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Improving Performance Appraisal at Work

Evolution and Change

Aharon Tziner and Edna Rabenu

Compiling extensive research findings with real insights from the business world, this must-read book on performance appraisal explores its evolution from the classic appraisal to its current form, and the methodology behind its progression. Looking forward, Aharon Tziner and Edna Rabenu emphasize that well-conducted appraisals combine a mixture of classic and current, and are here to stay.
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Chapter 6: Performance appraisal and political considerations in the workplace

Aharon Tziner and Edna Rabenu

Extract

A continuous theme of our discussion has been that current models of performance appraisal point to both the intrinsic nature of the appraisal system and its organizational context as critical dimensions for a clear understanding of the rating process. Adler et al. (2016) note that one of the non-performance, contextual, determinants of performance ratings most extensively studied was the political use of rating (Cleveland and Murphy, 1992; Longenecker, Sims, and Gioia, 1987; Murphy and Cleveland, 1995; Tziner and Murphy, 1999; Tziner, Prince, and Murphy, 1997). Indeed, more than the questions of appraisal accuracy or organizational concomitants, evidence piled up in the literature that rating inaccuracy has more to do with the deliberate, volitional distortion of performance ratings than was previously recognized. The empirical data indicates that these deliberate rating distortions occur because of supervisors’ feelings of discomfort with the appraisal system and its outcomes, and reflect their conscious efforts to produce ratings that will achieve personal goals. Such manipulative behaviors can be subsumed under the heading of organizational politics, which forms the basis of this chapter.

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