Attached are the instructions, outline, and references needed for this assignment. I also included my annotated bibliography as a guide. Let me know if there is anything additional you need. There’s more uploads coming. I could only upload so many at a time.





Unformatted Attachment Preview

SA Journal of Human Resource Management
ISSN: (Online) 2071-078X, (Print) 1683-7584
Page 1 of 10
Original Research
Factors influencing managers’ attitudes
towards performance appraisal
Tanya du Plessis1
Annelize van Niekerk1
Department of Industrial
and Organisational
Psychology, University of
South Africa, South Africa
Corresponding author:
Annelize van Niekerk,
Received: 24 Oct. 2016
Accepted: 31 Mar. 2017
Published: 29 May 2017
How to cite this article:
Du Plessis, T., & Van Niekerk,
A. (2017). Factors influencing
managers’ attitudes towards
performance appraisal. SA
Journal of Human Resource
Management/SA Tydskrif vir
15(0), a880.​
© 2017. The Authors.
Licensee: AOSIS. This work
is licensed under the
Creative Commons
Attribution License.
Orientation: Managers often have negative attitudes towards performance appraisal because
of its problematic nature, which is influenced by political and social contextual factors. These
negative attitudes lead to reduced employee support, inaccurate performance appraisal
ratings and, consequently, negative employee perceptions of the performance appraisal
process. This state of affairs necessitates a deeper understanding of the factors influencing
managers’ attitudes towards performance appraisal.
Research purpose: The purpose of this research was to gain a deeper understanding of the
factors that influence managers’ attitudes towards performance appraisal.
Motivation for the study: Previous research has confirmed the importance of performance
appraisals in organisations. However, managers’ dislike of and aversion to performance
appraisal impact negatively on the effectiveness of performance appraisal systems and
ultimately the development and performance of employees.
Research design, approach and method: An interpretivist qualitative study was adopted,
utilising naïve sketches and in-depth interviews to collect data from eight managers,
purposively selected. The data were analysed by using Tesch’s descriptive data analysis
Main findings: This study revealed that performance appraisal is fundamentally an
uncomfortable and emotional process for managers, which results in their adopting defensive
attitudes. Because of many uncertainties, managers do not always display the ability or
readiness to conduct performance appraisals. The organisational context might place the
individual manager in a position to distort employee ratings, which in turn negatively
influences that manager’s attitude.
Practical and managerial implications: This study provides insight into the present-day
experience of managers in respect of performance appraisal and highlights the factors that
influence their attitudes.
Contribution: The insight gained from this research into the factors impacting on the attitude
of managers towards performance appraisals can assist organisations to better support and
empower such managers to be more effective in their approach when conducting performance
Performance appraisal has, for many years, been regarded as a critical process aimed at improving
employee performance and, ultimately, organisational effectiveness (Cascio & Aguinis, 2011;
Swanepoel, Botha & Mangonyane, 2014). Frustration with performance appraisal is more evident
than ever, and voices opposing the use thereof are increasing and growing louder (Adler et al.,
2016; Kondrasuk, 2012; MacDonald & Sulsky, 2009).
Read online:
Scan this QR
code with your
smart phone or
mobile device
to read online.
Performance appraisal is known to be a critical but complex component within performance
management, and it holds many advantages (Cascio & Aguinis, 2011; Grote, 2011). Performance
appraisal has been utilised by organisations as a tool through which strengths and developmental
areas of employees can be described and to facilitate the relationship between the employee and
the manager (Pichler, 2012). Performance appraisal is also used as a mechanism through which
decisions relating to salary increases and succession planning are informed (Grote, 2011). However,
performance appraisal is also associated with negativity and dissatisfaction among managers
Note: This article is partially based on the author’s thesis for the degree of Masters in Commerce in Industrial and Organisational
Psychology at the University of South Africa, South Africa, with supervisor Mrs Annelize van Niekerk, received February 2015, available
Open Access
Page 2 of 10
(Cascio & Aguinis, 2011; Gordon & Stewart, 2009). Different
views exist on this issue, but it seems that the challenges
with performance appraisal emanate from the accuracy of
employee performance ratings (Botha & Bussin, 2010; Shore
& Strauss, 2008). Reasons for inaccurate performance ratings
include among others:
• Distorted performance ratings as a result of managers’
personal motives (Longenecker & Gioia, 2003).
• Managers’ lack of commitment to performance appraisals
(Tziner, Murphy & Cleveland, 2002).
