Staff Development and Performance Appraisal in a Brazilian Research Centre

Topics: Strategic management, Human resource management, Management Pages: 34 (7175 words) Published: April 18, 2013
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Staff development and
performance appraisal in a
Brazilian research centre
Cristina Lourenco Ubeda and Fernando Cesar Almada Santos

and appraisal

University of Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil
Purpose – The aim of this paper is to analyse the staff development and performance appraisal in a Brazilian research centre.
Design/methodology/approach – The key issues of this case study are: the main organisational changes which have taken place over the last decades; the aspects of the organisational structure that have either contributed to or hindered competence-based management; the development of necessary researchers’ competences related to main projects and processes and the way of appraising the development of their competences. The analysis of this paper was carried out considering the following phases: strategic planning, specifications of projects and processes, competence-based management and performance appraisal of researchers.

Findings – Although integration was found between the performance measurement and strategic plans defined by the research centre, competence-based management is still centred on individuals and based on their tasks. The link between researchers’ competences and their social context is not considered.

Originality/value – Feedback from the results of research projects and recycling of organisational processes would allow the studied organisation not only to identify the individual competences necessary for each activity, but also to improve the relationship between professional growth and innovation brought about by competitive strategies of companies. Keywords Competences, Innovation, Human resource management, Performance appraisal, Research organizations, Brazil

Paper type Case study

Current competitive markets are highly influenced by the markets being globalised, technological innovation and stiff competition. Competence-based management appears in this scenario as an approach to human resource management which provides interaction between human resource systems and a company’s strategy (Santos, 2000; Schuler and Jackson, 1995; Meshoulam and Baird, 1987). Technological changes require companies to develop human competences as an important factor to achieve success and have competitive advantage (Drejer and Riis, 1999). The main objective of developing competences is to enable people to assimilate the skills, knowledge and attitudes necessary for their jobs (Sandberg, 2000). Strategic human resource management has attempted to link its practices to innovation strategies of companies which deal with changing, unpredictable and demanding markets (Hagan, 1996; Huselid et al., 1997; Mills et al., 1998; Jayaram et al., 1999; Drejer, 2000a; Ray et al., 2004).

Human resource management consists of systems such as selection, staff’s performance appraisal, career management, compensation and motivation practices.

European Journal of Innovation
Vol. 10 No. 1, 2007
pp. 109-125
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/14601060710720573



All these systems may favour or hinder the development of competences which are necessary for a company’s strategy (Sandberg, 2000).
The systems in human resources may help a company to increase its competitiveness by implementing competence-based management. Models for competence-based management have been widely used in order to align individual abilities with core competences of a company. A structure of competences is basically understood as a link between people’s development and a company’s strategy. Competence-based management uses a structure of competences to align its strategic objectives with its key processes in human resource management (Le Deist and Winterton, 2005).

The aim of this paper is to analyse a Brazilian...

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