“Performance Management: The Next Generation” currently appears in the most cited articles list in Compensation, Benefits & Review, based on citations to online articles from HighWire-hosted articles. Professor Lawler has provided additional background about the article.
The value of performance evaluations continues to be a frequently debated and discussed topic in the management literature. Several recent books have argued for eliminating it as a management practice while others have argued for its increased importance in today’s highly chaotic and rapidly changing business environment. In two of my most recent books, Talent, published in 2008 and Management Reset: Organizing for Sustainable Effectiveness, just published, I argue that it needs to be a key practice in today’s organizations. It is a glue that can hold together the talent management systems of organizations if it is done right. Of course, the key issue is; what constitutes doing it right.
In Management Reset, I argue that we know a lot about what it takes to do appraisals right and that doing them right varies depending upon the type of organization in which performance appraisals are taking place. I argue that in an organization which is striving to be sustainably effective, that is to perform well financially, socially and environmentally, performance appraisals need to be transparent, include triple bottom line goals, and be done relatively frequently, perhaps as often as every three months. I also argue that the alternative to doing appraisals well is to not do them at all. Research evidence suggests that a poor appraisal is much more dysfunctional than doing no appraisal at all.