Professor Stephen Wood wins CIPD best research paper award

Award recognises excellent research carried out into performance appraisals and positive feedback for employees.

Professor Stephen Wood from the School of Business and colleagues from California State University Fullerton, Professors Shaun Pichler and Gerard Beenen, were awarded the Ian Beardwell Prize for the best paper at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD) Applied Research Conference of 2017.

The annual award was set up by the CIPD in memory of leading HR academic Ian Beardwell, a Professor at De Montfort University, following his untimely death in 2002. The award, with a £1,000 prize attached, is designed to recognise research excellence.

The award was announced and presented to Stephen at the 2018 Applied Research Conference held at Nottingham Trent University last week (Wednesday 5 to Thursday 6 December).

The CIPD said: “The paper is a worthy winner, having added robustness to the evidence base on a central topic in people management; specifically building on established insights that employee reactions to performance appraisals have an important influence on their impact.

“The findings on the due process model are practically very useful, highlighting how important it is that employees both have clear knowledge of performance standards in the first place and then receive frequent feedback, two things which all too often appear to be lacking in performance management processes. It is also interesting to note that frequent feedback is especially beneficial when it is positive, reinforcing the importance of regular encouragement, not just critique.”

The paper, entitled ‘Feedback frequency and appraisal reactions: a meta-analytic test of moderators’, was presented by Stephen at the 2017 conference and subsequently published in the International Journal of Human Resource Management. A shortened version of the 2017 paper is available as a CIPD report: S Wood, S Pichler, and G Beenan, 'Feedback frequency: The key to good appraisal'.

Stephen also presented a paper at the 2018 Applied Research Conference entitled ‘Work-life balance supports can improve employee well-being’. It showed that work-life balance improves employee well-being by increasing perceived job discretion and supportive management, rather than reducing job demands or enabling the better juggling of demands.