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Revista Psicologia Organizações e Trabalho

versão On-line ISSN 1984-6657

Rev. Psicol., Organ. Trab. vol.21 no.4 Brasília out./dez. 2021 



Empirical research on multisource feedback in performance appraisal: a literature review


Investigação empírica sobre feedback de múltiplas fontes na avaliação de desempenho: revisão de literatura


Investigación empírica sobre multisource feedback en la evaluación del desempeño: revisión de la literatura



Mariana Lobo MorenoI; Nuno Rebelo dos SantosII; Leonor Maria PaisI

IUniversidade de Coimbra, Portugal
IIUniversidade de Évora, Portugal

Information about the authors




Multi-source feedback (MSF) in performance appraisal (PA) enhances fair and objective PA processes. This literature review describes and characterizes the empirical research on MSF in PA processes or as a measurement tool, and proposes new and future research directions considering the gaps found. Using B-ON, EBSCO host and ProQuest and the keywords 'multisource or multi-source', 'performance', and 'appraisal or evaluation or assessment', 162 articles were obtained. After applying the inclusion and exclusion criteria, 37 articles were retained and analyzed. The results demonstrate that the implementation of MSF in PA has increased. It has a political component, allowing organizations to get closer to the concept of decent work and the 2030 Agenda, and a strategic component, enabling employees to increase their performance. In-depth knowledge of MSF in PA requires further studies on its psychometric properties; its cultural sensitivity; links with organizational strategy, policy, and philosophy; and long-term impact.

Keywords: multisource feedback, performance appraisal, literature review.


O feedback de múltiplas fontes (MSF) na avaliação de desempenho (AD) incrementa processos de AD objetivos e justos. Esta revisão de literatura descreve e caracteriza a investigação empírica sobre o MSF nos processos de AD ou como ferramenta de medição e propõe novas e futuras orientações de investigação tendo em conta as lacunas na literatura revista. Recorrendo à B-ON, EBSCO host e ProQuest e às palavras-chave: 'multisource or multi-source', 'performance', 'appraisal or evaluation or assessment', obtiveram-se 162 artigos. Após a aplicação dos critérios de inclusão e exclusão, 37 artigos foram retidos e analisados. Os resultados demonstram que a implementação do MSF na AD aumentou. Este tem uma componente política, permitindo às organizações aproximarem-se do conceito de trabalho digno e da agenda 2030, e uma componente estratégica, possibilitando aos colaboradores incrementar o seu desempenho. O conhecimento aprofundado do MSF na AD carece de mais estudos sobre as suas propriedades psicométricas, a sua sensibilidade cultural, ligação com a estratégia organizacional, política e filosofia, e impacto a longo prazo.

Palavras-chave: feedback de múltiplas fontes, avaliação de desempenho, revisão de literatura.


La retroalimentación de múltiples fuentes (MSF - Multisource Feedback) en la evaluación del desempeño (ED) mejora los procesos de ED objetivos y justos. Esta revisión de la literatura describe y caracteriza la investigación empírica sobre MSF en procesos de ED o como una herramienta de medición y propone nuevas y futuras direcciones de investigación teniendo en cuenta las brechas en la literatura revisada. Utilizando B-ON, EBSCO host y ProQuest y las palabras clave: 'multisource or multi-source', 'performance', 'appraisal or evaluation or assessment', se obtuvieron 162 artículos. Tras aplicar los criterios de inclusión y exclusión, se conservaron y analizaron 37 artículos. Los resultados demuestran que la implementación de MSF en ED ha aumentado. Esto tiene un componente político, que permite a las organizaciones acercarse al concepto de trabajo digno y de la agenda 2030, y un componente estratégico, que permite a los empleados incrementar su desempeño. El conocimiento profundo de MSF en ED carece de más estudios sobre sus propiedades psicométricas, su sensibilidad cultural, su vínculo con la estrategia organizacional, la política y la filosofía, y su impacto a largo plazo.

