360-Degree Feedback: An Integrated Perspective
Over the past few years, the practice of multi-rater feedback has swept through American industry. In many companies, the development of a 360-degree feedback approach has been undertaken deliberately. In others, it has been adopted impulsively as the “in thing” to do. In these latter instances, the focus is on administering a feedback instrument, not ensuring the development of employees. It is on obtaining feedback, not ensuring that the feedback directs attention towards the strategic competences needed by the company for future success. Effective feedback systems must be under-taken deliberately. In addition to traditional concerns for measurement validity and reliability, strategic and systemic issues must be considered. For example, the measured characteristics and behaviors must be related to the organization’s strategic objectives and culture, and the feedback process must be supported by tools which facilitate the analysis and interpretation of the data and develop-mental planning. The remainder of this article describes an approach implemented by an operating division of Tenneco, a diversified industrial growth company in the USA. One operating division of the company under-took the development of a 360-degree feedback process for its supervisors and managers to reinforce the culture characterized by the nine leadership clusters. It began by developing more detailed competences to illustrate the behaviors desired in the leadership clusters. These behaviors were published in the form of a “leadership profile” for the division’s supervisors and managers. Figure 1presents a portion of this profile.
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