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Employee performance in the knowledge economy: Capturing the keys to success

Authors Fauth R, Bevan S, Mills P

Published 23 November 2008 Volume 2009:2 Pages 1—12


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Rebecca Fauth1, Stephen Bevan1, Peter Mills2,3

1The Work Foundation, London, UK; 2CIGNA, London, UK; 3The Whittington Hospital, London, UK

Abstract: The present study examines the key determinants of employee performance in a knowledge-intensive service firm located in the UK. Using data from a pilot study, we mapped eight performance-related behaviors to two measures of global performance to isolate the strongest predictors of the latter. We also examined the degree to which these associations varied depending on whether employees or their managers reported on performance as well as according to the degree of complexity (eg, ongoing learning, multitasking, problem solving, etc.) present in workers’ jobs. Findings revealed that more traditional employee performance-related behaviors (eg, dependability) as well as behaviors that have likely increased in importance in the knowledge economy (eg, sharing ideas and information) accounted for the most variance in reported global performance. Sharing ideas and information was a particularly important predictor for workers in complex jobs. When the performance-related behaviors were regressed on the organization’s annual employee appraisal ratings, only dependability and time management behaviors were significantly associated with the outcome. As organizational success increasingly is dependent on intangible inputs stemming from the ideas, innovations and creativity of its workforce, organizations need to ensure that they are capturing the full range of behaviors that help to define their success. Further research with a diverse range of organizations will help defi ne this further.

Keywords: employee performance, knowledge economy, job complexity

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