The core research question(s) addressed by the study- The study was built on the peer monitoring literature by addressing two research questions2.
The general theoretical framework underpinning the study was the "Agency Theory" that asserts that peer monitoring occurs when folks notice and respond to the behaviors of their peers of results of their performances. This theory outlines several assumptions that underlie this particular research:3.
Methodology- The authors of this study used several methods to investigate the questions. The fist question "What is peer monitoring" was examined by use of a research method called interviewing. The workers were interviewed to find out how they noticed and responded to the behaviours of their coworkers as well as their performance and then developing a measure of peer monitoring. The measure of peer monitoring was administered by use of potential pool items to students and analysis of data to select items for the measure in the field of study. The Second research question was examined using a survey method where workers and their managers were examined. Here, filed survey data was collected and analyzed to refine the peer monitoring measure and to help in testing the hypothesis. 4.
A summary of the results- Types of Peer Monitoring were found to be:
The effects of peer monitoring on work-unit performance can be summarized as follows:The findings of this study have contributed to knowledge by helping managers understand that direct monitoring is a very useful control mechanism that helps them to know how the workers perform and behave. On the other hand, indirect peer monitoring is not a good control mechanism because it is not always in the interest of the organisation. It sometimes leads to reduced performances because the workers have not idea that they are being monitored and the agents used do it to further their individual interests.5.
Critical analysis of the study: This was an important study because it was focused on a situation that is important to any organisation that wants to get better results of performance from its workers by monitoring their performances and behaviours. The research question were interesting and direct such that there was need to actually know the types of peer monitoring that may be used in an organisation as well as find out its effects on work-unit performance. However, there was lack of originality in the first question "What are the types of peer monitoring?" because there is a lot of literature available on the types of peer monitoring used in different organizations. The results of the study however this question but it cannot be used for generalizations because it studied an informal kind of peer monitoring that doesn't require peers to evaluate one another formally as most managers prefer and it only focused of peer monitoring that encourages better performance. It would have been a lot better if this study could have integrated broader control literature with peer monitoring to examine the interplays of peer monitoring that work against he organisation as well as for its interests (Allen, Russell, & Maetzke, 1997). The question about the effects of peer monitoring on work-unit performance was well addressed by the study and helps us to understand that low supervisory monitoring coupled with peer monitoring has a positive effect on performance. The study however has several limitations which include: