Human Resource Management Response to Organizational Issues

Subject: Employee Management
Pages: 52
Words: 16236
Reading time:
58 min
Study level: Undergraduate

Abstract

This paper focuses on the need for non-biased methods of evaluation as companies expand their overseas operations in order to continue to remain viable and relevant in the face of their constantly evolving business landscape. One of the main issues when it comes to overseas HR evaluations is that they utilise methods that are influenced by their local organisational culture. As a result, this creates a form of “bias” when it comes to the methods of evaluation that are utilised to evaluate employees. Simply put, HR professionals have a tendency to rely on methods and processes that they are used to when it comes to performance evaluation despite the involvement of different organisational cultures.

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However, what must be understood is that the performance management processes that have been applied in one region or country, may not be necessary applicable in another. Methods of evaluation that allow bias may not be as applicable to companies that focus on stricter levels of performance (ex: call centres). This paper aims at determining the organisational culture inherent in a particular country and its influence on the type of performance management processes that is implemented. As such, prior to outsourcing to that location, companies need to determine whether their current process of employee evaluation is compatible with it. If not, the implementation of some means of standardisation is necessary for organisations working across regional and cultural borders in order to properly evaluate employees. It is based on this that this paper focused on determining what methods of employee evaluation could most likely be implemented that are not subject to bias. This would aid companies significantly when it comes to outsourcing their operations. The scope of the paper allows embracing companies in general and not taking culture specifics into consideration.

Introduction

Chapter description

This chapter renders the key factors that predetermined the necessity for the performance management and assessment in the modern world. Specifically, the issues regarding the need to evaluate the staff’s organisational behaviour as one of the key components of the overall company performance assessment is explained in detail. The chapter also provides a deep insight on the challenges, which the global environment poses to the managers, who are to conduct regular assessments of the employees’ performance several theories regarding organisational behaviour and its basic components are listed as a means of setting the background for the research and identify the existing gaps. In addition, a justification for the research and the questions to be answered are listed in this section. Finally, a dissertation outline is provided.

