Performance management is amongst the most essential requirements for business success and the triumph of human resource policy. Being a broad term that does not exclusively cover a single discipline, most companies in the current work environment have implemented performance management and appraisal systems to ensure that the employed staffs deliver according to the set targets. In fact, promoting and rewarding effective performance in any given organization besides identifying the ineffective developmental plans and other personnel actions become important in the management of human resources. The ability to carry out performance management however depends on the knack to assess the employees’ performances in a very clear, accurate, and fair manner.
Regardless of the difficult task encountered in evaluating employees and organizational performance, the managers and supervisors are obliged to understand the job nature and information sources to be able to collect relevant information in a systematic way. Such information are considered critical in providing feedbacks to the employees while their integration into the performance management process could facilitate making job placements, training decisions along with the compensation and employees assignment. Thus, a study on performance management becomes worth studying given the limited body of literature on the subject.
The effectiveness of various organizations performance management systems have been widely studied in diverse contexts, but companies such as Gulf Marketing and Emirates Airlines are exceptions. Emirates Airline has implemented performance management and appraisal system cycles upon which the employees’ performances and the realization of the organizations goals are continuously monitored (The Emirates Group, 2012). It is on the basis of such performance management systems that the organizations monitor the performance of each employee to be able to provide timely feedback as well as update the training and development strategies to suit the market needs and staffs requirements.
Nevertheless, exploring the imperative areas such as the outcomes of a given performance management system and identifying factors which could harm the efficiency of an endowed performance management appraisal system in the perspective of Emirates Airline is deemed essential. This is derived from the fact that despite the actuality that the organization has a performance management system, some managers and supervisors seemingly implement the system very late or totally fail to execute it. The resultant effect comes in form of poor staff management, lack of training and development, poor succession planning and low staff motivation. The proposed study therefore intends to analyze critically the effectiveness of Emirates Airline performance management systems, types of performance management strategies and elements that constitute performance management in this organization.
Why this is a problem
Scholars and non-scholars describe performance management (PM) as procedures for ensuring and measuring both the usefulness and efficacy of the assumed activities. In fact, performance management systems (PMS) help in comparing the expected outcomes with training goals intended to give improved results (Hall, 2010). Over time, PM has evolved to meet the demands of organizations and different stakeholders. In fact, PMS has been implemented by most organizations to stimulate education and motivation, improve priorities and decision-making, enhance deliberate discussion, assist in the clarification and formulation of strategies, as well as improve, manage, and assess performances based on different factors intended to generate profits (Franco-Santos, Lucianetti & Bourne, 2012).
The implementation of the PMS in various organizations has been on a steady increase over the past few years. In fact, most organizations believe that PMS cannot only assist them in delivering value and quality services to their stakeholders, but also to other interested parties owing to the pressure mounted on them by such undertakings. As a result, several organizations including the Emirates Airlines heavily invest in the maintenance and improvement of PMS. From the research point of view, the strategy, operations, and accounting scholars have scrutinized the impacts of PM on organization performances and operations. A study by Tiessen and Scott (1999) emphasizes on the PM effect on group performance whereas Hall (2010) conducted a study on how PM affects organization performance and behavior of organizational employees.
With respect to the use, implementation, and design of PMS, researches have conducted broad investigations on the success of the PMS. However, no agreement has been reached yet on the real effects of PMS implemented by organizations. In fact, the occurrence and comprehension of the effects of performance management systems on corporations has not been incorporated in any study hitherto. According to Rousseau (2006), in order to sustain the organizational based initiatives and improve the PM strategies, it is essential to integrate research knowledge in this field. A preview of the existing practical evidence on performance management processes conducted integrates our understanding of the outcomes of performance management. The literature provides several acknowledged theories to explain the effects of performance management (Franco-Santos, Lucianetti, & Bourne, 2012).
The attribution theory illustrates how the multi-criterion presentation measures influence the course of decision-making by most managers (Hoffman & Schiff, 1996). Besides, the neo-institutionalism adopted by Malmi (2001) explains the consequences of decisions made while employing the PM strategies in an organization. Assorted systems of performance management have been identified with a description of each focusing on the key purposes and components of such performance management systems (Speckbacher, Bischof & Pfeiffer, 2003). A number of researchers emphasize on the effects of type A PM that are utilized when evaluating organizational performance or informing the management decision-making. This type of performance management strategy comprises of the pecuniary and non-financial performance measures that are overtly or totally associated with the organization strategy.
