Conventional wisdom suggests that frequent performance reporting is beneficial for decision making, as it can enhance timeliness and usefulness of the reported information for decision making. We investigate a potential motivational cost of frequent performance reporting. Using goal orientation theory, we predict and find that frequent performance reporting has negative motivational and performance implications when employees know or assume that the information they report will be used to evaluate their task-related skill. Our theory and results suggest that organizations need to balance the informational benefits and motivational costs of frequent reporting when designing their performance reporting systems. In addition, our theory and results can help organizations begin to design solutions that take advantage of the informational advantage of frequent reporting while minimizing its motivational costs.

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