The article identifies a lack of understanding of performance appraisals as the major problem to be solved. The author believes that though appraisals are part of many other solutions to the challenge of performance and productivity, performance appraisals are inevitable. This is clear from the conclusion. The article, however, does not provide clear research questions to the reader. An inconsistency arises when the article devotes four of the 17 pages to problems with performance appraisal tools which are not part of the research title. The article, nevertheless, looks in depth at the origin, some uses and recent developments in performance appraisals
The article follows an interpretivistic paradigm. This advocates that it is necessary for the researcher to understand differences between humans in their role as social actors. Interpretivism accentuates the difference between conducting research among people rather than objects such as automobiles and computers. The paper reckons that performance appraisal is not free from the appraiser’s values and also the appraised can and may misinterpret its purpose.
Dr Bayon’s article shows that the study examined literature on performance appraisal focusing on its evolution, uses, types and importance. It is however not clear why empirical studies on the effects of performing or not performing appraisals to organisations are part of the literature.
Study method and Sample
While the study title clearly delimits itself to the origin, concept and value of performance appraisal, the missing discussion on the exact methodology and methods renders it impossible for a reader to know the sample that the researcher looked at. This tends to reduce the article to a chapter in a textbook.
The article has shown the uses of performance appraisals and chronicled to a great extent the origin of performance appraisals. However, while the article title appears to be a review of articles on the origin, concept and value of performance appraisals in general, it limits its discussion (on page 8) of the uses of performance appraisals to the ‘top five’ in Alan and Kenneth (1988). Be this as it is, the article acknowledges the extensive literature on the uses of performance appraisals. The author probably focused on Alan and Kenneth (1998) for convenience of some sought. A failure to discuss the exclusion criteria here provides critics with ammunition as to the validity of the study conclusion.
The article attempts to provide a historical account of the origin of performance appraisals though a clearer chronological presentation would be more effective. On page 5, it says ‘Then came the 1930s and 1940s…’ but it has not discussed any specific period before these years. This leaves the reader with no option but to speculate on when the ‘roots of performance appraisal framework’ originated.
Dr Bayon’s mention of criticism of the classical management approach to Human Resource Management on page 4 does not provide a reference for a follow-up on the points raised during the criticism or alternatives offered by the critiques. On page 5, the ‘growing popularity of organisations using 360-degree appraisal’ is not supported with a reference. In summary, it is clear from the article that performance appraisal developed from three management approaches- scientific, classical and human relations.
The fourth paragraph on page 5 states that ‘reviews will help provide an understanding of the study…’ It is not clear which study the author was referring to. It appears the sentence may have been misplaced or perhaps the article was a write-up of a study. If the latter is true then the research design and methodology should have been part of the write-up. Furthermore, this paragraph refers to whether practices in the hotel industry are still traditional or otherwise. Page 10 also refers to some hotel operations which conduct no reviews. One cannot help but wonder where this is coming from. Perhaps, it is because the author has a deep interest in this industry as shown above in the review of the author section.
Dr Bayon makes reference to Randell et al (1984) for discussing reasons why companies conduct performance appraisals. In fact, a table (Table 1) is given with areas which are presumably the reasons and percentages. It would have been more helpful to discuss the percentages as it is not immediately clear what they are referring to. This applies to Table 3 as well. He does not clarify whether the percentages refer to number of times a reason was cited by respondents or percentage of companies using that reason. A more in-depth analysis of the literature cited would have assisted in shedding off ambiguities.