Performance appraisal in American organizations remains a widespread and common practice despite documented criticism of the process by practitioners and researchers alike. Exhaustive research has been conducted on a range of related topics with limited advances in the understanding and practice of performance appraisal. Lack of efficient ways to evaluate performance appraisal systems within organizations has discouraged advances in theory related to performance appraisal as an organizational phenomenon.
Essay Example on An organizational phenomenon
However, studying individual variables has proved so inadequate at explaining the intricacies of performance appraisal that researchers are attempting more comprehensive evaluation techniques. Attitudes and perceptions of performance appraisal by participants within the context of the organization in which the process operates are now being conducted. The literature suggests relative agreement regarding the structural and procedural components of a “well-designed” performance appraisal system.
Many organizations have implemented systems which are based on accepted practices and procedures only to have them rejected by the users. Clearly there is more to an effective performance appraisal system than a technically sound rating format and well defined policies and procedures. There is however, no commonly accepted method or efficient approach to evaluating the effectiveness or success of a performance appraisal system based on a set of well-defined variables.
Identifying and organizing the most important variables in performance appraisal has proved to be a challenging task to researchers and practitioners. Fairness however, is one variable that has been indicated to be a key component in the ultimate success of performance appraisal systems. Evaluating appraisal systems using a theoretical foundation drawn from organizational justice offers researchers the opportunity to examine how the fairness of different aspects of performance appraisal may affect the ultimate success of such organizational systems. Purpose
The purpose of this study was to measure perceptions of fairness of and satisfaction with performance appraisal using Greenberg’s hypothesized four-factor of organizational justice as a theoretical framework. Better understanding of the perceptions of the fairness based on the concepts of systemic, configural, informational, and interpersonal justice of performance appraisal and related employee reactions to such systems should provide decision makers with more specific information needed to improve the effectiveness of the system in achieving organizational goals.
Multi-item scales based on the research of performance appraisal effectiveness and fairness were utilized to measure individuals’ perceptions of the extent to which fair processes and interactions are manifested in an organization’s performance appraisal system. The second goal of the study was to test the theoretical structure of Greenberg’s four- factor model of justice using the scales designed to measure perceptions of fair appraisal practices.
The scales were allocated across Greenberg’s (1993) taxonomy of justice perceptions that has been proposed to be a theoretical model that best integrates the various justice factors into a single model (Thurston, 2001). The study was conducted in a large state government employment system located in the southern United States in the spring of 2003. Two separate agencies were selected for the study. Both agencies have used the same performance appraisal process since it was introduced as a mandatory requirement by the state civil service management division in 1997.
The agencies have significantly different missions and work processes and employ different classifications of employees; one is predominantly technical and scientific with many professional and clerical positions while the other is a health care provider. The oversight for the statewide performance appraisal system is maintained by the central civil service management department but each individual organization is responsible for implementing the system. The only measurement of the performance appraisal system to this point has been the determination of the rate of usage of the system.