Performance Appraisal in Context of MNC’s

Prepare a Research Proposal relating to a specific area of business

The topic selected for the study is the criteria for performance appraisal in the global MNC’s. The history of performance appraisal is moderately succinct. It is a discrete and recognized management protocol that has been used for evaluating the performance of the employees with respect to the work done by them. The importance of the concept of performance is increasing at a higher rate and it serves as a powerful tool for increasing the overall productivity of the employees. It is the central part of human resource management in an organization. If there is no reliable performance appraisal system in an organization, then the whole human assets in the organization will be of no use. The concept of performance appraisal is followed in any organization to increase the motivation level and productivity among the employees so that the goals and objectives of the organization can be achieved without difficulty. The human penchant for critic will create complicated problems within the organization, such as motivational problems, ethical problems, and social problems. The performance appraisal system helps in fixing the right wage and salary for the employees based on their job performance. Job performance is measured both quantitatively and qualitatively. Qualitative and quantitative in the sense that it measures not only the performance of the employees but also the potential of the employees for further development.

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According to Flippo, a prominent personality in the field of Human resources, “performance appraisal is the systematic, periodic and an impartial rating of an employee’s excellence in the matters pertaining to his present job and his potential for a better job” (Performance appraisal, n.d.).

It is an authoritative tool that is used for calibrating, refining, and gratifying the performance of the employees. As far as MNC’s are concerned, the number of employees will be more and they have to give more importance to managing the performance of the employees. This enables the employees to understand their performance and to increase their performance, based on the feedback given by their superiors during the process of performance rating. Performance appraisal is mostly done by the superiors, but it is more effective when it is done self.

The process of performance appraisal is vested in the hands of the personnel or human resource department in an organization. The superior or the HR manager is responsible for performing this activity. The important objectives to conduct performance appraisal are as follows:

  • To continuously review and analyze the performance of the employees for a particular time period and for a particular job.
  • To bridge the gap between the expected performance and the actual performance.
  • To enable the management to control the overall management activities.
  • To make the other human resource related operations perform in the best manner.
  • To eliminate dissatisfaction and reduce the rate of grievances that an employee faces.

The critical aspect in the process of performance appraisal is its accuracy and objectivity used for measuring the performance of the employees. There are numerous methods that are used for measuring and evaluating the individual performance of the employees in an organization. Basically, there are two methods for performance appraisal.

Traditional method and modern method are used for conducting performance appraisal within the organization. The most commonly used methods are behavioural observation scale, 360-degree appraisal, management by objectives (MBO) and behaviourally anchored rating scale.

There are various criteria with which the performance appraisal is done.

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  • Traits: Traits are very easy to assess as they are different for different persons.
  • Behaviour: The performance of employees can be appraised on the basis of the behaviour exhibited by them. The positive performance should be appraised and motivated. The negative performance should be punished or eliminated.
  • Task outcome: The information available related to the outcome of the individual performance serves as the best method to evaluate the performance of the employees. It is considered as the most appropriate factor that is used by most of the enterprises globally.

Identify Research Questions/ hypothesis and justify the choice

The research is conducted to identify and analyze the various criteria that are used for appraising the performance of the individual employee in an organization. Various criteria have been identified such as trait, behaviour and outcome. Based on the topic of the research and the understandings gained from the research, various research questions are framed. The research questions are as follows:

  1. Whether the criteria mentioned provide accurate result for the process of performance appraisal?
  2. How these criteria are helpful in the process of performance appraisal?
  3. Among the given criteria, which is the most important criterion that has to be given more importance?
  4. Are the ratings by using these criteria biased?

The answers for these questions will clarify the doubts that are related to the importance of the criteria’s that are used to evaluate the performance appraisal process within an organization.

Justify the chosen Methodology in terms of research Questions

To investigate about the performance appraisal in the modern scenario, various practices that are currently implemented by the organizations are taken into consideration. The samples taken for the study are the employees from all levels. The criteria that are used to evaluate the level of performance of the employees are also considered well. Methodology refers to the way in which the information is collected from different research projects.

Basically, the research method involves the use of instruments that are used for collecting the information such as the questionnaire, survey, observation, analysis of records, case study and interview. The best methods that are used for evaluating and measuring the performance appraisal of the individual employees are to use the observation, questionnaire and interview methods by which the data will be more accurate than when collected from other methods.

Observation is the method by which the performance or outcome of the employees is observed by their superior. The superior understands, analyzes and evaluates the employees’ performance and assesses the areas where they need to be improvised. The other method which was found to be appropriate for the research is the interview method. The interview method is used to collect the data directly from the employees.

