Playing God? the performance of appraisal

Tim Newton, Patricia Findlay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

49 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The authors argue here that work on performance appraisal suffers form a narrow theoretical perspective and a variety of methodological limitations. the narrow theoretical base appears as a consequence of the treatment of performance appraisal within a largely neo-human relations perspective. More recently, however, a critical debate on appraisal has emerged. In order to further this debate, we analyse performance appraisal from the contrasting perspectives of labour process theory and the writings of Michel Foucault. This analysis points to a number of limitations of both mainstream work on appraisal and more recent critical studies. From this, we argue that though appraisal can be seen as a means of manufacturing consent among employees, it should not necessarily be seen as a zero-sum game solely benefiting management groups. At the same time, however, appraisal must be viewed within the wider context of other forms of performance management, surveillance and accountability. Finally, we note that while labour process and Foucauldian perspectives help to contextualise and critique work on appraisal, both are limited by a lack of attention to human agency.

LanguageEnglish
Pages42-58
Number of pages17
JournalHuman Resource Management Journal
Volume6
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 31 Jul 1996

Fingerprint

Deity
Performance appraisal
Performance management
Human relations
Michel Foucault
Surveillance
Zero-sum game
Employees
Consent
Labour process
Accountability
Human agency
Labour process theory
Manufacturing

Keywords

  • performance appraisal
  • performance management

Cite this

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Playing God? the performance of appraisal. / Newton, Tim; Findlay, Patricia.

In: Human Resource Management Journal, Vol. 6, No. 3, 31.07.1996, p. 42-58.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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