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Theoretical and empirical research suggests that job experience, organizational tenure, and age have non-linear relationships with performance. Considered simultaneously, there should exist an inverted U-shaped relationship between time and performance. Furthermore, the nature of this inverted U-shaped relationship should be affected by characteristics of the sample and measurement of performance. Using meta-analysis, this paper seeks to confirm the existence of the inverted U-shaped relationship between time and performance, and to demonstrate the moderating effects of performance measurement (objective versus subjective measures of performance) and job complexity. The results have implications for theory, research on dynamic performance, and human resource management practice.


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© SAGE. Final version published as: Sturman, M. C. (2003). Searching for the inverted u-shaped relationship between time and performance: Meta-analyses of the experience/performance, tenure/performance, and age/performance relationships. Journal of Management, 29(5), 290-316. doi: 10.1016/S0149-2063_03_00028-X. Reprinted with permission. All rights reserved.