The efficiency and effectiveness of the performance appraisal system in an organization can be understood clearly from the information that is directly collected from the individual.

Questionnaire is a set of questions that are mainly designed in such a way that it will be able to generate all the ideas regarding the performance appraisal process implemented in the organization. The questions in the questionnaire are close ended questions, so that specified answers can be used for measurement.

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Prepare an Action plan with Target dates and methods for monitoring and updating

Action plan is the plan which lists out all the activities that have to be performed for achieving the research objectives. In a simple way, it is a plan used to achieve research objective. The research action plan is designed in such a way that it should be completed within the specified time period and with the predetermined cost allocated for it. The important objective of this research work is identifying the criteria that are relevant for appeasing the performance of the employees. The action plan is listed as follows:

Step 1 – identify the aim and objective of the research work

The aim of this research work is to identify the various criteria for performance appraisal that are used by the global multinational companies.

The objectives of the study are:

  • To understand the importance of criteria in the process of performance appraisal.
  • To identify the various criteria taken for the process of performance appraisal.
  • To identify the most important criterion among various criteria.
  • To identify whether there is any bias associated with the performance appraisal when such criteria are taken.

Step 2 – generate research question based on what the information have to be collected

Based on the topic and objective of the study, various research questions are designed. They are as follows:

  1. Whether the criteria mentioned provide accurate result for the process of performance appraisal?
  2. How these criteria are helpful in the process of performance appraisal?
  3. Among the given criteria, which is the most important criterion that has to be given more importance?
  4. Are the ratings by using these criteria biased?

Step 3 – select the sources from where the data has to be collected

For conducting the research work, various data has to be collected form different sources. It includes primary and secondary data. The primary data are the data taken from the questionnaire or through interview with the employees and the data taken from the observation method. The secondary data refers to the data taken from published material related to the specific topic.

Step 4 – identify the methods by which the information can be collected

In this research work, the methods by which the information has to be collected are through observation method, questionnaire method and interview method.

Step 5 – collect and analyze both primary and secondary data

The data that are collected from both the sources are collected and analyzed appropriately.

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Step 6 – process and analyze the data that has been collected

The data that are collected from both primary and secondary sources should be processed well. Those processed data are taken for reference only after a thorough analysis.

Step 7 – choose the presentation method to communicate the findings derived from the research

The communication method that has to used to present the findings must be decided well. The presentation can be done in writing or it can be oral through discussion among the research workers.

Step 8 – taking feedback and evaluating whether the research work undergone was effective

The progress in the research work has to be evaluated and if there is any deviation, appropriate measures have to be taken. There is a chance for bias in some cases when the data collected through questionnaire and interview is not true in nature. In some cases the information given in the questionnaire may not be true and this may lead to faulty evaluation that makes the whole research process ineffective.

Taking feedback and evaluating whether

Action Plan

Device a Code of Ethics for the Conduct of the Study

Code of ethics refers to the quality judgment and it depends upon the shared values among the individuals involved in the process of this research work. The code of conduct is a document that has been framed for the efficient and effective performance of the overall research work carried on.

In this case, the Code of ethics would be to treat all members of the work force equally without any kind of discrimination on the basis of age, gender, sexual preferences or disabilities. Besides, the Code of Ethics need to consider that there need be no discrimination, or bias in favour of any gender in terms of work allocation, or its execution. Besides, there is need to identify, instil and enforce a code of work practices, which would lay down minimum standards for potential recruiters. Potential employees need to be rigorously screened before being appointed in terms of the fact that they meet all parameters in terms of education, accomplishments, work experience and testimonials. The benefits and adverse effects of ill suited employees do not only increase stress and tension levels of their team members but could also do positive harm to the corporate ethos and culture of the company in the short run, since a few unsuitable employees could irreparably damage the corporate fabric and framework which the founding members had so painstakingly cultivated and developed.

A company could ill afford to negate the wishes and aspirations of its majority well wishers for the sake of the detriment caused by a select few. It is necessary that PA place them where they really belong and take necessary measures to solve the problem rather than dwell long. Eventually, the wishes of majority stakeholders need to supersede minority interests.

