Performance Management and the Organization
Based on Human Resource Management, 4th edition, by Alan Price
The organization and effective performance
How do organizations
decide which performance criteria should be measured? How do they differentiate
between a good, average or indifferent employee? This section of
Human Resource Management, 4th edition discusses psychological
and organizational factors which influence employees' and raters' expectations
of 'good performance'.
The 'right' image
It is clear that any performance assessment
system is vulnerable to the cloning process. Without thought, performance
management can drive out diversity. It is also open to manipulation by
employees who can identify the qualities necessary to 'get on' in a particular
The most significant quality required
for selection to top jobs is the ability to create a good impression. This
section of Human Resource Management 4th edtion considers
issues such as self-awareness, self-monitoring and cultural role models.
Performance assessments tend to value image qualities:
apparent self-confidence, the ability to talk charismatically, etc. The
so-called 'smile-factor' is related to the halo effect.
Assessment and organizational change
Delayering and downsizing
have had the effect of increasing the ratio of staff to managers throughout
the western business world. As a consequence, managers have a greater number
of assessments to conduct on people they know less about.
Performance management strategies are particularly
concerned with workforce motivation or, more accurately, management belief
in the factors which lead to employee effort and commitment.
Motivation and performance
There is a considerable body of
literature on the relationship between motivation and work performance.
Theories range from the simplistic 'economic man' variety, typical of 'scientific
management', to complex expectancy models.
Achievers and non-achievers
Several researchers have attempted
to identify the important factors leading to successful performance by
comparing recognized high achievers with average performers. Furnham reviewed
much of this and found consistent themes such as: perseverance, ability,
contacts (through networking), self-reliance, thinking big and good time
Locus of control
Performance management implies that employees can
be influenced or controlled to perform effectively. However, people vary
in their reactions to the persuasion or coercion of others. This section
of Human Resource Management 4th edition discusses the
issue in terms of internal and external locus of control.
Performance management systems
The strategic aspects of performance-related
pay processes are exemplified in the integration of appraisal and performance-related
pay processes within performance management systems. These links have information about rating scales of various
kinds (including trait, competency and behaviourally-anchored systems:
Many modern systems are based on 360-degree assessment.
Management by objectives (MBO)
The origins of strategic performance
management can be traced to the concept of management by objectives. This
is a technique to establish individual performance objectives which are
tangible, mesaurable and verifiable. Individual objectives are derived
or cascaded from organizational goals.
Prescriptions for performance management systems
of authors have set out to create templates or rules for performance management