Palabras clave: retroalimentación de múltiples fuentes, evaluación del desempeño, revisión de la literatura.



Performance appraisal (PA), either informal or formal, is the process that allows organizations to assess employees' performance fairly, for development purposes or to justify decisions, for example. A formal PA with high quality contributes to organizations' development since it provides objectivity, transparency and fairness, interconnecting several human resource practices (dos Santos, 2011) and contributing to a required ethical organizational behavior (Francis, Mónico, Pais, & dos Santos, 2018; Magalhães, dos Santos, & Pais, 2019). A multisource PA system (MSF) refers to formal appraisal of an employee's performance from more than one source, and communication of the results. Its use has increased since the 90s, and sources may be internal (e.g., subordinates, peers, self or supervisors) or external (e.g., clients or patients) (Atwater, Waldman, & Brett, 2002; Loredana & Mirabela, 2015). MSF is used for development purposes and, its positive impact and advantages have been widely and positively recognized by managers (Atwater et al., 2002; Entrekin & Chung, 2001). MSF is seen as more objective, fair, reliable, and valid when compared with traditional PA - someone's performance rated only by his/her supervisor (Baruch & Harel, 1993; Görün et al., 2018). The quality of PA increases when several appraisals are combined (Baruch & Harel, 1993), as supported by empirical research (cf., Weekley & Gier, 1989). Also, several benefits are associated with, but not limited to, total quality management, knowledge of other's perception of one's performance, more transparent, fairer, and informative feedback, and effective communication (Görün, Kayar, & Varol, 2018).

In the current organizational context, described as more ambiguous, dynamic, and demanding, employees are expected to be proactive and autonomous. The present labor context has led to and has emphasized the importance of job crafting, empowering leadership and employee involvement and participation (Rohlfer, 2018; Srinivas & Ashok, 2018). MSF is tuned with these concepts by allowing their correct implementation, facilitation and by enhancing their benefits (Sharma & Kirkman, 2015; Srinivas & Ashok, 2018). Combining viewpoints empowers employees, stimulating their involvement and participation in decisions, feelings of competence, autonomy, and meaning of work (Rohlfer, 2018). By creating conditions for intra-organizational communication and providing information on areas of improvement, MSF nurtures feelings of control and ownership, enhancing the development of the competencies of those involved (Atwater et al., 2002; Sharma & Kirkman, 2015).

MSF is aligned with the decent work (DW) concept. Ferraro, Pais, dos Santos and Moreira (2018) define this through seven dimensions, covering all eleven substantive elements described by the International Labor Organization (ILO). DW is based on human rights at work and on ethical claims (Ferraro, Pais, & dos Santos, 2015), on its insertion on social, work, political and economic context (dos Santos, 2019; Pereira, dos Santos, & Pais, 2019; Ribeiro, 2020), on its ability to express workers' aspirations for their working lives (Ferraro, dos Santos, Pais, & Mónico, 2016) and to promote work engagement (Graça et al., 2019). The fair treatment of employees is one of the components of decent work considering the eleven substantive elements proposed by the ILO and the first dimension of the Ferraro et al. (2018) model. The seventh substantive element is named equal opportunity and treatment in employment (Ferraro et al., 2016). Also the first DW dimension is fundamental principles and values at work (Ferraro et al., 2018). Both are concerned with fair treatment at work and with participation in decisions that impact workers' lives, aligned with the MSF objective: to treat workers fairly (dos Santos, 2011). The 2030 Agenda guides human development until 2030, consisting of 17 sustainable development goals (SDG). The DW is the eighth objective (United Nations, 2000). A fair PA system is in tune with the requests and considerations of the treaties, declarations, and principles set out above. Therefore, its study, implementation, and practice are crucial to achieving DW and the 2030 goals. PA systems have been studied for several decades (cf. Reinhardt, 1985; Stratton, 1988), but none has focused on MSF. Therefore, besides being more recent, this work will focus on performance appraisal MSF empirical research, aiming to describe and characterize it and propose new and future research directions considering the gaps found.