Conduct Research using primary and secondary sources of information

Undertake Primary and secondary research relating to proposal

Primary research refers to getting the data that are original in nature. Primary research gives out primary data that are first in hand and are collected through various methods that are used in the study. The important methods of research in the primary research are face to face interviews, telephone interviews, online surveys, focus group, consumer panels and questionnaire. Among these methods, the best methods that can be taken for the study to gather information are questionnaire, observation and interview methods. In this case, the primary research that needs to have been undertaken would have been interviews and confabulations with senior HR Managers in Trade, Industry and Commerce in order to gain a first hand account of how performance appraisals are conducted and what are the instruments that are utilised. Besides, a cross section of respondents would include members of work force from several units and enterprises. This is in order to avoid bias and discrimination in the choice of respondents, especially since MNC are major employers in global business today, and contribute to overall business efficiencies of all kinds.

Secondary research is the data that are collected from the published materials and they are true to the knowledge and serve as an important criterion that can be used for the research. Arguments and evaluations are done based on these researches.

Primary research takes into account different empirical studies, especially of the kind that involves surveys, interviews and actual case studies, and is thus more genuine, since they are based on conducted research. To a very large extent, primary research is based on actual facts, predicated with actual research, whether undertaken by a market research consultant or professional research groups. Secondary research, on the other hand, is based upon literature gleaned from secondary sources, like web libraries, journals and field magazines, or some other secondary research. Perhaps, the question that now arises is the appropriateness and relevance of research in this context, which is performance appraisal in context of MNC’s.

For a research of this kind, it is important that the type of research be clearly defined, which could, ultimately lead to failure or success of such projects. It is believed that this research needs to be a mix of both primary and secondary research, which could help derived the best of both worlds- genuineness and originality of primary research combined with depth, broadness and wisdom of secondary research. Besides, secondary research could lay bare new and innovative vistas of thinking and understanding in unexplored areas of the topic. Secondary research could invoke fresh debate on the subject of performance appraisal in the context of MNC’s which could not, perhaps, be possible in a restricted and constrained atmosphere of primary research given its constraints of time, money and human resources. Therefore, it has become necessary to conduct a mix of both primary and secondary research in order to gain material advantage in the realms of the topic under research.

Describe and justify the chosen methodology

Three methods are selected for the study. They are the observation method, interview method and questionnaire method. These methods are selected based on the topic of the research and intensity of the study. The three methods selected are appropriate for this research work. The criteria that are taken for evaluation are traits, outcome and behaviour. These are important components that have been taken for the study. The components taken are the three important aspects that make the research process a success. In this case study it is proposed to interview around 75 managers of HR discipline drawn from various industrial units in the country. The personal interview-cum- question answer method would be invariably used for this qualitative study, since this is gleaned to be the best method available under the circumstances. Besides discussed with these experienced managers would also throw open further analysis and discussions on these matters under study.

Carry out research project into the specific areas of business

Preparation of Research Project and agree process and action plan with supervisor

In a research study of this nature, it is important that the framework of research project be correctly and coherently drawn up, leaving no room for ambiguity or miss-interpretation at a later stage and time. One of the main aspects of the research project is the research goals and objectives that are being sought to be attained and achieved through the research process, in terms of a greater understanding about the subject matter under review, its critical study, its impact and influence over the proceedings. Thus, it would be necessary to know and achieve not only the main goals and objectives of research, but also form a correct basis and premise for detailed future research on this subject. Thus, the main aspects, as in any research study, would be the efforts and plans formulated to arrive at the testing of the hypothesis, or research question need to be evolved, and not be limited to selective respondents but need to embrace a broad spectrum of approved and accepted research precepts and practices, perhaps modified and moulded to suit the individual requirements of this research study.

The aspects of criteria that need to be delineated for performance appraisals in Global MNC’s are the core choice for this research paper. It is also necessary to contribute to the knowledge and data that is already researched through perhaps plugging loopholes in the existing research data available. For instance, the literature review need to throw up new ideas and strategies that have not been considered by earlier research theorists and practitioners and also provide how such new literature could aid to getting to know more about the subject and the various intricacies and complexities that govern it in the present scenario. It is also necessary to understand how these current stipulated benefits impinge upon future research and need to be explained in its proper context and perspective.

Monitor and revise Schedule when required

It is often possible that work schedules may need to be restructured, or redrafted due to supervening activities that arise in between, that may justify such changes.

For Instance, if appointment with respondents cannot be gained due to their busy work schedules, it would become necessary to change such programs to conform to such needs. Again, collation of data and pilot survey would require time which may not have been earlier provided in the Research Scheme. Thus, there is vital need for matching of survey processes and action plans, in order to seek out and sustain synchronization of processes and action plans. Besides, it is also necessary that all aspects need to be pre-planned, well co-ordinated and well organized, missing no aspect, small or significant, that could impact upon the plans.

