A Discussion of the Orthodox and Radical Critiques of

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Though performance appraisal has become an integral part of modern organizations and a crucial aspect in performance management in assessing their effectiveness and efficiency. Its critiques have continued as appraisals have increase in use and scope across sectors and occupation. The two dominant schools have been that of orthodox and radical critiques. This paper will discuss some of the orthodox and radical critiques of performance appraisal and evaluates the recent innovation of 360 degree feedback to see if it has been able to overcome the traditional limitations of appraisal systems. This paper will first define performance appraisal, then discuss the orthodox critiques of performance appraisal. This will be followed by the discussion of radical critiques before looking at the 360 degree feedback and evaluating the extent it has been able to overcome the limitations of the traditional appraisal systems

Dessler (1999) defines performance appraisal as a process that identifies, evaluates and develops employee performance to meet both employee and organizational goals. John Ivancevich (2001) defines it as an activity that is used to determine the extent to which an employee performs work effectively and efficiently. The appraiser during the performance appraisal process identifies performance through observation and the collection of performance based information and evaluates this performance against set criteria and indicators as agreed between both parties in case of management by objective or from the job description of the appraisee. This process is crucial in ensuring that an organization is competitive and for strategizing in terms of planning for promotions, training, recruitments etc. Although people recognize its importance, there are many criticisms that have been leveled against performance appraisal that will be discussed below.

One of the dominant critiques of performance appraisal is that of orthodox which criticizes the process of



References: Armstrong, M. and Baron, A. (2005) Managing Performance: Performance Management in Action, London: Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development Bach, S Bratton, J. and Gold, J. (2003) Human Resources Management: Theory and Practice, (3rd edition), Palgrave Macmillan, Houndmills Decenzo and Robins (1999), Personnel/ Human resources Management, 6th edition, Prentice Hall, Newyork Dessler, G (1994), Human Resources Management, 6th edition, Prentice Hall Fletcher, C George, J.M. and Jones, G.R. (1999) Understanding and Managing Organizational Behavior, 2nd edition, Addison-Wesley Longman, Massachusetts. McGregor, D. (1957), “An easy look at performance appraisals”, Harvard Business Review, Vol. 35 No. 3 Morris, L Storey, J. (2007), Human Resource Management: A Critical Text, Thomson Learning, London

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