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Performance management theories

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Performance management theories

Performance management theories

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  • 1. Performance management theoriesIn their stress on formal relationships in the organization, classical approaches tend toignore informal relations as characterized by social interchange among workers, theemergence of group leaders apart from those specified by the formal organization, and soforth. Thus their focus is understandably narrow.Failure to consider the informal organizationIt was not common for workers to think in terms of what "career" they were going topursue. Their basic assumption is that workers are primarily motivated by money and thatthey work only for more money. First, the work force was not highly educated or trainedto perform many of the jobs that existed at the time. Indeed, for many writers, technologywas the driving force behind organizational and social change. For instance, the classicalapproaches seem to view the life of a worker as beginning and ending at the plant door.These assumptions fail to recognize that employees may have wants and needs unrelatedto the workplace or may view their jobs only as a necessary evil. For instance, Taylorsand Fayols work came primarily from their experiences with large manufacturing firmsthat were experiencing stable environments. Perhaps much more could be achieved if therules were not so explicit.Untested assumptionsMany of the assumptions made by classical writers were based not on scientific tests buton value judgments that expressed what they believed to be proper life-styles, moralcodes, and attitudes toward success.Human machineryClassical theories leave the impression that the organization is a machine and thatworkers are simply parts to be fitted into the machine to make it run efficiently.Reliance on experienceMany of the writers in the classical school of management developed their ideas on thebasis of their experiences as managers or consultants with only certain types oforganizations. Finally, very little had been done previously in terms of generating acoherent and useful body of management theory. Rather, for many, the opportunity toobtain a secure job and a level of wages to provide for their families was all theydemanded from the work setting. Classical theories and the principles derived from themcontinue to be popular today with some modifications. For instance, a heavy emphasis onrules and regulations may cause people to obey rules blindly without remembering theiroriginal intent. Thus, many of the principles are concerned first with making the
  • 2. organization efficient, with the assumption that workers will conform to the work settingif the financial incentives are agreeable.Unintended consequencesClassical approaches aim at achieving high productivity, at making behaviors predictable,and at achieving fairness among workers and between managers and workers; yet theyfail to recognize that several unintended consequences can occur in practice. Severalmajor ones are discussed here. It may be unwise to generalize from those situations toothers-especially to young, high-technology firms of today that are confronted daily withchanges in their competitors products. They also assume that productivity is the bestmeasure of how well a firm is performing. Thus, their focus was on finding ways toincrease efficiency. Since many of these criticisms of the classical school are harsh,several points need to be made in defense of writers during this period. Oftentimes, sincerules establish a minimum level of performance expected of employees, a minimum levelis all they achieve.Static conditionsOrganizations are influenced by external conditions that often fluctuate over time, yetclassical management, theory presents an image of an organization that is not shaped byexternal influences. It was assumed that all humankind could do was to adapt to therapidly changing conditions. Second, much of the writing took place when technologywas undergoing a rapid transformation, particularly in the area of manufacturing. Whensuch things are not considered, it is likely that many important factors affectingsatisfaction and performance, such as letting employees participate in decision makingand task planning, will never be explored or tried. Many of the classical theorists werewriting from scratch, obliged for the most part to rely on their own experience andobservations.http://performanceappraisalebooks.info/ : Over 200 ebooks, templates, forms forperformance appraisal.

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