• Managers fear performance appraisal as they experience
it to be a challenge (Torrington, Hall, Taylor & Atkinson,
• Managers dread the possibility of damaging relationships
with employees (Pulakos, 2011).
• Political motives embedded in longstanding relationships
with employees (Shore & Strauss, 2008; Swanepoel et al.,
• The organisational culture, norms, goals and manager
attitude (Botha & Bussin, 2010).
• The presence of emotional uneasiness, conflict and failure
to provide constructive feedback (Marreli, 2011).
• The fact that some managers perceive inaccuracies in
performance ratings not as errors, but as enablers, which
motivate and retain staff (Cascio & Aguinis, 2011).
Original Research
persists (Gordon & Stewart, 2009; Swanepoel et al., 2014). In
order to influence managers’ attitudes towards performance
appraisal more positively, this study was aimed at gaining
a deeper understanding of the factors that influence
managers’ existing attitudes towards performance appraisal.
The study proposes that by gaining a better understanding
of the present-day factors that influence manager attitudes
towards performance appraisal, more effective interventions
can be developed that will result in not only a more positive
experience on the part of managers, but that will also
enhance employee development and performance.
Literature review
Performance appraisal
It is therefore proposed that, by gaining a better understanding
of the factors that influence the managers’ experiences
and attitudes – both positively and negatively – towards
performance appraisal, organisations and managers may be
enabled to conduct more effective and accurate performance
appraisals and thereby enhance employee performance and
Performance management is an ongoing process where the
performance of individuals and teams is identified, measured
and developed through the process of performance appraisal
(Aguinis, 2009; Cascio & Aguinis, 2011; Shore & Strauss,
2008). Performance appraisal can be defined as the collection
of employee performance information based on observation
and the evaluation of the employee’s performance through
an act of judgement (Cascio & Aguinis, 2011). Once an
employee’s current performance is measured, performance
developmental areas are identified, strengths are reinforced
and overall feedback is given to the employee (Aguinis, 2009;
Swanepoel et al., 2014). As a manager’s attitude can
negatively or positively influence a performance appraisal,
many researchers have, over the years, found this to be an
interesting topic to study (Curtis, Harvey & Ravden, 2005;
Jawahar, 2001; Longenecker, Sims & Gioia, 1987; Shore &
Strauss, 2008; Thomas & Bretz, 1994). However, because of
the attitude of the manager who conducts them, performance
appraisals seem to remain a challenge to organisations.
Research purpose
Several studies previously explored factors that influence
the attitude of managers towards performance appraisal
(Botha & Bussin, 2010; Cascio & Aguinis, 2011). However, the
work environment and context continuously change – as do
the factors influencing managers’ attitudes – resulting in
managers approaching performance appraisal with a certain
level of trepidation. Most recent studies have focused
on employees’ perceptions of the fairness of performance
appraisal, consequently leaving a knowledge gap as to the
factors impacting on managers’ attitudes towards performance
appraisal (Dusterhoff, Cunningham & MacGregor, 2014;
Jacobs, Belschak & Den Hartog, 2014).
What, then, is an attitude? Thurstone (1931) proposed that
an attitude was something that relates to an individual’s
preferences towards an object. According to Allport (1935),
an attitude points to a psychological type of readiness that
is formed by applying a judgement towards an object
through experience. Taking it one step further, Eagly
and Chaiken (1993) define an attitude as a psychological
tendency (an internal state) that is expressed by evaluating
a particular entity with some degree of favour or disfavour.
Attitudes therefore serve as functions to evaluate objects
of thought, to process information, to adjust behaviour
accordingly, to use as a protection mechanism and with
which to display individual values (Fazio & Petty, 2008;
Katz, 1960; Pratkanis, 2014).
