The Problems with Performance Appraisal

Powerful Essays
Assessment 1 – Essay

The problems with performance appraisal

Introduction

Formal performance appraisals form an integral part of overall performance management programs in many organisations. Indeed, for many decades performance appraisals have been a key method for monitoring employee performance and they often play a major role in promotion or salary increments. However, though appraisals continue to be widely used, there is significant and ongoing debate about the validity of results obtained, as well as their effectiveness in positively influencing employee productivity and performance.

This paper examines performance appraisals in the modern organisation. It discusses the development of performance appraisal theory, the perceived problems with performance appraisal systems as well as the potential performance and productivity improvements that may be achieved with their use. OK!

Performance Appraisals

It is widely contended that many (if not most) organisations conduct regular employee performance appraisals (Gliddon 2004; Varma & Pichler 2007). Thus, it is understandable that there is a very large body of literature around the subject (Schraeder & Simpson 2006). Indeed DeNisi and Pritchard (2006, p. 253) state that ‘performance appraisal has been the focus of considerable research for almost a century’. Yet there is surprisingly little consensus on any aspect of performance appraisals, not merely in terms of how they should be constructed or conducted, but even whether or not they offer any value at all (Connell & Nolan 2004; Waite & Stites-Doe 2000).

When studying the literature and the seeming lack of progress or consensus, it is clear that even on a terminology level, there is significant divergence. DeNisi and Pritchard (2006) define performance appraisal as being a formal evaluation process that assigns quantitative scores to employee performance. The broader term performance management is defined by Dessler (2005) as



References: Bernardin, H.J. & Beatty, R.W. 1984, Performance appraisal : assessing human behavior at work, Kent Pub. Co., Boston, Ma. Boswell, W.R. & Boudreau, J.W. 2000, 'Employee satisfaction with performance appraisals and appraisers: The role of perceived appraisal use ', Human Resource Development Quarterly, vol. 11, no. 3, pp. 283-299. Buchner, T.W. 2007, 'Performance management theory: A look from the performer 's perspective with implications for HRD ', Human Resource Development International, vol. 10, no. 1, pp. 59-73. Connell, J. & Nolan, J. 2004, 'Managing Performance: Modern Day Myth or a Game People Play? ', International Journal of Employment Studies, vol. 12, no. 1, pp. 44-46. DeCenzo, D.A. & Robbins, S.P. 2007, Fundamentals of human resource management, 9th edn, John Wiley, Hoboken, NJ. DeNisi, A.S. & Pritchard, R.D. 2006, 'Performance Appraisal, Performance Management and Improving Individual Performance: A Motivational Framework ', Management and Organization Review, vol. 2, no. 2, pp. 253-277. Dessler, G. 2005, Human resource management, 10th edn, Pearson/Prentice Hall, Upper Saddle River, N.J. DeVoe, S.E. & Iyengar, S.S. 2004, 'Managers ' theories of subordinates: A cross-cultural examination of manager perceptions of motivation and appraisal of performance ', Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, vol. 93, no. 1, pp. 47-61. Fulk, J., Brief, A.P. & Barr, S.H. 1985, 'Trust-in-supervisor and perceived fairness and accuracy of performance evaluations ', Journal of Business Research, vol. 13, no. 4, pp. 301-313. Gliddon, D.G. 2004, 'Effective performance management systems current criticisms and new ideas for employee evaluation ', Performance Improvement, vol. 43, no. 9, pp. 27-34. Gosselin, A., Werner, J.M. & Hallé, N. 1997, 'Ratee preferences concerning performance management and appraisal ', Human Resource Development Quarterly, vol. 8, no. 4, pp. 315-333. Henderson, R.I. 1984, Performance appraisal, 2nd edn, Reston Pub. Co., Reston, Va. Kanfer, R., Sawyer, J., Earley, P.C. & Lind, E.A. 1987, 'Fairness and participation in evaluation procedures: Effects on task attitudes and performance ', Social Justice Research, vol. 1, no. 2, pp. 235-249. Korsgaard, M.A. & Roberson, L. 1995, 'Procedural justice in performance evaluation: the role of instrumental and non-instrumental voice in performance appraisal discussions ', Journal of Management, vol. 21, no. 4, pp. 657-669. Latham, G.P. & Wexley, K.N. 1981, Increasing productivity through performance appraisal, Addison-Wesley Reading, Mass. Levy, P.E. & Williams, J.R. 2004, 'The Social Context of Performance Appraisal: A Review and Framework for the Future ', Journal of Management, vol. 30, no. 6, pp. 881-905. Lilley, D. & Hinduja, S. 2007, 'Police officer performance appraisal and overall satisfaction ', Journal of Criminal Justice, vol. 35, no. 2, pp. 137-150. Longenecker, C.O. 1989, 'Truth or consequences: Politics and performance appraisals ', Business Horizons, vol. 32, no. 6, pp. 76-82. Longenecker, C.O. & Gioia, D.A. 2000, 'Confronting the 'Politics ' in Performance Appraisal ', Business Forum, vol. 25, no. 3/4, p. 17. Nickols, F. 2007, 'Performance Appraisal: Weighed and Found Wanting in the Balance ', The Journal for Quality and Participation, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 13-16. Padgett, M.Y. & Ilgen, D.R. 1989, 'The impact of ratee performance characteristics on rater cognitive processes and alternative measures of rater accuracy ', Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, vol. 44, no. 2, pp. 232-260. Schraeder, M., Becton, J.B. & Portis, R. 2007, 'A Critical Examination of Performance Appraisals ', The Journal for Quality & Participation, vol. 30, no. 1, pp. 20-25. Schraeder, M. & Simpson, J. 2006, 'How Similarity and Liking Affect Performance Appraisals ', Journal for Quality & Participation, vol. 29, no. 1, pp. 34-40. Shore, T. & Strauss, J. 2008, 'The Political Context of Employee Appraisal: Effects of Organizational Goals on Performance Ratings ', International Journal of Management, vol. 25, no. 4, pp. 599-612. Stathakopoulos, V. 1997, 'Effects of Performance Appraisal Systems on Marketing Managers ', Journal of Marketing Management, vol. 13, no. 8, pp. 835-852. Varma, A. & Pichler, S. 2007, 'Interpersonal Affect: Does It Really Bias Performance Appraisals? ', Journal of Labor Research, vol. 28, no. 2, pp. 397-412. Waite, M.L. & Stites-Doe, S. 2000, 'Removing performance appraisal and merit pay in the name of quality: an empirical study of employees ' reactions ', Journal of Quality Management, vol. 5, no. 2, pp. 187-206. Wayne, S.J. & Liden, R.C. 1995, 'EFFECTS ON IMPRESSION MANAGEMENT ON PERFORMANCE RATINGS: A LONGITUDINAL STUDY ', Academy of Management Journal, vol. 38, no. 1, pp. 232-260.

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