360-degree rating systems are a commonly used method to evaluate individual
performance in many organizations. It involves the collection of feedback from the
individual's line manager, peers and subordinates, with the aim of providing a holistic
assessment of performance.
There are challenges that exist, as social identity biases of the rater could have an
influence on the accuracy and quality of the feedback provided. The situation is
compounded in terms of the importance of these impacts, when 360-degree feedback
is used as part of the process to determine promotional and remuneration decisions.
This situation is amplified within the South African context due to its history of
apartheid. Organizations have introduced diversity management programs in an
attempt to educate people about their biases, and ways to minimize the impacts of
these in the work environment.
A quantitative analysis of the responses of 143 males and females, who work at
various levels within organizations in different industries, and who are representative of
the major racial demographic groups in South Africa, revealed that social identity,
through the lens of race and gender had no significant impact on the quality of 360
The outcomes of this study indicated that in the presence of a diversity management
program in an organisation, that those individuals who were exposed to the influence of
such a program, reflected more socially acceptable attitudes in their feedback. More
specifically, African females were rated more favourably than other race groups. In
organizations that did not have a diversity program, White females were rated more
favourably. This will have a direct impact on the transformation agenda for the
organization and the country.
Mini Dissertation (MBA)--University of Pretoria, 2017.