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Becoming an employer of choice – How can an excellent performance management and appraisal system help?

I. Introduction: For this assignment you will: 1) Propose a performance appraisal(PA) system for your position. 2) Explain how and why

the system you propose will contribute positively to your organization’s ability to recruit, retain, and develop its employees (i.e.,

to an effective performance management (PM) system and to being an “employer of choice”).

II. Scenario:

Imagine you have just been promoted to your supervisor’s position! *smile* Now you will be supervising those who hold your current

position. One of the first things you have been asked to do is to take a “really careful look” at how the position is being evaluated

and to make recommendations for any needed changes. You not only have a good understanding of what is required for this position and of

how it has been evaluated but the fact that you will now be supervising the position means you have a stake in identifying needed

improvements in the PA system.

Your new boss for this scenario explains that s/he wants a report that does the following:

Describes the current performance appraisal system for the position.
Evaluates the extent to which the current performance appraisal system aligns with and contributes to the organization’s

performance management system.
Explains and evaluates the process and methods used to conduct performance appraisals for this position.
Identifies and analyzes specific strengths and weaknesses in the performance appraisal system and the implications for the

organization’s performance management system.
Describes and analyzes potential options for improvement.
Proposes and defends one to three specific changes that should help the organization ensure it is an employer of choice.

Your boss explains further,

Your studies should help you understand what causes employees to be satisfied with their jobs, to be motivated to excel, and to be

committed to making their organization the best it can be. And, of course, it is important to explain the difference these are likely

to make in employee productivity and performance. I assume you will also have some insights about differences among individuals that

might be important to consider when evaluating job performance.

As a graduate student you have the research skills to find and critically analyze the ideas experts have proposed and to explain how

and why these ideas can help us make our performance appraisal system the best in our industry.

Your boss adds,

And remember, I’m not looking for your opinions, feelings, or personal experiences. I’m also not looking for the ideas you read about

in popular business magazines, newspapers, or books. We need this to be based on the best thinking of experts who have studied

performance appraisals and their implications. We need ideas that are based on good evidence and sound reasoning. This is too important

to trust to the business ‘fad of the day’! Also, before you suggest something like a 360 degree assessment system, be sure to take a

careful look at both the advantages and the problems associated with this idea. It sounds great in theory to have employees evaluating

their bosses, peers evaluating each other, and customers adding their input but we need to be really sure this is something that will

work in our organization. I’ve heard some horror stories from my colleagues and don’t want to be responsible for the same here.

Note: While this assignment asks you to apply what you learn from your assigned reading and additional research to the organization

where you work, you are not expected to actually give the briefing document to your boss. Instead you will submit this to your

professor for evaluation and feedback. Below are steps to follow in completing this assignment and below that is a table with

deliverables and some resources that will give you a good start.

III. Steps to Completion

Step #1: Review the format you will use for this report (see below).

Step #2: Before doing any reading or research write brief responses to the following four questions. The purpose of this section is to

help you identify ideas/biases you may have that it will be helpful to recognize before completing your analysis. Include your

responses, as Appendix A, with your final report.

1) How well does the appraisal system used for your position work? (2 to 5 sentences).

2) What things are evaluated and are there important responsibilities/expectations that are not considered as part of the performance

appraisal? (3 to 5 sentences)

3) What process is currently used to collect information about performance and to provide feedback and how well do these parts of the

system work? (3 to 5 sentences)

4) What three things would you change about the way your position is evaluated and why? (3 – 5 sentences)

Step #3: Context: Use this step to examine your position, noting what its responsibilities are supposed to be as well as what those in

the position actually do. If there is a written job description review it, again comparing what it says with what happens in practice.

Recall when conducting your job analysis that you want to look at it from the perspective of someone who is supervising the position.

This helps you distance yourself from personal experiences that may be unique to you and that may influence your ability to be

objective. In the Context section, describe briefly (and in full sentences) what the job is about, as you would if you were explaining

your job to someone external to the organization, perhaps to a friend or a potential employer. While you do NOT want to gather data

from others in your position or conduct any interviews, this SHRM site offers a good explanation of what a job analysis is and some of

the reasons for doing one. Also for the context section you will want to briefly describe the organization’s approach to PM.

Step #4: Theoretical framework: In addition to what you have read in Robbins and Judge (2016), broaden your understanding of

performance appraisals and their optimal role in performance management by reading the following and conducting additional journal

research. Note that these articles serve as a starting point. You will need to supplement these with other articles. You will find

these articles and others that may prove helpful in Content >Course Resources>eReserves>Week four in our LEO classroom. For additional

research, we recommend the use of the “Journals to Use and Cite: Leading Business, Management & Technology Journals” list (found under

the Content tab in our classroom).

