in the areas targeted for development.

Re – administration can provide valuable training evaluation data by tracking the

progress in groups of employees over time. It also encourages feedback recipi-

ents to make self – development a continuous process. CCL recommends that

360 – degree feedback become an ongoing process that is administered on a regu-

lar basis throughout the organization.

Disadvantages There is an old adage: When you measure something, you change it. Instru-

ment reactivity refers to the way an instrument reacts when it is administered

to the same people a second time. This may be particularly true in the case of

a 360 – degree feedback instrument. Because both the participants and raters

have experienced the process before, they may react differently than they did

the fi rst time around. For example, raters may expect that the participants have

improved their leadership effectiveness as the result of going through the

development process. This expectation may result in the raters being stricter

when providing their ratings. So participants who have actually improved their

leadership effectiveness may be rated the same or even lower than they were in

the initial assessment.

Temporal validity is the term used when referring to organizational changes

that occur between two uses of a 360 – degree survey. After a time of change, results

may be interpreted differently when a survey is used a second time. For example,

an organization may have gone through a transition such as downsizing, which

again may result in the raters being more stringent in their ratings. 5

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Fleenor, J. W., Taylor, S., Chappelow, C., Fleenor, J. W., & Taylor, S. (2008). Leveraging the impact of 360-degree feedback. ProQuest Ebook Central <a onclick=window.open(‘http://ebookcentral.proquest.com’,’_blank’) href=’http://ebookcentral.proquest.com’ target=’_blank’ style=’cursor: pointer;’>http://ebookcentral.proquest.com</a> Created from trident on 2021-01-19 08:37:57.

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Current Issues and Future Directions for 360 – Degree Feedback 67

CREATING NORMS Norms are a widely used feedback strategy with 360 – degree ratings, although

their relevance is sometimes questioned. Norms are usually based on the average

ratings on the scales of the 360 – degree feedback instrument for a group of indi-

viduals who are similar (usually in organizational level) to the feedback recipient.

By using the norms, the recipient can compare his or her ratings to those of the

group. Such comparisons help the recipient answer the question, How good are

my scores relative to the scores of others similar to myself?

For the comparison to be useful and accurate, it is important that the norm

group be appropriate for the participant. Comparing the scores of middle man-

agers to a norm base of senior managers, for example, may cause the middle

managers to draw negative conclusions about their competence that are not

appropriate. Thus, it is important to know whether the norms used for com-

parison are appropriate for your target group.

Comparisons to norms can take two forms: standard scores and percentile

rankings. A standard score is a statistical computation that allows individual

scores to be compared to a distribution of scores based on the mean and standard

deviation of the total sample. A percentile ranking represents the percentage of

persons who have lower scores than the individual being ranked.

CCL believes that appropriate norms are important to help participants under-

stand how their scores compare to the scores of others who are similar to them.

This comparison helps them understand whether the competency under consid-

eration is a strength or a development need and helps them identify competencies

that they should be focusing on for development.

AGREEMENT BETWEEN SELF – RATINGS AND THE RATINGS OF OTHERS A continuing controversy is the extent to which self – other agreement (or lack of

agreement) is related to performance on the job. It has been thought that individ-

uals whose self – ratings are in agreement with the ratings of others are more

effective as leaders, because they have greater self – awareness than those whose

self – ratings are not in agreement (Van Velsor, Taylor, & Leslie, 1993). The relation-

ship between self – ratings, others ’ ratings, and leadership effectiveness, however,

c05.indd 67c05.indd 67 2/11/08 3:03:30 PM2/11/08 3:03:30 PM

Fleenor, J. W., Taylor, S., Chappelow, C., Fleenor, J. W., & Taylor, S. (2008). Leveraging the impact of 360-degree feedback. ProQuest Ebook Central <a onclick=window.open(‘http://ebookcentral.proquest.com’,’_blank’) href=’http://ebookcentral.proquest.com’ target=’_blank’ style=’cursor: pointer;’>http://ebookcentral.proquest.com</a> Created from trident on 2021-01-19 08:37:57.

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68 Leveraging the Impact of 360-Degree Feedback

appears to be somewhat more complex than previously thought (Atwater, Ostroff,

Yammarino, & Fleenor, 1998). Resolving this debate requires more research (for

example, Atkins & Wood, 2002).

Atwater, Brett, and Charles (2007) found that, for participants receiving low

ratings from others, those who over – rated themselves were more motivated to

change their behavior than participants who gave themselves low ratings. The

over – raters, however, were found to have more negative reactions to the feedback

than those who did not over – rate themselves.

Luthans and Peterson (2003) found that a coaching session that analyzed self –

other rating agreement encouraged participants to analyze discrepancies and set

goals based on what they learned about themselves. Those who received coaching

saw signifi cant improvements in job satisfaction and commitment, as well as in

the attitudes of their direct reports.

