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The Politics of Performance Appraisal

Autor:   •  February 4, 2014  •  Essay  •  1,062 Words (5 Pages)  •  1,342 Views

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The Politics of Performance Appraisal

Abstract

This paper examines the politics involved with performance appraisals. We will analyze the discussion of four managers from Eckel Industries and discuss their differing perspectives toward their company’s annual evaluation process. We will appraise their views on “fine-tuning” evaluations and discuss how it can distort the intended outcomes of the evaluation cycle. Finally we will explore options available to the Human Relations (HR) manager to help reduce or eliminate the instances of fine-tuning and improve the overall process to provide accurate and timely feedback.

Introduction

In our course textbook, Organizational Behavior and Management, the authors Ivancevich, Konopaske, and Matteson (2011) have provided several case studies to enhance our learning experience. In the fourth study we learn about the politics involved with performance appraisals. Based on a weekly informal gathering of four of Eckel Industries managers, Max, Lynne, Jim, and Tom, we discover their differing perspectives of the company’s annual review process. Their tenure at Eckel ranges from one year for Tom, the newest manager, to 12 years for Max. All four are former college classmates and close friends and can freely discuss their concerns about the company without fear of reprisal. In the case study, the managers have a free flowing conversation about their frustrations with the process and how they have adapted as a result. By analyzing their perceptions, we are able to determine if the overall objectives of performance evaluations are being met. These objectives include the categories of judgmental and developmental orientations. During the discussion, the topic of “fine-tuning” evaluations is raised. While Max, Lynne, and Jim see the process of fine-tuning as acceptable, Tom sees it as a distortion that can skew the evaluation results and render it useless. We will review their comments and determine if any of their justifications for fine-tuning are valid. Finally, as part of our analysis we will explore and recommend options available to the Human Relations (HR) manager to help reduce or eliminate the instances of fine-tuning and ensure the evaluation process provides important and necessary feedback in a timely manner and improves overall employee performance.

Objectives of Evaluations

In our textbook, Organizational Behavior and Management, we learn that there are two categories for the purpose of evaluations. The first is judgmental orientation that includes:

• providing a quantifiable basis for rewards or punishment including raises, promotions, transfers, layoffs,

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