International Journal of Business and Social Science

ISSN 2219-1933 (Print), 2219-6021 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijbss

Fifty Years and Going Strong: What Makes Behaviorally Anchored Rating Scales So Perennial as an Appraisal Method?
Sukumar C. Debnath, B. Brian Lee, Sudhir Tandon

Behaviorally anchored rating scales (BARS), compared to other appraisal methods, have the most potential to be an integral part of human resource management functions and contribute significantly to organizational success. It is not an accident that the BARS method has proved to be perennial and resilient in terms of survival over the last fifty years, and continues to sustain the interest of researchers and practitioners alike. Based on a synthesis of the existing literature, this paper explores the reasons underlying its resiliency. The paper provides a unique perspective by bringing together the more obvious factors and also unearthing rather implicit qualities, rarely emphasized elsewhere, which make BARS a perennial appraisal method. The implications of the findings (from motivational, equity, and utility perspectives) as well as challenges and future research needs are also discussed.

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