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Performance Evaluation in a Matrix System

Autor:   •  July 21, 2015  •  Research Paper  •  2,707 Words (11 Pages)  •  731 Views

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Performance Evaluation In a Matrix System

Stephanie Ngarsanet

University of Maryland University College


The purpose of this paper is to examine and identify the issues presented in the case and provide some recommendations to overcome them. The company CAE, use of the project based matrix has been beneficial in the timely accomplishments of its projects. However, employees have been puzzled about their performance appraisals and future with the company upon the projects’ completion. The main question to be answered in this paper is how can management promote employees’ satisfaction while using the matrix structure? Although the authors have recommended the company’s use of the multi-rater system as a performance appraisal system, other solutions have been explored to further resolve the company’s issues. It was discovered that CAE had not only encountered some problems with its performance appraisal system but also with its management team (power struggles and communication problems between its project manager and functional manager). A study developed by Frederick Herzberg most famous for its two factor theory was also used to determine who (project or functional manager) provided influence or control factors resulting in employees’ job satisfaction or dissatisfaction. In addition, it was found that the clear definition of roles and responsibilities before the start of the project and a well-designed appraisal system employees trusted in were also important. It is believed that if managers expected to use the performance appraisal process to encourage employee development and performance, employees had to view it positively and generally be satisfied with it.

Case description

In the case, the performance evaluation in the matrix system, the authors Appelbaum, Nadeau and Cyr discussed the organizational issues faced by CAE the company while using the matrix structure for the implementation of its projects. The application of the project based matrix structure involved having both the project manager and a functional manager supervising the project and the employees assigned to that particular project. CAE’s purpose for the implementation of the matrix structure was to ensure the faster delivery, proper evolution, development and completion of its projects (Appelbaum et al, 2008). However, based upon the case, the key issues experienced by the company started by the power struggles between the project manager and functional manager overall responsibilities. The project manager might have a method of implementing requirements that may best be suited for his/her project and budget, when the functional manager might have taken a different approach when looking at his/her overall products (Appelbaum et al, 2008). Although, products were made faster, it created issues between the overall necessities of the project and the development of the final product. Second, one key issue resulted from the project manager mostly having the face to face and daily interactions with the engineers, nevertheless, his/her authority on them was limited. On the other hand, the functional manager was responsible for the managerial, evaluative and employee development tasks. With the projects often lasting between one and two years, another issue from the employees standpoint was the temporary nature of the project, the confusion and job insecurity experienced by them after the end of the project. Finally, employees were confused about who between the project and the functional manager would be responsible for their new task assignment, appraising their job performance and their career advancement.  


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