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Title: Authoring appraisal : an analysis of participation in performance appraisal systems in two local authorities in England
Author: Grainger, David
ISNI:       0000 0004 2742 1067
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2011
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The use of performance appraisal (PA) schemes is now almost ubiquitous in modem organizations, yet the academic literature on the subject must contend with a number of empirical studies which suggest that those who implement appraisal systems consider them to have failed. This suggests a need for more comprehensive examination of what happens when PA is implemented in practice. Taking a broadly realist approach, this thesis argues that such an examination must give a more comprehensive picture of how each of the different groups involved in PA participate in such schemes, with such participation seen not as determined by appraisal systems, but as meaningful choices taken by agents, which are influenced by such systems. This thesis focuses on the understandings (or 'theorizations') of PA held by different groups, arguing that these are the basis of the choices they make about how to participate. Employees at two local authorities in England were interviewed about their understandings and experiences of PA, and connections were drawn from the distinctive rationalities of each group about the organization in general, through their understandings of PA in particular, to the way they actually participate in appraisal. The latter topic is not a major focus of the thesis, but was studied by examining how PA forms at the two authorities had been designed to produce certain outcomes, and how some appraisers and appraisees had completed those forms. From this examination, two main conclusions are drawn. Firstly, the studied schemes reflected their designers' wish for them to perform multiple and contradictory functions. Secondly, appraisers and appraisees participated in PA enthusiastically, but often in ways against the design of the PA scheme, reflecting the fact that, whilst they accepted the legitimacy of their organization's PA schemes, their understandings of PA were very different to those of the designers.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available