The PRISMA Protocol is a guide to ensure methodological rigor in systematic reviews in healthcare (Moher et al., 2015). However, we found it inspiring and helpful to adapt to the psychological realm to guide our systematic literature review.

Intending to identify and collect peer-reviewed articles reporting empirical research (no time frame limitation), focused on MSF in Performance Appraisal, published until 31st of December 2019 in academic journals, we searched the following electronic platforms: B-On, EBSCO - host and Discovery, and Proquest. That search included the following academic publication databases: Academic Search Complete, Academic Search Ultimate, American Chemical Society, American Institute of Physics, Annual Reviews, Association for Computing Machinery, Business Source Complete, Business Source Ultimate, Cinahl, Coimbra University Press, Communication Source, Criminal Justice Abstract Full Text, Current Contents (ISI), Dynamed, Ebook Central, eBook Collection (EBSCOhost), EconLit with Full Text, EDS Publication Finder, Education Database, Elsevier, ERIC, Essencial Science Indicators (ISI), Health Business Elite, IEEE, Institute of Physics, ISI Proceedings, Journal Citation Reports (ISI), Library & Information Science Source, LISTA, Medline with full text, Nature, Psychology & Behavioral Science, Psychology Database, Royal Society of Chemistry, Sage, Sage Premier, Society for Industrial and Applied Mathematics, SocINDEX, SocINDEX with Full Text, SPORTDiscuss with Full Text, Springer, Taylor & Francis, Web of Science (ISI), Wiley, and Zentrablatt. These databases were chosen based on the study fields they cover, namely human resources management and related fields.

To retrieve relevant articles the Boolean expressions used were: 'multisource OR multi-source' in abstract AND 'performance' in the title AND 'appraisal OR evaluation OR assessment' in abstract, to avoid literature concerning other forms of assessment or evaluation focus, such as programs, tools or mechanisms. The searches performed retrieved 162 articles.

The articles analyzed were selected after two rounds. In the first round, only one researcher was involved. After assessing each study's relevance through its title and removing duplicates, 85 articles were left to screen. After reading the abstract (and the full-text where it was required) in the second round, some articles were rejected. Specifically, some were not empirical (n=14), were related to another study field (n=30), did not focus on multisource feedback, or did not use it as a measurement tool (n=4). Eventually, 37 articles were kept for more in-depth analysis. In this stage, two researchers were involved plus, a third researcher whenever the first two did not agree on whether or not to include a study. All data was kept and managed on an Excel file.

To meet our study purpose, we sought to identify all studies focused on: a) measuring the relationship between MSF and one or more variables; b) examining, developing, evaluating, and validating MSF appraisal tools and c) implementing MSF appraisal, and studying its impact on performance appraisal and perceptions towards it. Furthermore, for each study analyzed, we sought to identify the study purpose, data sources, MSF operationalization, the variables measured besides performance, main findings, limitations, suggestions for future research, and practical implications mentioned by the authors (Table 1).



Aiming to be as detailed as possible, we chose to use the word authors to refer to the study as a whole and the word studies to refer to each study or phase considering that 10 articles include more than one phase (e.g., deLeon & Ewen, 1997).

The study purpose(s) can be grouped in four categories according to its frequency: 1) to examine the relationship between two or more variables, their mediators, moderators or facilitators and the influence, impact or effect of one or more variables, being one of them MSF, into others (20 studies, e.g., Dupee, Ernst, & Caslin, 2011), 2) to examine, develop, evaluate and validate MSF appraisal tools (nine studies, e.g., Bindels et al., 201), 3) to examine MSF psychometric properties (eight studies, e.g., Facteau & Craig, 2001) and 4) to understand how to implement MSF appraisal, its impact on performance and participants' perceptions towards it (four studies, e.g., Lyde, Grieshaber, & Byrns, 2016).

