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Performance Implications Of Peer Monitoring. Organization Science

1175 words - 5 pages

Introduction and Theoretical Framework:In this paper Loughry and Tosi argue that peer monitoring -when directed properly- can largely improve the work performance. They acknowledge the necessity of having an organizational formal system like guidelines and regulations (Cardinal et al. 2004). However, depending only on formal control will increase the risk of miscommunication and disbelieve inside the organization; additionally, this will make controls -to some extend- costly (Sitkin and Bies 1993). That is why it is now important to explore peer monitoring as a supportive yet cost-effective tool for organizational control.After reviewing the literature, Loughry and Tosi found that only agency theory suggests that peer monitoring can be a good way "to align worker's behaviour with organizational interests" (Alchian and Demsetz, Fama and Jensen cited in Loughry and Tosi 2008: 877-878). Moreover, as Arnott and Stiglitz illustrated, workers usually know more about their colleagues, so peer monitoring can be effectively employed as a beneficial mechanism to reduce the moral hazard problems (1991) and to improve the "risk-sharing capabilities" (1991: 189). By reducing moral hazard problems, principals can avoid "hidden action" (Loughry and Tosi 2008: 877) which is not matching the organization's interests, better know about the real capacity and skills of the employees. Thus, having the right person in the right place and finally to have an overall good work execution (Loughry and Tosi 2008).Nevertheless, the idea of peer monitoring was not a particular area of focus for previous organizational scholars. Some earlier researchers like Taylor (1916) and Roethlisberger and Dickson (1939) discussed only the restrictive effect of peer monitoring on performance (Loughry and Tosi 2008).The agency theory does not pay appropriate attention that peer monitoring is basically a social process so that a lot of human factors should be taken in consideration (Loughry and Tosi 2008). Besides, peer monitoring is not precisely defined. At this juncture Loughry and Tosi identified a research gap to start with. They aimed to have a clear definition of peer monitoring, explore the types of it and to empirically examine how peer monitoring can be directed in a correct manner to enhance the work efficiency (Loughry and Tosi 2008).The authors outline four hypotheses to be tested. Supervisory monitoring, task interdependence and cohesiveness are used as moderators while problem-free performance is the dependent variable in this study (Loughry and Tosi 2008).Methodology:Loughry and Tosi investigate the formulated research questions through a positivist position. Their contribution to knowledge comes out of finding a confirmed relation among variables (Bryman and Bell 2003). They use a deductive research strategy where they build on agency theory to generate the hypotheses to be tested quantitatively (Bryman and Bell 2003). They firstly assumed that the higher the degree of peer...

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