In some organizations performance appraisal (PA) and performance management systems are treated as unnecesary or routine job. But the evaluation of of employees' job performance is vital human resources function and of critical importance to the organization. In work organizations performance measurement typically takes place in the form of formal performance appraisals, which measure worker performance in comparison to certain predetermined standards. Performance appraisals serve many purposes for the individual worker, for the worker's supervisor and for whole organization. (Cleveland, Murphy, and Williams, 1989).
For the Worker:
means of reinforcement
information about work goal attainment
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Many researchers believe that criticizing employees, as is often done in evaluations, fosters defensiveness and rationalization, which usually results in nonconstructive responses (Meyer, Kay, and French, 1965). Evaluation is a sensitive matter, often eliciting negative psychological responses such as resistance, denial, aggression, or discouragement, particularly if the assessment is negative. Thus high perceptions of evaluative PA use may result in negative feelings about the appraisal. Previous research on 360-degree feedback has found that ratees approve of these appraisals when they are used for developmental purposes but are not as accepting when they are used for evaluation (McEvoy, 1990). For example, although subordinate raters in one study supported an upward feedback appraisal system for both developmental and evaluative use, the managers (that is, ratees) reacted unfavorably to implementing the appraisal system for evaluation (Ash, 1994). This lends further support to the contention that ratee reactions may vary depending on the perceived PA use and also suggests that evaluation may be viewed negatively by those being appraised. Research on 360-degree reviews as well as the often-negative nature of evaluation suggest that perceived evaluative PA use may associate with negative reactions to the appraisal. In contrast, salary increases are also evaluative, though an increase is arguably a positive outcome. Salary increases may even lead to