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Performance Appraisal and Management

Performance Appraisal and Management

March 2018 | 424 pages | SAGE Publications, Inc

Organizations of all sizes face the challenge of accurately and fairly evaluating performance in the workplace. Performance Appraisal and Management distills the best available research and translates those findings into practical, concrete strategies. This text explores common obstacles and why certain performance appraisal methods often fail. Using a strategic, evidence-based approach, the authors outline best practices for avoiding common pitfalls and help organizations achieve their maximum potential. Cases, exercises, and spotlight boxes on timely issues like cyberbullying in the workplace and appraising team performance provides readers with opportunities to hone their critical thinking and decision-making skills. 

About the Authors
Section I: Introduction
Chapter 1: Performance Appraisal: Research and Practice
Learning Objectives

Performance Appraisal: Historical Development and Present Status

Organization of this Book


Exercise: Can Organizations Manage Human Resources Without Performance Appraisal?

Chapter 2: Performance Management and Performance Appraisal
Learning Objectives

Why Study Performance Appraisal Rather Than Performance Management?

Performance Management

Performance Appraisal and Performance Management: Similarities and Differences

Human Resource Management, Strategic HRM, and Performance Management

Can Performance Management Be Simplified?

Can Performance Be Managed?

Challenges in Evaluating Performance Management

What Is the Role of Performance Appraisal in Performance Management?

Performance Appraisal, Performance Management, and Integrated HR Interventions


Analysis: From Strategy to Performance Goals

Chapter 3: Defining Job Performance
Learning Objectives

Defining Performance

A General Model of Job Performance

The Distribution of Job Performance

Dimensions of Job Performance

Units of Analysis and Methods of Measurement

Objective Versus Subjective Measures of Performance


Analysis: Values and Validation—How the Definition of Performance Influences Conclusions Test Validity

Section II: The Performance Appraisal Process
Chapter 4: The Four Key Challenges to Performance Appraisal
Learning Objectives

The Structural Causes of Failure


Exercise: Maintain a Behavior Diary

Chapter 5: Obtaining Information and Evaluating Performance
Learning Objectives

Who Should Evaluate Performance

Cognitive Processes in Performance Evaluation

Liking and Emotion: Affective Influences on Performance Appraisal

Standards for Evaluating Performance


Exercise: Writing Performance Standards

Chapter 6: Rating Scales and Rater Training
Learning Objectives

Rating Scales

Ranking as an Alternative to Rating

Rater Training


Exercise: Developing Behavior-Based Rating Scales

Chapter 7: How Context Influences Performance Appraisal
Learning Objectives

The Emergence of Context-Oriented Research

Distal Context

Proximal Context


Case Study: Why Rank and Yank Failed at Microsoft

Chapter 8: How Organizations Use Performance Appraisal
Learning Objectives

The Purpose of Performance Appraisal

The Uses of Performance Appraisal

Informal Uses of Performance Appraisal: Downward and Upward Influence


Case Study: Even Terrorists Get Performance Appraisals—And Act on Them!

Section III: Challenges in Implementing and Evaluating Performance Appraisal Systems
Chapter 9: Giving and Receiving Feedback
Learning Objectives

The Definition and Purpose of Feedback

Multisource Feedback

Why is Feedback Hard to Give and Receive?

Culture, Climate, and Feedback

The Effects of Feedback and Reactions to Feedback

Do Employees Want Feedback and Development?


Exercise: Evaluate Your Company’s Feedback Program

Chapter 10: Dealing with Reactions and Attitudes
Learning Objectives

Reactions to Appraisal Systems

How Reactions Affect Performance Appraisal Processes and Outcomes

Determinants and Effects of Reactions to Appraisal Systems

The Death Spiral of Appraisal Systems


Case Study: Understanding Resistance to Performance Appraisal

Chapter 11: Evaluating Performance Ratings
Learning Objectives

Do Raters Agree? The Reliability of Performance Ratings

Rater Error Measures

Rating Accuracy

Construct Validity of Performance Ratings

Conclusions About the Reliability, Validity, and Accuracy of Performance Ratings


Exercise: Analyze Rating Data

Chapter 12: Rater Goals and Rating Distortion
Learning Objectives

Why are Ratings Inflated?