Regarding data sources, sample size ranged from n = 9 (Dupee et al. [2011] in post-test sample) to n = 2449 (Narayanan, Farmer, & Greco [2018] in Group 1 sample), with the number of participants being mostly in the order of hundreds (31 studies, e.g., Fang, Ko, Chien, & Yu, 2013). Three authors (e.g., Violato, Lockyer, & Fidler, 2008) extracted their samples from existing databases. Twenty-two studies (e.g., Selvarajan & Cloninger, 2012) collected samples from American countries being it's majority from USA (16 studies, e.g., Seaburg et al., 2016), nine (e.g., Jong et al., 2019) from European countries being it's majority from the Netherlands (six studies, e.g., Bindels et al., 2019), nine (e.g., Anand, Hu, Vidyarthi, & Liden, 2018) from Asian countries. Narayanan et al. (2018) used Australian participants. Three authors (e.g., Weigl et al., 2019) did not mention its sample origin.

In 25 studies (e.g., Williams, Byrne, Williams, & Williams, 2017), participants were physicians, in 11 (e.g., Selvarajan & Cloninger, 2012) they were employees in a public or private organization, in six (e.g., Facteau & Craig, 2001) they were managers, in four studies participants were teachers, in four (e.g., Lyde et al., 2016) they were students, in three (e.g., Nuryanti, Nursalam, & Triharini, 2017) they were nurses and in two studies (e.g., Schuh, Zhang, Morgeson, Tian, & van Dick. 2018) participants were engineers.

Performance was rated by internal sources - peers (37 studies, e.g., Bindels et al., 2019), self (31 studies, e.g., Whitaker, 2012), hierarchical superiors (27 studies, e.g., Williams et al., 2017) and subordinates (10 studies, e.g., Hoffman & Woehr, 2009) - and by external sources - patients (six studies, e.g., Overeem et al., 2012a), external observers (two studies, e.g., Gabriel, Acosta, & Grandey, 2015), the organization´s human resource department (three studies, e.g., Treadway et al. [2013] in Study 3) and customers (Gabriel et al., 2015). Performance in Grandey, Houston and Avery's (2018) pilot study was not evaluated. Each author resorted to one (five studies) - e.g., participants declared that were rated by more than one source (e.g., Grandey et al. [2018] in Pilot study) -, a combination of two (14 studies) - e.g., self and peer´s ratings (e.g., Gabriel et al., 2015) -, three (six studies) - e.g., self, hierarchical superior and peer's ratings (e.g., van Hooft, van der Flier, & Minne, 2006) -, four (16 studies) - e.g., hierarchical superior, peer, subordinate and self-ratings (e.g., Araújo & Taylor, 2012) - or five rating sources (Fang et al., 2013).

MSF was operationalized through questionnaires or forms (33 studies, e.g., Sung & Choi, 2018), tools such as the Child Involvement Scale and Emotional Competence Inventory 2.0 (eight studies, e.g., Jong et al., 2019), portfolios (three studies, e.g., Lyde et al., 2016), single-items (two studies, e.g., Selvarajan & Cloninger, 2012), interviews (two studies, e.g., Overeem et al., 2012a), videotapes or observations (two studies, e.g., Gabriel et al. [2015] in Study 2), self-reflections (Lyde et al., 2016) and human resource department data (e.g., Treadway et al. [2013] in Study 2). Sixteen studies used ad hoc tools (e.g., Noona et al., 2011). Thirty-five studies operationalized MSF through one method, five combined two methods, three combined three methods and one combined four methods. MSF was not operationalized in three studies (e.g., Nuryanti et al. [2017] in Phase 1). Work-related competencies was the most analyzed variable (15 authors, e.g., Gutermann, Lehmann-Willenbrock, Boer, Born, & Voelpel, 2017), followed by demographic variables (14 authors, e.g., Weigl et al., 2019), performance (10 authors, e.g., Gabriel et al., 2015), psychometric properties (10 authors, e.g., Craig & Kaiser, 2003) and individual perceptions and attitudes towards a construct or instruments (five authors, e.g., Anand et al., 2018).

