Relational effects of relative performance information: The role of professional identity
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Prior accounting studies on relative performance information (RPI) have mainly considered the effects of RPI on employees' performance. This study extends this stream of research by investigating relational effects of RPI that capture RPI recipients' attitudes towards RPI provision. Specifically, we examine the conditions under which RPI has a positive influence on perceived organizational support (POS). This is important because research on organizational behaviour has demonstrated that POS is an antecedent of desirable job-related attitudes such as organizational commitment, job involvement, and extra-role performance. The results of a dyadic survey in a hospital setting suggest that the effect of RPI on POS is conditional not only on the perceived usefulness of information and relative performance but also on the professional identification of RPI recipients. Our findings indicate that RPI provision is especially suitable for employees who possess a stronger social identification with their peer groups. Our study adds a relational perspective to the hitherto mostly informational and motivational focus in studying social comparison mechanisms linked to RPI systems.
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