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Title: A comparative study of rerformance appraisal system in three banks in contemporary China : the role of guanxi in appraisals
Author: Gu, Fan
ISNI:       0000 0004 2752 930X
Awarding Body: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Current Institution: London School of Economics and Political Science (University of London)
Date of Award: 2013
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Performance appraisal is one of the most popular and widely studied areas in human resource management, industrial relations and organizational psychology. However, most research in this area has been conducted in the USA or UK and reflects a Western context. Some studies on performance appraisal in Chinese organizations have been carried out, but, in the main, these concentrated on the periods of command economy (1949-1984) and transitional economy (1985-1997). In recent years, more and more Chinese state-owned companies and private companies have started to reform their performance appraisal system, by adopting Western style performance appraisal systems. However, there has to date been no academic research on performance appraisal system in Chinese companies with different types of ownership in a market context. The Chinese cultural factor “guanxi” has been found to be one of the most important cultural factors which influences performance appraisal in Chinese organizations. Nonetheless, no study has clearly analysed how guanxi influences performance appraisal in Chinese companies, leaving a significant research gap in our understanding of the impact of guanxi on appraisal and its outcomes. Therefore, this thesis conducted in-depth case studies, consisting of both quantitative (employee survey) and qualitative research (interviews) methodology, on the performance appraisal system in three banks with different ownerships in China, exploring a range of research objectives drawing on performance appraisal theories, justice theories, and guanxi and guanxi practices theories. Based on the results of the pilot study, a scale, which includes two factors “guanxi’s impact on outcome” and “guanxi’s impact on communication”, was developed to measure the impact of guanxi on performance appraisal in Chinese organizations. The statistical analysis of the employee survey indicated that guanxi’s impact on appraisal outcome was negatively related to employees’ perceptions of distributive justice, procedural justice, satisfaction with performance ratings and trust in supervisors; while no significant relationship has been found in this study between guanxi’s impact on communication and employees’ attitudes and behaviour. According to the comparative study of the appraisal system in the state-owned bank, foreign bank and city bank, significant differences of employees’ reactions to guanxi in appraisal, appraisal fairness and appraisal itself were found among these three banks. The employees in state-owned banks perceive less fairness and satisfaction with appraisal, but greater and stronger guanxi impact on appraisal, compared to employees in the foreign and city banks.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: HF Commerce