Collect and review data using appropriate methods including primary and secondary research techniques

It is observed that in the context of global MNC, there are many aspects that impact performance appraisal (PA). For one thing, the culture of the country in which the PA is taking place is critical, especially the work culture prevalent in the organization in which the PA is taking place. Again, it is seen that often the executives who need to give PA inputs about employees and executives are the direct immediate supervisors of the people whose, PA are to be made, and the attitude and management style of the immediate supervisor or superior are critically important. For instance, in the Middle East, the immediate supervisor who would be co-ordinating the PA need not necessarily be a European or a local Arab, s/he could even be an expatriate, or native, or a person from a third country, like Syria.

As required by the study, 75 managers in industry were contacted for interview purpose and they were informed about the different aspects of this study. Personal appointments at time and place convenient to them were made and they were informed about it. At the appointment time and place, 10 numbers of respondents were not available for survey. Out of the balance 65 numbers, 5 answer sheets were rejected due to technical reasons, and only the balance 60 were selected.

Using primary research traits, it was seen that most of the respondents were personally aware of the impact of PA in their business. As a matter of fact, most of the erudite respondents wanted to have personal assessment conducted on their performance, irrespective of the fact whether they considered their performance negatively viewed, or positively seen. While a plethora of factors, extraneous and internal, overt and covert, upbeat or downcast, negative or positive, could be seen in PA, most of the respondents felt that PA are essential for job evaluation and improvement. Their immediate bosses are the best people who could provide constructive advice and counsel to most employees, since they are the persons who need to get work done out of them. Deficient work, frequent delays and rewordings need to be brought to the notice of the immediate supervisor, who would next need to advise and counsel the members about how they should tackle the issue. Once all matters are clearly declared by the supervisors, it needs to be implemented by the juniors, especially new comers, and this is the responsibility of the people who are actually assigned the job. PA concerns itself as to how best employees attend to their roles and responsibilities, how well their work is carried out, what are the areas of deficit and how these could be possible attended to and remedied with the help of supervisors. The supervisors could only guide and counsel the workers, they are not supposed to do their work, it is incumbent that workers listen and obey the supervisors toto, otherwise it is the corporate that is losing, not the individuals. No progressive minded or forwarding looking director would like roles to be misplaced or companies losing money and time due to the callousness and indifference of a select few, since the company could function better without them.

The temperament, attitude towards work and personality of this person would be important consideration for PA. If the person attaches importance to hard work and diligence, he may consider only such persons for benefit under PA. A lot, therefore, rests on local factors, especially in a global business setting. Again, more often than not, PA would need to be conducted on a regular basis, at least once every year, without which performance improvement cannot be sustained. As a matter of fact, informal PA needs to be conducted regularly in order to improve work performance on regular basis. The method or mode by which PA is conducted is also important. While some business believes in interview methods, others would take recourse to Head office standard forms which need to be filled up by the employer/ local supervisor or reporting head. This seeks to standardize PA on a global basis. While this seeks uniformity and consistency in the PA process, this would, in essence, rob the PA process of its local characteristics. Again, taking the case of a Middle East company operating in UAE, it would be ludicrous to suggest that onsite executives toiling in an oilfield be subjected to the same kinds of PA rigors as that of an executive on a desk job in posh head office at Abu Dhabi. The work demands are different, and thus the PA criteria may also need to be different although both contributions may be critical for the company. Thus, it is necessary to have job-focused PA rather than standardized ones, to ensure harmony and good comparisons.

Besides, it is also necessary that supervisors and superior officers who are conducting the PA also report on critical aspects outside the scope of PA, which may not be available in standardized ones.

Analyze and interpret appropriate qualitative and quantitative data on research subject

The qualitative aspects regarding PA, with regard to work performance of the said employee is in terms of productivity, efficiency, time management, interaction with fellow employees, peer groups and superiors, and the overall impressions that his superior reporting officer has about him/her. This could also be with regard to behaviour and general disposition towards work and fellow employees. The quantitative aspects with regard to PA is target achievement, turnover (for sales performers), and quantum of business and files disposed for other areas; in case of recruitment officers, the number of recruitments carried out successfully and training programs undertaken. PA needs to take care of the various determinants set in the assessment form and inform to what extent, the appraised employee has implemented the pre-determined criteria into his work performance and final output, and more critically the areas in which the employee has been found deficient and needs to be trained and brought up to expected standards. Moreover, it is also seen that while companies may differ in the wordings and content of PA forms, the goal and objective of PA is to present the employees’ performance truthfully and without kind of bias, or discrimination, inform strengths and weaknesses, and while seeking to iron out deficiencies through skill development and further on-the-job- training, also seek to build on strengths of employee through greater usage of skills for corporate and personal benefits. The benefits of PA are palpable both for employees and employers. The former could seek out more monetary and non-monetary benefits through PA, better job rotation and promotional avenues. The employers could make better and more advanced uses of employee skills and potential for greater competitive advantages. “This on-the-job training practice has been found to be especially important to support their international adjustments to their work demands and is even often recommended as more valuable than pre-determined training” (Vance & Paik, 2006, p.266).

