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THE DEVELOPMENT AND IMPLEMENTATION OF A PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM: A CASE STUDY A thesis submitted in Partial Fulfilment of the requirements for the Degree of MASTER OF BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION (MBA) of Rhodes Investec Business School Rhodes University


Alexandra Whittington-Jones



I, Alexandra Whittington-Jones, hereby declare that this research thesis is my own original work, that all reference sources have been accurately reported and acknowledged, and that this document has not previously, in its entirety or in part, been submitted to any University in order to obtain an academic qualification.

A. Whittington-Jones

31 January 2005


After a review of the literature relevant to performance management systems both over time and across different types of organizations, this thesis confines its research to a case study of the development and implementation of a performance management system in a non-governmental organization (NGO), the Public Service Accountability Monitor (PSAM).

Collation of the relevant data is followed by a discussion of the development and implementation of the performance management system at the PSAM over a 5-year period from 1 June 1999 to 31 May 2004. This is considered in terms of the PSAM’s achievement of commitments to Funders and the concurrent development of the performance management system. Next an analysis of major themes that emerged from the research, in terms of important items for consideration in the development and implementation of a performance management system in an NGO, and areas for possible future improvements to the system is presented

After analyzing the relevant information, it became apparent that the performance management system has no direct bearing on the ability of the PSAM to achieve its stated commitment to Funders. However, these short-term focused expectations of the performance management system are outweighed by the positive contributions that have been made by its introduction, specifically in the area of training and development. This important aspect of capacity building and staff empowerment speaks to the long term sustainability of the organization.

Although the PSAM’s performance management system undergoes continual improvement, significant inroads have been made into providing a sensible, clear and dynamic solution to the problem of rewarding efficient and effective performance. The PSAM has indeed benefited from the introduction of the performance management system in a number of ways. It is evident that these benefits could be applicable to other NGOs.


I would like to take this opportunity to thank the following people for their contribution to the successful completion of this thesis: • • • •

Kevin, my husband, for his invaluable insights and professional comments, and for reminding me that “you get out what you put in” Jack, my son, for putting up with my lengthy absences from his first year of life My Mum and Dad for the support (financial and otherwise) and encouragement My supervisor, Trevor Amos, for his time and commitment to my success, for his patience and understanding with my seemingly never ending list of questions, and for his relevant advice on all aspects of the thesis

The Director of the Rhodes Investec Business School, Prof. Gavin Staude, for offering me the opportunity to do an MBA, and for his patience during the difficult period of my maternity leave

• •

My boss, Colm Allan, for allowing me to ‘practise’ my newly learned skills, and for making me feel that they were a valuable addition to the PSAM My colleagues at the PSAM, both present and past, for their trust in and commitment to, the Performance Management System,

• My colleagues on the RIBS MBA Program, for a challenging and rewarding 3 years together



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