Hybrid purposes of performance appraisal in a crisis

Jane Maley*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

8 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose: The purpose of this paper is to examine one aspect of the implementation of the performance appraisal with a focus on its operation in an economic downturn and particularly a global economic crisis. Design/methodology/approach: It identifies the stated purposes of the performance appraisal in multinational corporations (MNCs) and explores the unstated purposes of the performance appraisal, which emerge during performance evaluation and feedback stages. The paper then investigates the different expectations employees and managers have of the performance appraisal and finally examines the changes to these expectations in an economic downturn. Findings: The principal conclusion that can be drawn from this analysis is that there is a weakness in the design and substance of the performance appraisal research. The international appraisal is not exclusively conditioned by culture but also by the numerous contextual-organizational, institutional and economic factors found in the typical MNC. Practical implications: It is suggested that possible strategies could include careful implementation of performance appraisal with attention to both the cultural and contextual environment. It is argued that by addressing both cultural and contextual variables the appraisal will be effective in helping achieve not only the MNC's strategic goals in a time of global economic crisis, but also recovery and survival following economic crisis. Originality/value: This paper adds to the body of knowledge of international human resource management research by illuminating the consequences of an uncertain economic environment on performance management across borders and also paves the way for future research in this important area of management research.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1093-1112
Number of pages20
JournalJournal of Management Development
Issue number10
Publication statusPublished - 2013


  • Contextual variables
  • Global crisis
  • Performance appraisal
  • Purpose


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