Hosted by Dr. Shreya Sarkar-Barney

Effective Feedback: What Works and New Frontiers

Dr. Avraham Kluger

In this podcast, we cover talent practices that produce multifold returns. In the process, we debunk myths that are holding back progress in the workplace.



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    About This Episode On Effective Feedback

    1. In the business world the act of giving and receiving feedback is seen very positively. The  general belief is that more feedback is always better.
    2. What are the fundamental building blocks of good feedback? What does the evidence say?
    3. Many corporations around the world are in the process of doing their annual performance reviews and feedback around this time of the year. Let’s go though a few examples of feedback and I’d like you to tell me whether it’s an effective or an ineffective form of feedback and why?


    • Let’s say I am doing a project review with my manager and I express my concerns about not having enough information to pick between different options. My manager in the process of giving me feedback and asks “Shreya are you having trouble thinking” and is looking for an answer.
    • Many organizations hire coaches to work with senior leaders. The coach typically gathers information from the manager, the HR business partner and other stakeholders and shares this back with their coachee.  In many instances this is the first time the coachee is hearing the feedback, positive or negative.  Perhaps this process of indirect feedback is good practice, especially, if it keeps the peace between the manager and the employee.  What are your thoughts?
    • There is growing awareness that positive feedback is more effective than negative feedback. Let’s say I have an employee who has the potential but is simply not performing at an expected level. I hold frequent conversations to talk about all the good things she had done.  I try and understand her aspirations and what might be getting in the ways of her performance but see no change. What am I doing wrong?

    If you are a manager, you are probably accustomed to providing feedback. And if you are an employee – there’s a good chance that the feedback you received left you demotivated and disengaged. Clearly, one would wonder if feedback giving and receiving even works. That is the question we will be exploring with our guest today, Dr. Avraham Kluger. Dr Kluger is the professor of Organizational Behavior at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem in Israel. Dr. Kluger and his research collaborator, Dr. Angelo Denisi conducted ground breaking research. Their findings showed that about a third of the time, feedback tends to backfire or not work at all. In our conversation we focus on what the research says about effective and ineffective feedback. Be forewarned, it may not be what you think.

    Meet the Speaker From Our Podcast on Effective Feedback Episode

    Dr. Avraham Kluger

    Dr. Avraham Kluger

    School of Business Administration
    Hebrew University of Jerusalem.


    Prof. Avraham N. (Avi) Kluger is a faculty member at the Organizational Behavior unit of the School of Business Administration at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Israel. His research on giving feedback demonstrated that it can be detrimental to performance, and that even positive feedback can cause deterioration in performance. To explain the puzzle of the detrimental effects of positive feedback on performance, he proposed, with Dina Van-Dijk, that positive feedback reduces motivation when people do things out of a desire (promotion focus) and that negative feedback increases motivation when people do things out of an obligation (prevention focus). For these works on feedback, he received several awards, including (a) the 1996 Outstanding Paper in Organizational Behavior awarded by the Organizational Behavior Division of the Academy of Management (presented August 1997 in Boston) with Angelo DeNisi (b) the first William A. Owens Scholarly Achievement Award for the best publication in field of Industrial and Organizational Psychology during 1996 by the Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (presented April 1998 in Dallas) with Angelo DeNisi and (c) The 2009 Award for Best Competitive Paper by the Organizational Behavior Division of the Academy of Management with Dina Van-Dijk.

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