UK Accounting Glossary
The process in which the effect or output of an action is ‘returned’ (fed-back) to modify the next action. Feedback is essential to the working and survival of all regulatory mechanisms found throughout living and non-living nature, and in man-made systems such as education system and economy. As a two-way flow, feedback is inherent to all interactions, whether human-to-human, human-to-machine, or machine-to-machine. In an organisational context, feedback is the information sent to an entity (individual or a group) about its prior behaviour so that the entity may adjust its current and future behaviour to achieve the desired result.
Feedback occurs when an environment reacts to an action or behaviour. For example, ‘customer feedback’ is the buyers’ reaction to a firm’s products and policies, and ‘operational feedback’ is the internally generated information on a firm’s performance. Response to stimuli (such as criticism or praise) is considered feedback only if it brings about a change in the recipient’s behaviour.
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This glossary post was last updated: 17th January 2020.