Performance Appraisal: The Confrontation of Meanings

Sensemaking perspective is one of the strongest conceptual frameworks for explaining human and social phenomena in organizations.The aim of this study is to apply sensemaking perspective to understand the performance appraisal system in organization. Employees’ perceptions and interpretations and their actions play a pivotal role in performance appraisal effectiveness. Human beings are meaning making creatures and for understanding their actions, one has to enter into their worlds of meaning. The research method of this study is Charmaz’s constructivist Grounded Theory. The sampling method is theoretical sampling and the data gathering method is interviewing. Seventeen emlpyees from two companies with performance appraisal system were interviewed. In line with Charmaz’s constructivist approach to grounded theory, initial and focused coding formed the basis of our data analysis. Findings show that employees’ create four meanings out of performance appraisal: performance appraisal as the managers’ tool of oppression, performance appraisal as all encompassing behavioural record, performance appraisal as a torn paper, and performance appraisal as an unknown phenomenon.In the contexts of performance appraisal employees adopt four action strategies:exhibitive performance, authentic performance, indifference and senseseeking. This research can help organizations manage employees’ meaning and consequently improve the effectiveness of performance appraisal. Additionally, findings of this research enhances the extant understanding of the HRMperformance relationship.

Article Type:
Research/Original Article
Quarterly Journal of Management of Governmental Organizations, Volume:7 Issue:3, 2019
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