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Friday, July 24, 2009

Anonymous feedback shows biases

From Research-Live, this discouraging info:

CANADA— Women and ethnic-minority workers score lower ratings than their white male counterparts on anonymous customer feedback forms, according to a university study.

The research by academics at the University of British Columbia studied the feedback from customers of a healthcare organisation, a bookshop and a golf club.

For the bookshop study, research participants were shown videos of interactions between sales staff and customers, with the sales assisitant a white man, black man or white woman. Even though the assistants’ actions were pre-scripted, participants rated the white man’s service 19% higher than that of the other two.

Study co-author professor Karl Aquino warned that if surveys are not constructed carefully, anonymous feedback “is often more about consumers’ subjective biases than any objective assessment of employee performance”.

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