Considering our study purpose, we chose to report the main findings related to MSF. Ten investigations (e.g., Grandey et al., 2018) showed results regarding other variables, which are not performance, its relationships and outcomes. Performance can be predicted, mediated or moderated by the industry type, external demands, training and development, employee competence and commitment and, employees' positive perceptions (e.g., Sung & Choi, 2018). Subjective, objective, contextual, service and in-role performance were positively related with group identity, objective potential diversity, team efficacy and learning, raters' gender and length, perceived warmth, employee gender, conscientiousness, within-group value, organizational citizenship behavior, work-school facilitation, leader-member exchange, emotional and social competences and on-the-job embeddedness (e.g., Araújo & Taylor, 2012).

Regarding MSF appraisal implementation, it was found that although the initial implementation process can be complicated, it becomes easier with successive appraisals (e.g., Noonan, Monagle, & Castanelli, 2011). Also setting size, proper training, clear roles and responsibilities assignment were key to its success being recommended that ratees select their raters (e.g., deLeon & Ewen, 1997).

Regarding MSF psychometric properties, 16 authors (e.g., Violato et al., 2008) revealed that instruments were internally consistent over time. However, there were changes between assessments due to years of practice, gender and practice location.

In general, the self-ratings were the lowest. The rating agreement between supervisor-peer and self-peer was higher than self-subordinate. Moreover, the highest disagreement was found between the self and external source's rating. (e.g., van Hooft et al., 2006). The length of the relationship between ratee and rater, ratee's age, and seniority positively influenced the rating level.

To achieve reliable PA a minimum of two to 15 co-workers, three to nine peers, six to seven hierarchical superiors, and 11 to 25 external sources are recommended (e.g., Overeem et al., 2012b). MSF tools were considered reliable, valid, efficient, usable, portable, comprehensive, highly functional, fair and rich in feedback. Overall, MSF tools were approved by all the involved (e.g., Nuryanti et al., 2017).

In general, authors describe MSF developmental benefits, the usefulness of information, and a perceived increase in trust, communication, cooperation, and motivation (e.g., deLeon & Ewen, 1997). In addition, portfolios and mentoring were considered some practices suitable to apply MSF (e.g., Lyde et al., 2016).

Thirty-six authors (e.g., Wyland et al., 2016) highlighted limitations concerning the study design and 16 (e.g., Darr & Catano, 2008) stressed limitations related to the samples used. Thirteen authors (e.g., Craig & Kaiser, 2003) mentioned variables/relationships not included or not explained, and the exclusive focus on certain variables. Thirteen authors (e.g., van Hooft et al., 2006) underlined limitations concerning tools, measures and their psychometric properties. Five authors (e.g., Anand et al., 2018) highlighted limitations related to the data collected. Three authors (e.g., Lyde et al., 2016) did not mention limitations.

Authors proposed further studies on psychometric properties, with more extensive and diverse samples, and expanding the nomological network of MSF (31 authors, e.g., Seaburg et al., 2016). Twenty-two authors (e.g., van Hooft et al., 2006) suggested a future change, re-conceptualization or replication with other conditions of the study procedure, and three (e.g., Buccieri, Brown, Malta, & Ward, 2008) pointed to further development, implementation, and validation of the tools created for that or other contexts. Whitaker (2012) proposed distinguishing between task and contextual performance and what performance means for gender-dominated jobs. Two authors (e.g., Jong et al., 2019) did not suggest future studies.

Regarding practical implications, 25 authors (e.g., Narayanan et al., 2018) emphasized the MSF's role, importance, effects, characteristics, advantages, and the need to include checklists and forms. Its incorporation in organizations was advised, with regular updates to maintain validity. The use of MSF and a measure based on Dreyfus and Dreyfus's model was recommended (e.g., Williams et al., 2017). Ratees paid more attention to their supervisor's and peers' evaluation, and raters' perceptions were influenced by culture and rating characteristics. Seventeen authors (e.g., van Veelen & Ufkes, 2019) inferred that managers, team leaders and organizations have a crucial role in employees' improvement and in MSF implementation. The inclusion of mentoring in the PA system was suggested. The need to promote programs to develop competencies was pointed out, taking individual variables into account. Two authors (e.g., Facteau & Craig, 2001) highlighted implications regarding the psychometric properties of the MSF tool.