Nevertheless, the scholars assessed and asserted that the results of type B PM are employed to appraise organizational performance and inform managerial decision-making. Besides, this type of PMS explicitly demonstrates the rapport amid the effects and causes of measures as well as embraces the non-financial and monetary performance measures connected to the strategy (Ittner, Larcker & Meyer, 2003). The type C PM as indicated by most researchers concentrates on the results of performance management systems that are applied when evaluating the administrative and organizational performance or informing decision-making.
Often, this occurs devoid of relating the performance evaluation outcomes to the fiscal rewards. The type C PM includes the explicitly or implicitly non-monetary together with the financial performance measures associated with the strategy. Lastly, Speckbacher, Bischof and Pfeiffer (2003) typology has looked into the type D effects of PMS that influence the monetary reward employed when evaluating the managerial and administrative performance or informing decision-making. Such a performance management system includes the non-fiscal and the pecuniary performance measures that are related to the strategy.
Research question and hypothesis
The research intends to analyze critically the overall effectiveness, effects and elements of Emirates Airline performance management system. The obtained findings will finally answer the following research questions:
- What are the constituents and effects of an efficient performance management system?
- Should the performance management system used by Emirates Airline be considered effective?
According to Hall (2010) assertions, in order to investigate and write a research report on performance management of an organization such as Emirates Airline, qualitative research method must be used while most data or information should be gathered from secondary sources. The necessary research data will therefore be gathered across the study population through sampling strategy. A research technique dubbed as survey method will be used while content analysis will be applied to analyze data. The secondary research data and information will accrue from literature search on staff interviews including managers, supervisors, and junior employees of Emirates Airlines.
How to gather it
Most of the performance management information used in this report is readily available from the company’s reports, journals, newsletters, investor information, and bulletins. Besides, the information on the PMS of Emirates Airline will be obtained through internet search and documentary analysis. For instance, a preview of the documentary analysis, internet search, and report on the previous interviews conducted to the Emirates Airline management, customers, and staffs will be done to obtain the required research information.
How to analyze it
The researcher will first edit data obtained. Thereafter, qualitative methods will be applied in the analysis of the collected data. In fact, techniques such as content analysis and logical analysis methods will be used to analyze the obtained research data.
The current performance management strategies used by organizations differ significantly. There are those offering or focusing on either a single or multiple sections of the solution. These include the section that addresses the concerns of the company customers. The section is meant to ensure that the customers feel relaxed and well catered for in order for them to associate the derived quality with the company’s brand. The other area is interested in the company staff. The solution seeks to ensure that the staffs in all the global offices spend utmost time giving customer service. The time should also be used to deliver care that is compliant with quality standards. The paper intends to study the performance management strategy used by Emirates Airline.
Franco-Santos, M., Lucianetti, L. & Bourne, J. (2012). Contemporary performance measurement systems: A review of their consequences and a framework for research. Management Accounting Research, 23(2), 79-119.
Hall, M. (2010). Do comprehensive performance measurement systems help or hinder managers’ mental model development? Management Accounting Research, 33 (2-3), 141-163.
Hoffman, L. & Schiff, A. (1996). An exploration of the use of financial and nonfinancial measures of performance by executives in a service organization. Behavioral Research in Accounting, 8(2), 134.
Ittner, C., Larcker, D. & Meyer, M. (2003). Subjectivity and the weighting of performance measures: evidence from a balanced scorecard. The Accounting Review, 78(3), 725-758.
Malmi, T. (2001). Balanced scorecards in Finnish companies: A research note. Management Accounting Research, 12(3), 207-220.
Rousseau, D. (2006). Is there such a thing as ‘evidence based management’? Academy of Management Review, 31(2), 256-269.
Speckbacher, G., Bischof, J., & Pfeiffer, T. (2003). A descriptive analysis on the implementation of balanced scorecards in German-speaking countries. Management Accounting Research, 14(4), 361-388.
The Emirates Group (2012). Balancing our performance. Environmental Report, 1-85.
Tiessen, P. & Scott, T. (1999). Performance measurement and managerial teams. Accounting, Organizations and Society, 24(3), 263-285.