Employee Ranking Systems LO16522

LonBadgett (LonBadgett@aol.com)
Tue, 13 Jan 1998 11:21:01 EST

Replying to LO16503 --

Roxanne writes:
> I an aware that I have a fixed mental model on the issue of ranking and
> forced distribution? Please help me if any of you can see that I am
> missing something. Have I closed my mind on this issue so that I'm
> unable to see the positive benefits of these practices?

Well I too will admit a fixed mentality on this subject. My conclusion is
the same as yours, that the heavy price an organization pays by adhering
to ranking and forced distribution systems is not offset by the gains of
such practices.

Are there positive benefits to these practices? Undoubtedly anyone who
chooses to implement them must think so. But I have yet to see compelling
empirical data that supports such a decision. The justification I have
seen almost always takes the form of narrative testimony by the decision
maker responsible for the policy. I would be interested in seeing
predictive statements about the value of such policies that are tied to
meaningful measures of productivity and which do not ignore issues such as
morale, retention, creativity, worker flexibility, etc.

This is, I believe, an issue of value systems concerning the power and
authority of the decision maker. If a company is property and the
exercise of personal freedom of a property owner is unrestricted, then
decisions about forced rankings probably take a back seat to other
authoritarian practices. I have some philosophical trouble limiting the
right of property owners, but I also have difficulty justifying the
influence of an individual which is clearly counter to the needs of a
large group.


Lon Badgett lonbadgett@aol.com

Learning-org -- Hosted by Rick Karash <rkarash@karash.com> Public Dialog on Learning Organizations -- <http://www.learning-org.com>