The assignment requires students to produce a literature based analysis and critique of a performance appraisal system ‘with which they are familiar’ (from the description of it in company literature, from personal experience, from personal contacts


  • The assignment requires students to produce a literature based analysis and critique of a performance appraisal system ‘with which they are familiar’ (from the description of it in company literature, from personal experience, from personal contacts, from a textbook or from a journal article description etc). The key aspect is that students can access sufficient information about the system ‘as it is’ so as to be able to analyse and critically evaluate it
  • So the appraisal system analysed is that of a real organisation but this can be from the public, private or third sector; from a large MNC or national organisation or the system used in a SME; and it can be a UK, Chinese or other organisation
  • Related to the above, students can choose to analyse the appraisal system used across the organisation or the system used in some part of it (in a particular unit, division, country or the system used for a particular group of staff e.g. for doctors or nurses or other staff group in a particular hospital or unit. They can also review the system as a whole or alternatively briefly describe this and then concentrate on a particular aspect of it g. 360 degree appraisal; use of the balanced score card etc
  • The word count is 2000 words (not + or – 10% of this) but appendices and references do not form part of the word count.
  • The assignment should be presented in a report format but, in view of the word count, an abstract or an executive summary is not required
  • The primary guidance source for the assignment is the member of staff taking his/her tutorial group, but note that tutors will only make brief comments on the assignment framework (main headings and sub headings) or advise on particular issues – they will not review or correct complete narratives or sections
  • key part is the literature review and its application. Students should be able to access and utilise relevant text books, journal articles via databases (via Emerald, JSTOR etc) using relevant key words (not just ‘performance appraisal’ that will produce 1000’s of articles) e.g. (if relevant ‘360 degree appraisal’ ‘management by objectives’ etc)
  • One does not want to be over prescriptive but the key requirements of the assignment are the provide a brief description of the organisation; a description of the appraisal system being evaluated; a relevant literature review and the application of conceptsframeworks, terminology etc from this in system evaluation; conclusions from this as to what is ‘good practice’ and ‘less effective practice’; from the latter, what should be changed and why; and recommendations (one or two key changes) that the organisation should make; final sections of appendices and references
  • Students should start by identifying a suitable appraisal system for analysis together with an initial literature review of relevant concepts


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