Evolution and Change
Chapter 11: Ways to improve the performance appraisal system 2: Alternative strategies for assessing and evaluating performance
Having largely discussed the classical methods of performance appraisal systems (PASs) and ways in which they should be approached in order to achieve the highest levels of efficacy, we now turn to alternative approaches to performance appraisal that may replace or complement the relatively long-standing procedures or at least compensate for some of the various criticisms directed at these traditional performance appraisal formats and methods. In this chapter, we begin to introduce several of these objections in a systematic fashion and present the reader with a brief catalogue of some of the more widely employed alternatives to performance appraisal (PA) that have found their way into organizations in the current marketplace. Many of these alternative strategies (including performance management strategies) reflect the changing circumstances in the workplace and in technology and are geared to creating a more democratic climate of change than was apparent in previous years. In taking a brief look at some of these alternative methodologies we widen the scope of our overall discussion. In doing so, we distinguish globally between those approaches that focus on company goals, strategy, and bottom-line productivity that tend to match performance against set targets versus appraisal methods based on the view that, in a changing business world, employee appraisal must be immediate, ongoing and looking to the future, rather than inducing workers to be accountable for the past. We also examine approaches to performance appraisal that employ various, alternative sources of observation, including self-appraisal, peers, and subordinates, procedures that certainly help to overcome rater bias, if not intrinsically raising new challenges. Further we elaborate on the use of technology (a subject also treated in Chapter 7) – computerization, automation, media, and simulations – and assessment centers as tools that are increasingly helpful in tracking employee performance in situations where this may have been difficult in the past. And, last, we turn to performance management (PM), both as the emerging global approach to enhancing effectiveness and productivity in the workplace and by way of introduction to emerging theory and research in what has been described as firm-level performance (DeNisi and Smith, 2014).
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