Aguinis, H., Gottfredson, R.K., & Joo, H. (2012). Delivering effective performance feedback: The strengths-based approach. Business

Horizons, 55, 105-11. doi: 10.1013/j.bushor.2011.10.004

Aguinis, H., Joo, H., and Gottfredson, R.K. (2011, November – December). Why we hate performance management—And why we should love

it. Business Horizons, 54(6), 503-507.

Cascio, W.F. (1982). Scientific, legal, and operational imperatives of workable performance appraisal systems. Public Personnel

Management, 11(4), 367 -346. This resource provides important information about five absolute imperatives/requirements for an effective

performance appraisal. This is a required resource for this assignment and must be cited in the report. (There is a link to this in

eReserves. While not a current source this qualifies as a classic article by one of the top U.S. management scholars and presents ideas

that remain relevant and important.)

Kondrasuk, J.N. (2012). The ideal performance appraisal system is a format, not a form. Academy of Strategic Management Journal,11


Include these and all the journal articles and any other resources cited in your report to the list of references at the end of your

report. Be sure these are in alphabetical order and are formatted in compliance with APA standards.

Use the major ideas and theories you discovered from your research to create the framework you will use to analyze the current

performance appraisal system for your position and its implications for your organization’s approach to performance management. Your

framework should introduce and define key concepts (e.g., performance appraisal, performance management, employer of choice). It should

summarize theories about what scholarly experts agree should be found in any performance appraisal system (see, for example, Cascio’s

requirements). You may also want to include in your framework ideas that have been proposed as important but may not yet be supported

by research of practice. (In other words, the arguments made by the scholars may seem sound and appealing in theory but they may not

have benefited from examination in practice.)

Step #5: Application and Analysis: Now that you have completed your research and clarified the responsibilities for your position, it

is time to apply the ideas of scholarly experts to the PA system for your organization and analyze the the extent to which they fit

your case example (i.e., your position). You will certainly want to address whether your PA system meets the tests of relevance,

reliability, sensitivity, practicality, acceptability, and legality. You will, as well, want to discuss the extent to which your PA

fits with other ideas you found that you believe are and will be important going forward. End this section with a brief summary of your

findings from this application and analysis of theory to your position and organization.

Step #6: Conclusions, Recommendations, and Reflections: In this section briefly summarize your main conclusions and then include some

recommendations that are directly related to what you found in your application and analysis section. Share reflections on what you

have learned that you think will be useful for you in the future.

Submit your draft complete report (in the template) to turnitin.com and make any needed improvements before submitting the final

version by the end of week 4. Post your final report as an attachment in your Assignment Folder using the following naming protocol:


IV. Deliverables:

Week 4

Completed briefing report using the template provided for this assignment. ( Approximately 2500 words not including the references).

V. Report Format

Your Report’s Title

(Your Name)

I. Introduction: Explain 1) the purpose (to present a critical analysis of the system used to evaluate performance in a specific

position and organization), 2) The rationale (to see whether the PA system in use meets standards established by experts and whether

improvements might be needed to help the organization qualify as an employer of choice), 3) the approach you used (to research the

expert scholarly literature on PA and PM and apply it to your position and organization), 4) your key findings and conclusions, and 5)

how the balance of this report is organized. (Approximately 150 words)

II. Case Context:

A. Your position: Prepare a brief summary (3 to 5 sentences) that describes the job and any gaps between what is evaluated and the

actual responsibilities required of the position.

B. Current performance appraisal (PA) and performance management (PM) systems: Referencing work from scholarly literature, describe

the performance appraisal (PA) system used to evaluate your position and how it fits within your organization’s performance management

system be sure to explain the following: 1) What the PA system emphasizes and evaluates for your position (i.e., behaviors, attitudes,

traits, goals, or some combination thereof). 2) What the organization’s approach to PM is. 3) What the relationship is between PA and

PM in your organization. 4) The method used to collect information about performance for those in your position. 5) The method used to

determine different levels of performance and the final resources of the appraisal. 6) The The approach and method used to provide

feedback. (Approx. 250 words)

III. Theoretical Framework – Use the information in Step #4 above to guide development of your theoretical framework. (Approx. 800


IV. Application and Analysis: See Step #5 above. (Approx. 800 words)

V. Conclusions, Recommendations, and Reflections. See Step #6 above. (Approx. 550 words)


(In alphabetical order and formatted in compliance with APA standards. All works cited in your report must be included in this list.)


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