The Ideal Performance Appraisal is a Format not a Form

by Jack N. Kondrasuk
published by Academy of Strategic Management Journal, 2012
Ref ASMJ11-08
 

The most maligned (and also dreaded) aspect of human resource management is the process of evaluating an employee’s job performance, writes the author of this article, but such performance appraisals (PAs) are helpful, and often essential, to accomplishing important goals for an organisation.

The author quotes one of the most prominent human resource management textbooks (Dessler, 2011) which states that, ‘few things managers do are fraught with more peril than appraising subordinates’ performance’. He also quotes Thomas and Bretz (1994) who stated that, ‘both managers and employees tend to approach appraisal feedback sessions with fear and loathing.’

The article goes on to explore the history of PAs, and the various problems associated with them, including defining their purpose, how to measure employee performance, and what to do with information gained via PAs.

Having provided an overview, the author sets out a clear and detailed summary of how PAs can be improved using an evidence-based approach. The ideal PA system is a concept or format, not a specific form, he says. The process should include setting the expectations of both parties with the ideal PA having two separate purposes: administrative and developmental. Decisions on the former should be made quickly, while developmental aspects, based on individual goals, can be dealt with later with decisions taking more time. 

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About the authors

Jack N. Kondrasuk is an Associate Professor at University of Portland.

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