The Problems with Performance Appraisal

2801 Words12 Pages
Assessment 1 – Essay

The problems with performance appraisal


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
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Indeed, it could be argued we are yet to see an end to the complexities and nuances of this area. For example: a study by Duarte, Goodson and Klich (1991) showed that the amount of time the employee had worked with the supervisor could significantly inflate ratings; a study by Wayne and Liden (1995) showed that impression management could trigger similarity feelings in a supervisor and thereby inflate ratings; and a study by Padgett and Ilgen (1989) showed that consistent performance resulted in the performer being attributed non-present prototypical behaviours. While it is unclear whether these studies are merely discovering additional practical examples of the cognitive errors discovered earlier, there is clearly ongoing difficulty in overcoming these errors.
Beyond these cognitive problems, appraisal research has developed further to include the effect of the social or organisational context. Longenecker and Gioia (2000) refer to this simply as the ‘politics’ of appraisal and argue that even where appraisals are well structured and appraisers are well trained, they will still deliberately fudge the results for contextual reasons they feel are compelling. In their study they found this deliberate manipulation was common and that the most common reasons for manipulating ratings were to avoid
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