24 Using 360-Degree Feedback as a Development Tool

Clive Fletcher


Multisource, multirater (MSMR) feedback, also known as 360-degree feedback (the terms will be used interchangeably here) was scarcely heard of before 1980 and went through an explosive growth in use from the 1990s onwards, to the point where it is now a commonplace feature of the HR scene in the UK, the US, and many other countries. Essentially, such feedback refers to a process whereby an individual (usually referred to as the focal manager) completes a self-rating on behaviors associated with each of several competencies, and is also rated on those same behaviors by bosses, peers, subordinates, and team members – and in some instances by customers or other stakeholders too. These colleagues may also add written comments as well as ratings. All this data is pulled together in a report that allows the focal manager to see how their colleagues view them and how this contrasts with their self-view. Originally, the aim of this was in most cases a development exercise for the focal manager, but increasingly it has been used as an input to the formal appraisal process (Fletcher, 2001).Whilst this chapter focuses on MSMR feedback as an aid to development, that development can come from such feedback being used for varying reasons – including appraisal – and in varying ways. Moreover, much of what might be said about it applies to the study of feedback processes in general, as can be seen in Chapter ...

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