Structuring the Reflection Process: Why and How After Event Reviews Enable Performance Improvement
Prior research has established the effectiveness of after-event-reviews (AER) in improving individual performance. However, theory is lacking as to how, and why this occurs. We propose that the structure provided by AER directs individuals’ attention while reflecting upon feedback towards: (a) specific elements of their performance; and (b) their own metacognition. Results of a lab study (N = 271) showed that structured reflection in an AER improved performance on a managerial simulation task whereas unstructured reflection did not, ruling out the alternative hypothesis that undistracted reflection time is sufficient to improve performance. A detailed analysis of reflections made by participants supported our hypotheses, suggesting that AER (compared to unstructured reflection) directs individuals’ attention differently, and that these differences mediate the effects of structured versus unstructured reflection on performance.