Investigating the Construct Validity of Performance Comments: Creation of the Great Eight Narrative Dictionary
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Performance narratives are qualitative text descriptions of an employee’s work performance. Despite containing rich information that can be leveraged by practitioners and researchers, few efforts have systematically examined performance narratives. This study investigated whether performance narratives can automatically and reliably be scored into meaningful performance dimensions. Using the Great Eight as a conceptual framework, a custom dictionary was developed and comments were scored via automated text mining. This dictionary, labeled the Great Eight Narrative Dictionary, was then validated against a set of convergent measures to establish construct validity evidence for the derived narrative scores. Inter-rater agreement in linking word phrases to performance dimensions was high, and the derived performance dimensions had acceptable internal consistency. Narrative scores also displayed evidence of construct validity, with an expected pattern of correlations with text scores from an alternative text mining dictionary and with developmental performance ratings made using traditional numerical formats. Collectively, findings support the use of the Great Eight Narrative Dictionary to score performance narratives, and the dictionary is provided openly to facilitate future use.
KeywordsJob performance Performance management Text mining Narrative comments
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