Is Crowdsourcing Performance Reviews A Way For Managers To Shirk Their Responsibilities?
In my opinion, yes. Managing performance SHOULD be one of the key, and perhaps most important parts of any manager's job. After all, if the job isn't about harnessing the talents and abilities of staff to achieve common goals, so all succeed, what in the world IS the job of management.
Accountability Is Key And Crowdsourcing Doesn't Do It
We want both managers and employees to be accountable for their work, and accountability requires that there is accountability to a specific person. You can' have accountability unless someone is holding people accountable.
Managers need to be accountable for assessing staff, identifying barriers to performance, and helping to remove those barriers. That's the job. Employee's need to be accountable to a manager who is in turn accountable for the organization's performance.
Crowdsourcing, because it is done anonymously, doesn't bring that. Anonymous feedback is useless, because the recipients can have dialogues with the "raters", since they don't know who they are.
In essence, crowdsourcing ratings, feedback, etc, removes accountability (and we note that people providing "feedback" also need to be accountable for what they say) may take managers off the hook for DOING THEIR JOBS.