THE FUTURE OF 360 – DEGREE FEEDBACK Several trends give some indication of the future of 360 – degree feedback. These

trends include

A move from centralized scoring services to web – based assessment

A move from standardized, off – the – shelf instruments to assessments that are

customized online for specifi c organizations

A move from using 360 – degree feedback only with upper – and middle – level

management to use with all levels of employees

A move from presenting only quantitative assessment data to also including

written comments

A belief that 360 feedback can do more than develop leaders and that it can

have a positive trickle – down effect on the entire organization

IMPLICATIONS AND APPLICATIONS This book has presented CCL ’ s perspective on how to best implement the 360 –

degree feedback process. We hope the recommendations in the book will assist

practitioners in organizations in understanding and implementing 360 – degree

feedback.

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Fleenor, J. W., Taylor, S., Chappelow, C., Fleenor, J. W., & Taylor, S. (2008). Leveraging the impact of 360-degree feedback. ProQuest Ebook Central <a onclick=window.open(‘http://ebookcentral.proquest.com’,’_blank’) href=’http://ebookcentral.proquest.com’ target=’_blank’ style=’cursor: pointer;’>http://ebookcentral.proquest.com</a> Created from trident on 2021-01-19 08:37:57.

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Current Issues and Future Directions for 360 – Degree Feedback 69

In this book, we stress the need for organizations to consider how their business

goals align with their goals for implementing 360 feedback. The climate of the

organization is critical to the success of 360 feedback. For example, how well does

the organization facilitate the feedback process and encourage developmental

planning following the feedback? We suggest that professional feedback coaches

be used to accomplish these goals.

While research has enlightened the 360 feedback process, many questions remain

regarding its implementation. Additional research is needed to fully understand

how 360 – degree feedback works. For example, what is the best way to ensure that

participants will carry out their development plans back on the job? And what is

the best method for encouraging raters (peers, direct reports) to fully participate

in the process? While these issues are being researched, we encourage practitioners

to apply the recommendations in this book to improve the 360 – degree feedback

process and increase the effectiveness of employees in their organizations.

c05.indd 69c05.indd 69 2/11/08 3:03:31 PM2/11/08 3:03:31 PM

Fleenor, J. W., Taylor, S., Chappelow, C., Fleenor, J. W., & Taylor, S. (2008). Leveraging the impact of 360-degree feedback. ProQuest Ebook Central <a onclick=window.open(‘http://ebookcentral.proquest.com’,’_blank’) href=’http://ebookcentral.proquest.com’ target=’_blank’ style=’cursor: pointer;’>http://ebookcentral.proquest.com</a> Created from trident on 2021-01-19 08:37:57.

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c05.indd 70c05.indd 70 2/11/08 3:03:31 PM2/11/08 3:03:31 PM

Fleenor, J. W., Taylor, S., Chappelow, C., Fleenor, J. W., & Taylor, S. (2008). Leveraging the impact of 360-degree feedback. ProQuest Ebook Central <a onclick=window.open(‘http://ebookcentral.proquest.com’,’_blank’) href=’http://ebookcentral.proquest.com’ target=’_blank’ style=’cursor: pointer;’>http://ebookcentral.proquest.com</a> Created from trident on 2021-01-19 08:37:57.

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Leveraging the Impact of 360-Degree Feedback36

STANDARDIZED OR CUSTOMIZED INSTRUMENTS An organization can choose an existing, standardized assessment instrument

(sometimes called off – the – shelf solutions) or have an instrument custom designed

for its use. Unfortunately, there is no such thing as the perfect instrument, and

there are advantages and disadvantages to both types.

A primary advantage to using a standardized instrument is cost; it is often less

expensive than a customized alternative. Also, an existing 360 – degree feedback

instrument can provide extensive normative data, so participants have the oppor-

tunity to compare their scores to many other managers in other organizations.

Standardized Tools Standardized instruments have been created to be sold directly to individuals or

organizations that wish to implement 360 – degree feedback. The availability of

off – the – shelf instruments is increasing at a rapid pace. If you decide to use such

an instrument, your fi rst task is to learn what instruments are available in order

to choose the best possible tool for your organization. Use the Standardized

Instrument Checklist (see Exhibit 2.8 ) to record your notes about the standard-

ized feedback tools you are considering.

Customized Tools An alternative to using an off – the – shelf instrument is to create a survey specifi –

cally designed for the organization. A customized instrument has an advantage

over a standardized one in that it is designed to measure competencies that are

important and specifi c to the organization (Chappelow, 2004).

