What the research really says about Interpersonal Feedback - The Oxford Review - OR Briefings
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What the research really says about Interpersonal Feedback

Special Research Reports

In April 2019 a book entitled ‘Nine Lies About Work: a freethinking leader’s guide to the real world of work’ was published. One of the chapters or “lies” within the book is that “people need feedback”. The essence of this chapter and the author’s arguments were republished in the March – April 2019 edition of the Harvard Business Review in an article entitled ” The feedback fallacy (available here:https://hbr.org/2019/03/the-feedback-fallacy ). It is worth noting that the book has been published by Harvard Business Review Press (2nd April 2019) and the front page of that month’s Harvard Business Review carried the splash headline “Why Feedback Fails: criticising people doesn’t help them excel. There’s a better way.”

One of our members contacted us after having read the book and asked if the research supported the assertions being made in the book. In other words, is feedback a valid or invalid activity?

This is an important topic, as many aspects of personal development are based on interpersonal feedback.

This special report looks at what the research actually says about feedback.


  • The feedback fallacy fallacy
  • Introduction: A new book and HBR article
  • Summary of this special report
  • Summary of the main arguments of the article and book chapter.
  • What is feedback?
  • The difference between feedback and being judgemental
  • Interpreting others behaviour
  • People don’t like feedback
  • So, what does the research actually say about feedback?
  • Feedback triangulation and multi-source feedback
  • The difference between multi-source feedback and triangulation
  • Expert feedback is different
  • Are experts better are predicting performance?
  • Does this mean you need an expert?
  • So, when should we be using which feedback method?
  • When is feedback not a good thing?
  • Conclusion

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