The moderating role of decision mode in subjective performance evaluation

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We use eye tracking technology to provide a better understanding of cognitive processes behind biases in subjective performance evaluation. In our experiment, subjective performance evaluation involves a supervisor evaluating the office administration performance of a subordinate. Consistent with previous literature, we find that the subjective evaluation of subordinate performance is influenced by performance on an unrelated objective measure used to evaluate the subordinate (spill-over). We predict and provide evidence that the supervisor's decision modes (intuition versus deliberation) interact with the level of performance on the objective performance measure to determine the subjective performance evaluation and the magnitude of the spill-over. Specifically, we find that individuals who use more effortful, deliberate decision modes show lower levels of spill-over. As such, we contribute to the accounting literature by examining how biases in performance evaluation can be reduced and showing ways to capture cognitive processes accompanying those biases more precisely.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalManagement Accounting Research
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2018


  • Eye tracking
  • Performance measurement
  • Spill-over effect
  • Subjective performance evaluation

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