At fi rst glance, this may seem to be the best choice. An organization is like a

family: it likes to think that it is unique in its best qualities and in its dysfunctions,

and that no off – the – shelf instrument can capture its particular essence. While it is

not diffi cult for an organization to come up with a list of important competen-

cies, the diffi culty lies in creating the survey, scoring program, and developmental

materials that are needed for a successful 360 process.

In addition to the logistical challenges of creating a customized instrument,

validity and reliability studies must be conducted to ensure that the instrument is

psychometrically sound, that is, reliable and valid. (Reliability is the consistency

or stability of the data collected by the instrument; validity is the extent to which

the instrument measures what it is supposed to measure and the appropriate use

c02.indd 36c02.indd 36 2/11/08 12:51:36 PM2/11/08 12:51:36 PM

Fleenor, J. W., Taylor, S., Chappelow, C., Fleenor, J. W., & Taylor, S. (2008). Leveraging the impact of 360-degree feedback. ProQuest Ebook Central <a onclick=window.open(‘http://ebookcentral.proquest.com’,’_blank’) href=’http://ebookcentral.proquest.com’ target=’_blank’ style=’cursor: pointer;’>http://ebookcentral.proquest.com</a> Created from trident on 2021-01-19 08:35:48.

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Implementing a 360 – Degree Feedback Process 37

Exhibit 2.8. Standardized Instrument Checklist

Date:

Instrument:

____The items and scales make sense to our organization (they have face

validity).

____The competencies the instrument assesses are relevant to the behaviors

we want to change in our organization.

____The competencies it assesses are related to our organization’s underly-

ing management model.

____The data will be meaningful to our managers. It will be perceived as

consistent and accurate.

____The behaviors assessed are amenable to change.

____The provider has suitable experience and expertise with the instrument,

target audience, and subject matter.

Leveraging the Impact of 360-Degree Feedback. Copyright © 2008 by Center for Creative Leadership. R eproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com

of the results.) Some organizations fail to conduct these studies; however, this

approach is extremely shortsighted. If the organization expects its employees to

be open and to make changes based on the feedback, it must provide evidence

that these changes are actually the ones that are needed.

Demonstrated reliability and validity are essential for an effective and defen-

sible 360 – degree feedback process. It ’ s counterproductive to give employees

feedback that is based on unstable and inaccurate data. Designing a reliable and

valid survey requires the involvement of an expert in instrument development.

A doctoral degree in psychology, educational measurement, or a related fi eld is

usually required. If the organization doesn ’ t have this expertise internally, it may

have to hire the services of a consultant who has the necessary training and

experience.

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Fleenor, J. W., Taylor, S., Chappelow, C., Fleenor, J. W., & Taylor, S. (2008). Leveraging the impact of 360-degree feedback. ProQuest Ebook Central <a onclick=window.open(‘http://ebookcentral.proquest.com’,’_blank’) href=’http://ebookcentral.proquest.com’ target=’_blank’ style=’cursor: pointer;’>http://ebookcentral.proquest.com</a> Created from trident on 2021-01-19 08:35:48.

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Leveraging the Impact of 360-Degree Feedback38

Much of this expense and diffi culty can be avoided by using a customizable

instrument offered by a provider of 360 – feedback services. These instruments

allow the selection of desired competencies from a collection of competencies

that have been tested for reliability and validity. The content and length of a cus-

tomized instrument can be tailored by selecting important competencies and

combining them to create an assessment that closely refl ects the needs of the

organization. All of the guidelines that apply to selecting an off – the – shelf instru-

ment apply to customizable instruments, and you can use the Customizable

Instrument Checklist (see Exhibit 2.9 ) to expand your analysis of instruments

you are considering.

Exhibit 2.9. Customizable Instrument Checklist

Date:

Instrument / Provider:

• Does the application require both paper and online options, and does

the assessment provide both options?

• What customization options exist?

• Can e-mails and greetings be personalized?

• Can the website be branded for your initiative?

• Is the software hosted or must you install it at your site?

• What are the technology requirements to access and use the software?

• What administrative capabilities are available to you?

• How is project status monitored?

• What report options are available?

• How long does it take to set up your survey once customization choices

have been made?

Leveraging the Impact of 360-Degree Feedback. Copyright © 2008 by Center for Creative Leadership. R eproduced by permission of Pfeiffer, an Imprint of Wiley. www.pfeiffer.com

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Fleenor, J. W., Taylor, S., Chappelow, C., Fleenor, J. W., & Taylor, S. (2008). Leveraging the impact of 360-degree feedback. ProQuest Ebook Central <a onclick=window.open(‘http://ebookcentral.proquest.com’,’_blank’) href=’http://ebookcentral.proquest.com’ target=’_blank’ style=’cursor: pointer;’>http://ebookcentral.proquest.com</a> Created from trident on 2021-01-19 08:35:48.

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