The prevailing attitudes of managers have a severe impact
on the entire performance appraisal, including the accuracy
of performance appraisal ratings (Botha & Bussin, 2010;
Marmet, 2015). Managers viewing performance appraisal
as positive tend to give more accurate ratings (Jawahar,
2001). Regrettably, there seems to be no consensus on an
effective working solution to address manager attitudes
and their impact of accurate performance appraisal ratings;
consequently, displeasure with performance appraisal
Attitudes can form in various ways (Luthans, 2008;
Miserandino, 2007; Vogel & Wänke, 2016; Zhang, Xie, Wee,
Thumboo & Li, 2008). Firstly, through situations where a
person’s behaviour is not consistent with his or her attitudes
towards the specific object. A negative attitude towards an
object then forms to balance such inconsistency. Secondly,
attitudes can form through learning, for example with
Open Access
Page 3 of 10
reinforcements such as positive encouragement. Another
method requires the pairing of two stimuli until a situation is
reached where the first stimulus transforms into a signal for
the second stimulus. An attitude can be created where a
neutral target stimulus (conditioned stimulus) is repeatedly
paired with another stimulus (unconditioned stimulus) with
either a positive or negative valence which can then, in turn,
change the person’s attitude in line with the direction of the
unconditioned stimulus. Lastly, attitudes can form through
the expectancy-value framework, a theory that assumes that
the attitude towards the object is based on the sum of the
values of all of the attributes that the attitude object is thought
to have, and which is based on the mental formation of
attitudes. This framework is a useful and popular model to
explain how a collection of beliefs about objects forms
attitudes. The expectancy-value framework attitude formation
theory was adopted for this study (Zhang et al., 2008).
Attitude and performance appraisal
In a study conducted by Longenecker et al. (1987), political
motivation, the degree of trust in the relationship between
employees and managers, and the need to avoid confrontation
with difficult employees are proposed as elements, which
impact on how a manager approaches and performs an
appraisal and which subsequently influence the performance
ratings that such a manager allocates to employees.
A few years later, Bretz and Milkovich (1992) conducted a
study which aimed to investigate how performance appraisal
was practised in the workplace. Their study reported a lack
of manager ownership with managers feeling that they
were excluded during the decision-making process and
implementation of performance appraisal systems.
Similar studies exploring the factors impacting on managers’
attitudes towards performance appraisals have examined the
• Managers’ dislike towards the idea of influencing an
employee’s career (Thomas & Bretz, 1994).
• The manager’s own level of motivation (Harris, 1994).
• The manager’s view of the purpose of performance
appraisal (Tziner, Lathan, Price & Haccoun, 1996).
• The manager’s attitude towards the organisation (Tziner
& Murphy, 1999).
• The manager’s own personality preference as well as
confidence in the performance appraisal system (Tziner
et al., 2002).
• The employees’ expectations (Curtis et al., 2005; Yun,
Donahue, Dudley & McFarland, 2005).
• The manager’s perception of the organisational context as
well as affection towards the employee (Shore & Strauss,
• Performance appraisal skills and managers’ motives
(MacDonald & Sulsky, 2009).
• Conflicting roles, such as playing both a judge and a
coach during performance appraisal (Aguinis, 2009).
• Terminology in performance appraisal that is confusing
(Van De Mieroop & Vrolix, 2014).
Original Research
Performance appraisal is a critical process and is viewed as
one of the processes that have the greatest effect on the
employee’s career and development (Aguinis, 2009; BayoMoriones, Galdon-Sanchez & Martinez-de-Morentin, 2016;
Grote, 2011). Therefore, in order to stay current and influence
managers’ attitudes positively towards performance
appraisal, this study sought to gain a deeper understanding
of the contemporary factors that influence managers’
attitudes towards performance appraisal.
Research design
Research approach
This study adopted a qualitative research approach as it
aimed at producing rich, nuanced and detailed data (Mason,
2012). Participants could share their personal performance
appraisal experiences and, consequently, a complex and
detailed understanding of the factors influencing these
experiences was gained (Creswell, 2014; De Vos, Strydom,
Schulze & Patel, 2012; Henning, Van Rensburg & Smit,
Research strategy
In line with the interpretive paradigm, in-depth interviews
were used to generate rich data as to participants’
experiences, perceptions and feelings (Mason, 2012;
Pietkiewicz & Smith, 2014). The in-depth interviews moved
from being general in nature to being specific and were
conducted in four phases, namely opening, questioning,
probing and closing (Kolb, 2008). Two non-leading questions
laid the foundation for the in-depth interview and were
followed by follow-up questions and probes intended to
build better, unrestricted understanding (Pietkiewicz &
Smith, 2014). The two non-leading questions also provided
direction for the naïve sketches. The managers responsible
for performance appraisals in an organisation in the
financial services sector were selected as the unit of analysis
in this study.
Research method
Research setting
This research was conducted in the private sector at a
medium-sized financial services organisation. The indepth interviews were conducted with eight managers
responsible for conducting performance appraisals on
their subordinates and at a venue that was comfortable and
private so as to prevent disturbances.