MSF in PA has only existed for 30 years (Atwater et al., 2002; Görün et al., 2018). The small number of empirical articles confirms that this subject is still in the early stages of development in psychological research.

MSF's conceptualization, congruent with the democratic ideal, is based on the idea that joining different viewpoints on the same object enriches the whole (Loredana & Mirabela, 2015). The multiplicity of study purposes expresses the growing attempt to understand the various aspects of MSF. Although some improvements have been suggested concerning how MSF should be put into practice, none of the studies concluded that it was useless or had detrimental effects. However, potential adverse effects and disadvantages are associated with using MSF (Hosain, 2016) since some studies found contradictory results in establishing a positive effect (Bailey & Fletcher, 2002). Thus, its potential negative effects should be determined, confirmed, and understood (Table 2).

Knowledge and understanding of MSF and its relationship with other variables are vital to understand the organizational phenomenon, enhance its use and benefits, and intervene suitably in organizations. Future studies should expand the MSF nomological network by researching its relationships with new and diverse variables (Table 2). A small number of empirical investigations assess the psychometric properties of the instruments that allow MSF operationalization, but its usefulness depends on instruments' psychometric properties. Future research should focus on this crucial aspect (Table 2).

MSF responds to organizational, political, and strategic needs. Organizational, due to its recognized advantages and contributions to organizational development (Görün et al., 2018). Political, given its close connection with the DW concept and importance in achieving the 2030 goals (Ferraro et al., 2016). Strategic, as workers' inclusion, empowerment, and involvement in processes such as PA are linked to increased performance (Görün et al., 2018; Rohlfer, 2018).

Additionally, sampling on several continents except Africa reinforces the strong organizational adherence to MSF and the assumption that it is not a context-specific phenomenon. The predominance of North-American samples confirms that they are a major scientific research pole on this subject. The emergence of scientific research in Asia points to the expected progressive importance of research based on that region. There is a lack of studies in African countries (Table 2). Further studies in those countries should be developed since cultural specificities and differences may affect how MSF is perceived and applied and prevent generalization from one cultural context to another (Entrekin & Chung, 2001).

Human resource management practices are most vulnerable to cultural relativity. Thus, practices carried out in one culture may not be easily transferable to another (Entrekin & Chung, 2001). MSF's effectiveness and strength depend on its correct implementation and practice, and attitudes towards it. Further studies are needed to understand MSF's applicability, validity, and effectiveness in eastern culture (Table 2).

MSF, DW, and the 2030 SDG are closely linked since the formers allow the full realization of the latter (Ferraro et al., 2016). MSF in PA is one practice of human resource management. Thus, it contributes extensively to fairer practices, allowing organizations to achieve the DW ideal and the 2030 goals (Ferraro et al., 2016). At the same time, it provides workers and the organization with developmental information, crucial to enhancing performance and organizational development (Görün et al., 2018).

The variety of tools used to operationalize MSF and its adaptation emphasizes the contingency nature of organizations, allowing MSF to be assumed as flexible and adaptable to various organizational contexts (Tureta et al., 2006). These, combined with the advantages found in the literature, justify why its implementation and practice have increased. MSF has been operationalized almost exclusively through questionnaires (Table 2). One of MSF's advantages and objectives is introducing more fairness, objectivity, and validity in PA (Görün et al., 2018). However, operationalizing MSF through instruments other than questionnaires may allow the collection of more diverse data, enriching MSF's usefulness and allowing a deeper understanding of organizational phenomena. Studies that operationalize MSF through different tools are recommended (Table 2).

