Multitasking Incentives and the Informative Value of Subjective Performance Evaluations

Shingo Takahashi*, Hideo Owan, Tsuyoshi Tsuru, Katsuhito Uehara

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Using personnel records from a car sales company, this study shows that subjective performance evaluations of sales representatives are less sensitive to objectively measured sales in the presence of hard-to-measure, non-sales tasks. Findings confirm that supervisors use the evaluations to incentivize employees to pursue these tasks, such as mentoring junior representatives and building long-term customer relationships. The authors show that subjective evaluations predict future sales, suggesting that the evaluations have informative content related to actual worker performance. The authors find that the response of workers who receive lower-than-expected evaluations differs by supervisor experience: Those who are evaluated by inexperienced supervisors quit more often, whereas those who are evaluated by experienced supervisors respond with lower sales in the next period, even though distribution of evaluations does not vary by supervisor experience. Results are consistent with the interpretation that experienced supervisors are better able to communicate with workers to induce desired behavior.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)511-543
Number of pages33
JournalILR Review
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2021 Mar
Externally publishedYes


  • evaluation bias
  • incentives
  • multitasking
  • subjective evaluation
  • voluntary quits

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Strategy and Management
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
  • Management of Technology and Innovation


Dive into the research topics of 'Multitasking Incentives and the Informative Value of Subjective Performance Evaluations'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this