Whose Goals?

Rater Goals

Analyzing Performance Rating Strategies as a Choice Between Alternatives


Exercise: Build a Goal Assessment Tool

Section IV: Improving Performance Appraisal Systems
Chapter 13: The Performance Appraisal Debate
Learning Objectives

Getting Rid of Performance Appraisal?

We Can’t Get Rid of Performance Appraisal

Can Appraisal Systems be Saved?


Case Study: Can This Performance Appraisal System Be Saved?

Chapter 14: Building Better Performance Appraisal Systems
Learning Objectives

Improving Performance Appraisals

Make Appraisals Easier and Less Risky

Trust: The Essential Currency of Performance Appraisal

The Ethical Practice of Performance Appraisal


Case Study: Implementing a Performance Appraisal System

Appendix A: Rating Scale Formats


Companion Website

Password-protected Instructor Resources include the following:

  • Editable, chapter-specific PowerPoint® slides offer complete flexibility for creating a multimedia presentation for your course. 

“[This is] a practical, cutting-edge, research-based textbook that bases its conclusions and recommendations on the state-of-the-art science for explaining why performance appraisals fail and how they can be designed for implementing a more successful and sustainable performance appraisal system in organizations. A must-read for students and practitioners alike!”

Uma J. Iyet
Austin Peay State University

“Murphy, Cleveland, and Hanscom have brought together decades of sound research and practice knowledge to shed light on the controversial performance appraisal practices found in almost all organizations. Every designer of PA and HR systems, and those aspiring to be, will run to get and read this book. Don’t abandon Performance Appraisals, re-invent them.”

Mo Cayer
University of New Haven

“Murphy, Cleveland, and Hanscom’s Performance Appraisal: Why Does It Fail and How can it be Fixed? offers a well-grounded in-depth review of current performance appraisal process steps and illustrates the strengths and weaknesses of today’s practices. The focus of the book is on making performance appraisals better for both the employee and supervisor. Case studies allow students to engage in discussing the root-causes of failure and success in the performance appraisal performance process.” 

Bruce E. Winston
Regent University

“Hopefully ‘a bible’ for measuring and evaluating performance.” 

Ann Membel
Southern New Hampshire University

“This book provides a research-based, comprehensive overview of performance appraisals in modern organizations.” 

Sean Valentine
University of North Dakota

“A seminal work for understanding the social psychological processes underpinning performance appraisal process in the workplace.” 

Cort W. Rudolph
Saint Louis University

“This is a very comprehensive tool in explaining the history and value, theorists and models of the performance appraisal process, and it brings the process up to date with a hopeful future.” 

Ann P. Membel
Southern New Hampshire University

“Detailed overview of performance management with relevant and current issues” 

Jennifer E. Fairweather
Regis University

“…The authors provide extensive literature to illustrate their ideas. It is enlightening and worth reading.” 

Jing Zhang
California State University, San Bernardino

“Well-researched, comprehensive, and yet imminently accessible discussion of challenges of performance appraisal.” 

Eric S. Ecklund
Saint Francis University
Key features


  • Using more than 900 references from the most current empirical research to support their arguments, the authors delve into timely issues such as the current debate on the effectiveness of performance appraisal. 
  • Describing the most common performance management challenges provides readers with a realistic and comprehensive look at obstacles they will face such as conflicting goals, leniency, distorted ratings, poor attitudes, and lack of training.
  • Illuminating case studies and hands-on exercises illustrate the connection between research and practice. 
  • Spotlight boxes highlight current debates, trends, and interesting findings in the field to reinforce important concepts while keeping the reader engaged and updated on hot topics.

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