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Culbert, S. A. (2011).  Why Your Boss Is Wrong About You.
"Under such a system [of performance appraisal], in which one's livelihood can be destroyed by a self-serving boss trying to meet a budget or please the higher-ups, what employee would ever speak his mind? What employee would ever say that the boss is wrong, and offer an idea on how something might get done better?
Only an employee looking for trouble."
Coens, T., & Jenkins M. (2000).  Abolishing Performance Appraisals: Why They Backfire and What to Do Instead.
In the introduction to the book, subtitled "Letting Go of a Hopeless Ritual", the authors include the following quotation: "The world will not be saved by old minds with new programs. If the world is saved, it will be saved by new minds—with no programs."
The authors argue that appraisal ratings produce "unintended consequences—the insidious, destructive, and counterproductive effects of giving people ratings about their work performance. Whether accurate or not, people are psychologically affected by ratings. And except for people rated at the highest end of the scale, the impact is usually negative and consequently counterproductive to the cause of improving performance." (p. 69)
Bassman, E. S. (1992).  Abuse in the Workplace: Management Remedies and Bottom Line Impact.
"A system of performance appraisal creates the appropriate environment for individual abuse by providing managers with opportunities to practice management by fear. Its existence also is an example of institutional abuse, because it contributes to a culture based on management by threat and intimidation....To truly create the conditions that will support an all-out effort towards continuous improvement of products and services, the annual review of individual performance will have to be given up because it drives the wrong behavior. Practicing quality appropriately will also remove opportunities for abusing employees through management by fear." (p. 173)
Walton, M. (1988).  The Deming Management Method.
The Seven Deadly Diseases
"3. Evaluation by performance, merit rating, or annual review of performance. The effects of these are devastating—teamwork is destroyed, rivalry is nurtured. Performance ratings build fear, and leave people bitter, despondent, and beaten." (p.36)
See also in particular: 1 (Deming1982)
Aguayo, R. (1991).  Dr. Deming: The American Who Taught the Japanese About Quality.
"Executives and business students often feel lost after hearing Deming rail against merit plans and the annual performance review. It seems to some that he is asking them to give up control of the work force. Questions like the following are often asked: 'But how does one motivate people without plans that distinguish and rank performance?' 'How does one keep the workers honest?'
The answer is to tap intrinsic motivation." (p. 101)
Bakke, D. W. (2005).  Joy at work: a revolutionary approach to fun on the job.
"As Rob Lebow and Randy Spitzer wrote in Accountability: Freedom and Responsibility Without Control, 'Too often, appraisal destroys human spirit and, in the span of a 30-minute meeting, can transform a vibrant, highly committed employee into a demoralized, indifferent wallflower who reads the want ads on the weekend....They don't work because most performance appraisal systems are a form of judgement and control.'" (p. 110)
Stoner, J. A. F., & Freeman R. E. (1989).  Management.
"Having one's performance evaluated can be very stressful, especially when it affects one's job and income." (p. 738)
Flory, C. D. (1967).  Managers for tomorrow.
"If the manager thinks of his central function as that of coordinating people around a task, the people quickly conclude the company is interested only in what it can get out of them. The individual's needs for growth, initiative, self-reliance, and self-actualization become submerged in a mass of performance data purporting to tell the manager how he is doing. Is it surprising that people who accept this concept of themselves on the job, and who let 'others do the thinking,' find it easy to accept this concept in all segments of their lives—in the community, at the polls, and in the state? Why should they vote for freedom of any kind when they have so little of it on the job where they spend most of their energy?" (p. 272)
Deming, E. W. (1982).  Out of the Crisis.
"Basically, what is wrong is that the performance appraisal or merit rating focuses on the end product, at the end of the stream, not on leadership to help people. This is a way to avoid the problems of people. A manager becomes, in effect, a manager of defects....
The effect is exactly the opposite of what the words promise. Everyone propels himself forward, or tries to, for his own good, on his own life preserver. The organization is the loser.
Merit rating rewards people that do well in the system. It does not reward attempts to improve the system. Don't rock the boat."
"Management by objective leads to the same evil. Management by the numbers likewise. Management by fear would be a better name, someone in Germany suggested. The effect is devastating:
'It nourishes short-term performance, annihilates long-term planning, builds fear, demolishes team-work, nourishes rivalry and politics. It leaves people bitter, crushed, bruised, battered, desolate, despondent, dejected, feeling inferior, some even depressed, unfit for work for weeks after receipt of rating, unable to comprehend why they are inferior.'
It is unfair, as it ascribes to the people in a group differences that may be caused totally by the system that they work in." (p. 102)
Orsburn, J. D., Moran L., Musselwhite E., & Zenger J. H. (1990).  Self Directed Work Teams: The New American Challenge.
"The most potentially damaging kind of performance feedback at this stage is one-on-one feedback from manager to team member. Because that relationship carries so much emotional's important to find alternatives to manager-to-employee feedback wherever possible." (p. 135)
Lundin, W., & Lundin K. (1998).  When Smart People Work for Dumb Bosses: How to Survive in a Crazy and Dysfunctional Workplace.
"This is not the first time you've heard how an evaluation report mashed the brains of an employee. Why so powerful? It's this. The assessment of performance comes from the one person above all others who can most affect the emotions of an employee, one's supervisor. That changes the meaning of everything. That document can alter reality: Good can become bad, up can become down, and smart become dumb." (p. 135)

See also: criticism, accountability, personality test

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SKOS Concept Scheme

SKOS concepts and relations

Concept Scheme: business culture/management vocabulary

URI: business culture/management vocabulary


  • Concept: appraisal
    • preferred: appraisal
    • alternate: performance appraisal
    • alternate: performance rating
    • alternate: performance evaluation
    • alternate: rating
    • alternate: annual review
    • definition: the classification of someone or something with respect to its worth
    • related: criticism
    • related: accountability
    • related: personality_test
    • closeMatch:
    • keyword-6
    • linked content:
      • sense: appraisal
      • sense: assessment
      • appraisal
      • in scheme:
      • gloss: the classification of someone or something with respect to its worth
      • hyponym of:
      • synset id: 105733583
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