Employees' strategic involvement and participation in PA are desirable since their empowerment leads to organizational development (Sharma and Kirkman, 2015). Raters have access to partial portions of ratees' performance (Entrekin and Chung, 2001). The combination of viewpoints gives more objectivity and fairness to the process, allowing organizations to get closer to the DW concept and the 2030 Agenda (Atwater et al., 2002; dos Santos, 2019). Self-ratings cannot be considered in isolation when evaluating performance since people tend to underrate themselves (Atwater and Yammarino, 1992). To maintain and/or increase the process's objectivity, validity and fairness, the combination of self-ratings with those of others at different hierarchical levels is recommended.

Organizations are political arenas. There are relationships between organizational, environmental, work, personal factors, and subjective individual agendas (Treadway et al., 2013). Performance management is a complex activity that encompasses many factors, including political considerations, which successfully influence PA. The intentional manipulation of ratings given by supervisors is known to be an organizational phenomenon (Russo, Miraglia, & Borgogni, 2017). MSF brings more objectivity since joining several perspectives reduces the subjectivity inherent to traditional appraisal processes (Görün et al., 2018). MSF can reinforce and support the supervisor's feedback, leading to the predominance of a single viewpoint, thus facilitating the accomplishment of its hidden agendas, goals and wills (Russo et al., 2017; Table 2). Ratees' perceptions of injustice and subjectivity, consequences of subjective and manipulated appraisal, negatively impact at the individual and organizational levels (Görün et al., 2018). Studies about MSF's sensitivity to political factors in organizations and their impact are recommended (Table 2).

The result of PA-MSF is an average of the various ratings given (Görün et al., 2018). MSF offers richer and holistic data about performance compared to with traditional PA, but it dilutes and removes the individual responsibility for intentionally manipulated appraisals (Russo et al., 2017). By not holding raters responsible, MSF can be used as an instrument of moral harassment. This MSF's facet negatively affects employee performance and motivation, leading to stagnation or decline in organizational development. When MSF is used as a means of bullying, it affects its conceptualization as a more reliable, valid, fair, and objective tool since it can be used for personal and evil purposes (Baruch & Harel, 1993). Understanding the extent of this and developing strategies to minimize it is crucial (Table 2).

MSF and its operationalization tools were considered valid, reliable, objective, fair, and consistent over time. Several MSF advantages and benefits were confirmed, cementing the knowledge that already exists. Still, the need for improvements was emphasized. The link between MSF and the current and future political, strategic, organizational, and philosophical context has been confirmed but not investigated (Table 2). Understanding how the various levels of leadership in organizations relate to MSF and how to use it strategically is helpful to make organizations more effective and understand organizational phenomena better. Research relating organizational strategy, policy, and philosophy to MSF is recommended (Table 2).

Limitations and Practical Implications

Our literature review contains some limitations. We only searched for articles written in English, thus excluding publications in other languages. There are other academic publication databases besides those used. Future studies should expand both the languages of publication and databases. Publication bias was not addressed, so other possible studies not published with different results from those presented here were not checked.

MSF in PA is desirable from a strategic, political, and technical viewpoint, its implementation and practice being crucial within the organization. It enhances sustainable organizational development and allows skills enhancement. Plus, managers are vital in this process since they can promote mentoring and appropriate training programs while also maximizing positive attitudes and employee perceptions. MSF is valid and reliable, requiring the use of multiple and diverse sources as much as possible. The authors proposed a minimum number of raters to ensure reliable assessments. Setting size, clear roles, and responsibilities are crucial for correct and successful evaluation and the implementation of improvement processes.



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Information about the authors:
Mariana Lobo Moreno
Faculdade de Psicologia e Ciências da Educação da Universidade de Coimbra
Rua do Colégio Novo, s/n
3001-802 Coimbra, Portugal

Nuno Rebelo dos Santos

Leonor Maria Pais

Submission: 02/11/2020
First Editorial Decision: 02/06/2021
Final Version: 25/09/2021
Accepted: 27/09/2021

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