The fact that the main strength of corporate establishment is its employees is well documented, since many large corporations have failed due to departure of key employees. Thus, it is important that regular PA is conducted to keep the employees well motivated and to inspire them for heightened performance in future.

Present and evaluate findings with respect to initial proposal

Record findings in an accepted form

The archiving of the deliberations during PA and its future review during the next round of PA also forms a major aspect of this methodology. Unless corrective steps are taken to wipe out deficiencies and improve individual performance, it would serve little value. The results of the findings do re-establish influence and control of Performance appraisal in management decision making regarding wage accretion, promotion and rewarding good employees. The HR managers felt that all kinds of people worked in industry, and therefore a general assessment was neither correct, nor feasible. Individual assessments of people need to be done, their strengths assessed and weaknesses remedied. Only then, when people become aware of their shortcomings and take action accordingly could the business prospects and performance improve. Besides, the overall findings do justify the use of research based performance appraisals, wherever feasible.

Present and summarize the findings using suitable methods

Upon the deliberations of the survey conducted with employees, it was determined that the criteria of work performance and output provided an accurate result for the process of performance appraisal. These criteria were helpful since they afforded to make effective comparisons between the employees who made the grade and those who did not. In other words, PA was able to sift the efficient and effective employees from the others, and this is remarkable in the case of large firms employing thousands of employees in all their branches. The methods that could be used for such PA could be the use of Likert Scales, other Matrixes and statistical studies that could provide a comprehensive and reliable result for this genre of research work.

Among the given criteria which is the most important criterion that has to be given more importance?

The most important criterion that needs to be observed is that of accuracy and reliability of the data that underpins its interpretation and analysis. This could also be evidenced that lack of substantiation of facts or poor kind could cause the research study to become inconclusive, or inaccurate. Thus, the very purpose of this research study could be defeated. In order for the study be authentic, reliable and accurate and amenable to further research in later time, it is necessary that gained data should be sifted for errors and misrepresentations, and only genuine data be allowed to be part of the research base.

Are the ratings by using these criteria biased?

The ratings could not be biased, but its interpretations and analysis drawn from it could be discriminatory, depending upon how it is placed in the context of study. It needs to be seen that in global culture, there are several impacts on PA including the work culture practices, the attitudes and inclinations of the supervisors who prepare and report the studies and also how the management would interpret and analyze the reports. In a professional and result based work environment, the chances of bias may be minimized, since there are many people involved in the PA and it follows different scientific channels of performance appraisal evaluation. Again, there are clear cut rules and regulations underlying PA and its effectuation that may remove the elements of bias in it. However, the aspects could surface at a later stage when human discretion and differentials come into play, which could, in effect, manipulate the research findings for individual needs, etc.

Evaluate the methodology used and critically analyze the findings

The methodology that has been used for this research study is based on interviews with selected respondents who are part of PA techniques and systems, as employees. They would present a cross sectional variety of responses, ranging from highly positive and affirmative to disgruntled variety of employees who would seek every method to denounce such systems, rating them as unfair and discriminatory. Overall, the findings believe that in a global environment, the need for MNC to work out and enforce PA is of critical importance, given the fact that performance and reward are closely linked in such environments, and the need to seek out and impose training needs and improvement skills are of paramount value and understanding.

Proposed recommendations based on the findings which identify and justify areas for future research

The proposed recommendations with regard to research on performance appraisal in a multicultural environment need to be based on global formats and work sheets. For one thing, there is need to continually improve and motivate employees for better job performance and for another, the needs to link reward with performance is stark and needs to be based on scientifically applied and designed techniques and systems. There is need to make formative and constructive changes not only in the preparation of Performance Assessment charts, but also seek ways and means by which these could be worked out to benefit all concerned – the organization, the employers, the employees and professional consultancy firms who are often needed to conduct PA – in order to attain objectivity and sustenance in PA precepts and practices.

Reference

Performance appraisal, n.d. [Online] Appraisals. Web.

Vance, C.M., & Paik, Y., 2006. Managing a global workforce: Challenges and opportunities in international human resources management. [Online] M.E. Sharpe, p.266. Web.

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