Politics of Performance Appraisal

Topics: Human resource management, Performance appraisal, Management Pages: 18 (5838 words) Published: March 13, 2013

Point of View2

Statement of the Problem2

Statement of Objectives3

Areas of Consideration (Analysis and Assumptions)3

Alternative Courses of Action8

Evaluation of Alternative Courses of Action13

Implementation Plan15

Learning Points17



The case revolves around four friends Max Steadman, Jim Coburn, Lynne Sims, and Tom Hamilton. The group are accustomed to having an after work get-together to relax, to exchange latest office gossip, and share advice on job-related dilemmas. They are management employees at the manufacturing division of Eckel Industries, a Minneapolis-based manufacturer of arc-welding equipment and employer of about 2,000 people. Their group is a bit at the extremes when it comes to their work tenure with Tom at his novice year and Max steadily at his twelfth. Nonetheless, the friendship has been well-grounded with Lynne, Jim and Max having attended undergraduate course on business at the same university and all four of them as participants of an Eckel Management seminar a year ago. The week’s topic of discussion was about the recent annual review process at the company wherein each of them, as managers, evaluated and discussed with their subordinates the rating they have given for their performances for the past year. Each of them has some words about the performance appraisal method (graphic rating scales) being employed throughout the plant. Tom, having his baptism of fire into the process, expressed difficulty especially when one’s personal biases get in the way of the process. Jim spoke about concerns on performance recall and that fine-tuning appraisal could be motivating for one’s subordinates. Lynne, on the other hand, wanted to be objective as much as possible but is also a little comfortable with inflating ratings if it meant showing empathy for one’s people. Max had an even more interesting observation on the topic saying the process is somehow a way of motivating subordinates but may also be a disguised broom-off strategy for some unwanted guy in the group. He is for “understanding subordinates” as a must on a manager checklist. The article then laid out a hanging case on the politics of performance appraisal. Point of View:the VP for HR of Eckel Industries

Statement of the Problem
What steps should the human resource management of Eckel Industries employ to resolve persistent issues (or issues concerning biases) in the current performance appraisal system? 

Statement of Objectives
* The case analysis aims to build a concrete action plan to improve performance evaluation practices at Eckel Industries. * The analysis aims to give possible courses of action for the VP of Human Resources as a response to the manager’s opinions on the appraisal systems. * The analysis aims to study the different considerations and perspectives of the managers of Eckel Industries and use it as a basis for the improvement plans for the HR department. Areas of Consideration (Analysis and Assumptions)

Before tackling the issues on performance appraisal, it is imperative to first define what performance appraisal is. Performance appraisal (Dessler, 2000, in Gürbüz, 2007) “is defined as evaluating employees how well (they) do their jobs according to performance standards.” Traditionally, it relied on economic rewards and punishment to motivate employees to perform as desired. However, it is now used more for developmental and motivational purposes in organizations. In addition, performance appraisal must also be viewed as a dynamic process requiring several activities such as planning the employee’s performance, evaluation, and improving the employee’s performance.(Gürbüz, 2007). This, in turn, led to the development of the concept of performance management, which is a system for integrating the management of organization and employee performance in order to support and improve...

References: Gürbüz, S. andDikmenli, O. (2007). Performance appraisal biases in a public organization: An emprical study. KocaeliÜniversitesiSosyalBilimlerEnstitüsüDergisi (13) 2007 / 1 : 108-138. Retrieved February 10, 2013.
Koenig, D.How to eliminate bias in performance appraisal.Retrieved February 10, 2013.
Noe, R., Hollenbeck, J., Gerhart, B., and Wright, P. (2010). Human resource
management: Gaining a competitive advantage
Noe, R., Hollenbeck, J., Gerhart, B., and Wright, P. (2008). Human resource
management: Gaining a competitive advantage
Thornton, S. Objectives of performance appraisal.Retrieved February 10, 2013.
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