Entrée and establishing researcher roles
Consent was obtained from the organisation’s Executive
Director of Human Capital to conduct the study. Background
information and the aims of the study were discussed
with potential candidates. Once the candidates agreed to
participate, they completed an informed consent form
outlining the scope of the study and how ethical and
confidentiality issues would be attended to.
Open Access
Page 4 of 10
A purposive sample of eight participants was selected based
on availability (De Vos et al., 2012; Durrheim & Painter,
2006) and aimed to represent managers from different ethnic
groups (African, Indian and white), ages (30–70 years),
genders (five female and three male) and the number of years’
experience (from 1 to 35 years) in performance appraisal.
Data collection methods
In-depth interviews were conducted with the eight managers
in order to gain a deeper understanding of their experiences,
interpretations and perceptions of performance appraisals
(Mason, 2012). Two questions were asked of the participants:
‘Tell me about your overall experience with performance
appraisal’ and ‘What are the positive and negative factors
that influenced your attitude towards performance appraisal?’
The secondary method of data collection was naïve
sketches, which refer to a description of certain phenomena
in the form of a short story (Giorgi, 1985). The naïve sketches
were obtained through requesting each manager to draw
a picture or write a narrative about their experiences
with performance appraisal, highlighting the positive and
negative factors that they believe have influenced their
attitudes towards performance appraisal.
Recording of data
Eight naïve sketches were collected. The in-depth interviews
were recorded using an audio recorder and were transcribed
verbatim. Field notes were taken during the interviews to
capture the context as well as the researcher’s observations,
perceptions and experiences during these interviews (Greef,
2012). The data were stored securely and protected with
passwords with only the researcher having access to them.
Data analysis
The verbatim transcriptions of the recorded in-depth
interviews and the naïve sketches were analysed in
accordance with Tesch’s descriptive analysis technique
(Creswell, 2014). All transcriptions and narratives were read
once to get a holistic sense of their content, after which ideas
that came to mind were documented. Sub-themes were
identified and grouped into major sub-themes, unique subthemes and leftovers. This list of sub-themes was used to
code the data. The most descriptive wording for each subtheme was taken, converted into main themes and the data
organised so that similar sub-themes were grouped.
Interrelationships between the sub-themes were found and
codes were generated. All of the data that were related to one
main theme were highlighted in a certain colour and
assembled together. Afterwards, the data were recorded to
ensure that no sub-themes had been ignored.
Strategies ensuring quality data and ethics
As required by an interpretative study, it was ensured that
the researcher was skilled in using the self as an instrument
Original Research
to collect and analyse the data (Terre Blanche et al., 2006).
The researcher kept field notes of her own personal
experiences, biases, prejudices and orientations, which might
have influenced the recording and interpretation of the
information and regularly referred to and reflected on these
notes to reduce possible bias (Creswell, 2014).
The researcher assessed the quality of the data and the
rigour of the process to ensure that the generated findings
would be credible, transferable, dependable and conformable
(Schurink, Fouche & De Vos, 2012). Credibility was ensured
through member checking (Creswell, 2014; Rossmann &
Rallis, 2011). Triangulation was applied in utilising two
data collection methods, namely in-depth interviews and
naïve sketches, in order to enhance the credibility and
trustworthiness of the study (Shah & Corley, 2006).
The transferability of the study was ensured through
providing detailed descriptions of both the research
methodology followed as well as the findings obtained
(Babbie, 2010; Shah & Corley, 20 …
Purchase answer to see full

Why Choose Us

  • 100% non-plagiarized Papers
  • 24/7 /365 Service Available
  • Affordable Prices
  • Any Paper, Urgency, and Subject
  • Will complete your papers in 6 hours
  • On-time Delivery
  • Money-back and Privacy guarantees
  • Unlimited Amendments upon request
  • Satisfaction guarantee

How it Works

  • Click on the “Place Order” tab at the top menu or “Order Now” icon at the bottom and a new page will appear with an order form to be filled.
  • Fill in your paper’s requirements in the "PAPER DETAILS" section.
  • Fill in your paper’s academic level, deadline, and the required number of pages from the drop-down menus.
  • Click “CREATE ACCOUNT & SIGN IN” to enter your registration details and get an account with us for record-keeping and then, click on “PROCEED TO CHECKOUT” at the bottom of the page.
  • From there, the payment sections will show, follow the guided payment process and your order will be available for our writing team to work on it.