Webster Industries

Published: 2021-06-29 07:05:09
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In the personnel reduction case at WI's, the most obvious flaw was the lack of objective assessment of the employees' performances due to the ineffectiveness of the Personal Appraisal System (PAS) and the Personal Audit. As described by Carter, the performance of an individual was determined mostly by the "perceptions" and "opinions" allowing much room for biases to shape the final decisions. This was similar to Carter Racing and Challenger Disaster case studies in that the decision makers substituted missing facts and information with their own heuristics to arrive at their conclusions. The analysis below evaluated the impact of availability heuristics and representativeness heuristics in the decision making process.
Firstly, due to the lack of any objective performance assessment, one would expect Carter and team's opinions to be strongly influenced by availability heuristics. Carter and his team were tasked to evaluate roughly 300 people with minimal record of their past performances. One could not expect them to recall explicitly the performances of 50 people over the span of multiple years. Employees were likely to receive performance ratings equivalent to the impressions that they had made in the recent months. Historical performance of the employee would have little significance compared to recency or vividness of an event. For example, the "peaked-out" employee likely had no significant accomplishments or failures, leaving little to no impression on the management team. Although the employee was a steady performer, flying under the raider would not get him any recognition. Carter and team would not assess him to be a high performer with high potential worthy of retention. Personnel who had a positive event in the recent months would likely end up at the top of the performance list due to the availability heuristic.

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