Using 360 degree peer review to validate self-reporting in human capital measurement
Purpose - The purpose of this paper is to address the subjectivity inherent in existing methods of human capital value measurement (HCVM) by proposing 360 degree peer review as a method to validate self-reporting in HCVM surveys.
Design/methodology/approach - The case study is based on a survey of a section of the Royal Australian Navy. The sample was 118 respondents who were mainly engineering and technical workers, and included both civilian and uniform.
Findings - The research may be summarised in three main findings. First, we confirm previous research demonstrating that correlations between self and other-ratings tend to be low. However, while previous research has found that self-rating tends to be higher than other-rating, we found the opposite: other-rating was higher than self-rating. Second, we discount personality as an influencing variable in self-rating of knowledge. Third, there are patterns in the size of the discrepancy by knowledge dimension (i.e. employee capability, employee sustainability etc) that allow us to generalize about the adjustment necessary to find an accurate self-other rating of knowledge.
Research limitations/implications - The findings are based on a single case study and are therefore an exercise in theory development rather than theory testing.
Practical implications - The 360 degree peer review rating of knowledge has considerable application. First, use the outcomes in the way 360 degree feedback has been traditionally used; i.e. identifying training needs assessment, job analysis, performance appraisal, or managerial and leadership development. Second, use it for performance appraisal - given the method's capacity to identify issues at a very finite level: e.g. are you building effective relationships with customers? Third, identify knowledge gaps, at a strategic level, for recruitment and development targets. Finally, in terms of financial decisions investors might be able to compare knowledge scores by organization.
Originality/value - Traditionally, researchers and practitioners have used other-ratings as a tool for identifying training and development needs. In this paper, we have introduced other-ratings as a method for validating self-rating in the measurement of knowledge. Our objective was to address one of the weaknesses in existing methods - subjectivity. Our solution to this problem was to use three data points - self-reporting, 360 degree peer review, and personality ratings - to validate the measurement of individuals' human capital. This triangulation method aims to introduce objectivity to survey methods, making it a value measurement rather than value assessment.
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