Background

Over the past two decades, the global outsourcing trend has continued with companies ranging from Microsoft to Nike shifting their production and product development divisions into other countries due to the cost savings involved (Selvarajan and Cloninger, 2009; Xiaomeng and Bartol, 2010). The inherent problems though with such a process are the various issues related to performance management and organisational culture (Selvarajan and Cloninger, 2009; Xiaomeng and Bartol, 2010). Simply put, the performance management processes that have been applied in one region or country, may not be necessary applicable in another (Xiaomeng and Bartol, 2010; Talent management: ensuring your people give you the competitive edge, 2010). Based on the work of Toegel and Conger (2003), it was noted that the organisational culture inherent in a particular country influenced the type of performance management processes that were implemented. For instance, in the case of Japan a greater emphasis is placed on an individual’s capacity to properly ingratiate himself/herself to the department/group that he is assigned to (Yost, 2008; Wright, 2013). Evaluations are often based on group accomplishments and not necessarily individual merit. This particular method of assessment is connected to the organisational culture inherent in Japanese business culture which places an emphasis on decisions, activities and outcomes being the result of group work and consensus (Simoneaux and Stroud, 2012; Wright, 2013; Wine, Kelley and Wilder, 2014). On the other end of the spectrum, performance evaluations within the U.S., while considering the capacity of an individual to properly integrate themselves into a group/department as being important, individual capabilities and accomplishments are placed on a “higher pedestal” so to speak (Tang, Pee and Iijima, 2013). It is due to these differing methods of performance management across various types of organisational cultures that cause issues when it comes to the present day outsourcing industry (Weber and Wasieleski, 2013; Tang et al 2013). Thus, this line of reasoning focuses on what happens when an HR professional from one organisational culture is used to evaluate groups from another organisational culture yet is still within the same multinational company. Hui, et al (2009) explain that while companies do attempt some form of “cultural training” for their HR professionals, there still tends to be a form of “bias” when it comes to the methods of evaluation that are utilised to evaluate employees. Simply put, HR professionals have a tendency to rely on methods and processes that they are used to when it comes to performance evaluation despite the involvement of different organisational cultures (Willems et al, 2012; Hui, et al, 2009). This creates an issue of “bias” being introduced into the evaluation framework, which cannot be considered as being a proper method of examination (Cekada, 2010; Hui, et al, 2009). Gruman and Saks go into more detail regarding this perspective by stating that evaluative frameworks cannot be “copied then subsequently pasted” from one organisational culture to another. There are far too many nuances involved for it to be completely effective or not be met with some form of resistance from employees (Gruman and Saks, 2011; Cekada, 2010). However, some means of standardisation is necessary for organisations working across regional and cultural borders in order to properly evaluate employees (Mura and Longo, 2013; Guo, 2014; Kondrasuk, 2011). Multiple methods of evaluation across multinational organisations results in a considerable amount of difficulty for the “parent” organisation to properly gauge the performance of all its different branches across the world. It is due to this line of thought that companies that outsource their methods of production or establish offshore locations apply some means of standardised performance evaluation despite the differing organisational cultures (Mehrotra and Phillips, 2013; Taylor, 2014). Since Gruman and Saks stated earlier that methods of evaluation cannot simply be “copy and pasted” this would undoubtedly create some issues in the form of employee resistance to change, inaccurate methods of assessment and some form of bias in the type of evaluative method that is utilised which is often based on that of the “parent” company (Gruman and Saks, 2011). However, despite such issues, it is understandable that such methods are necessary in the face of globalisation and the need for companies to expand their overseas operations in order to continue to remain viable and relevant in the face of their constantly evolving business landscape (Xiaomeng and Bartol, 2010; Selvarajan and Cloninger, 2009; Wine, Reis and Hantula, 2014). As such, it must be questioned as to what performance management processes involving employee assessment can be implemented to a wide variety of different organisational cultures without considerable bias.

Justification for the Research

The necessity of this study lies in the need to determine what factors contribute to proper non-biased performance management across difference organisational cultures. The inherent problem with new companies entering into new markets is the amount of trial and error involved when it comes to initially bringing about proper operating procedures (Simoneaux and Stroud, 2012; Perera, 2009). As such, there emerges the distinct need to develop a means of further streamlining the HR processes involved in such an endeavour (Simoneaux and Stroud, 2012; Perera, 2009). In the case of performance evaluation, this constitutes a company implementing a variety of potential methods, one of which is the method of evaluation utilised within its home market, in order to determine what would be effective (Nimon and Zigarmi, 2011; Richard and Johnson, 2001). Unfortunately, the period of time between the initial outsourcing and the stabilisation of the desired methods can result in significant financial loss for a company due to lower rates of performance than what should be present (Kondrasuk, 2011; Tang, Pee and Iijima, 2013). It is due to this that this dissertation seeks to further streamline such a process by evaluating current non-biased methods of performance evaluation by companies that have already experienced such issues in the past. It is anticipated that through this type of research, a reduction in the transition period for outsourcing companies can be developed which would result in reduced costs for companies that are outsourcing their production or operation divisions to foreign locations.

Research Question

What performance management processes involving employee assessment can be implemented to a wide variety of different organisational cultures without considerable bias?

Literature Review

This section evaluates various literary sources surrounding the topic of performance management, organisational culture and methods of employee assessment. The chapter addresses the key recent studies on the specifics of organisational culture and the methods of staff’s performance evaluation and enhancement. More importantly, the research exploring the link between the two variables mentioned above are considered closely. Various systems within which a company’s personnel works are described below based on the studies found in trustworthy sources. In addition, methods for boosting the organisational performance of the staff through a change in the behavioural patterns thereof are listed in the review. Moreover, different systems for analysing the performance of the staff are analysed so that the ultimate approach for assessing and improving the employees’ performance and organisational behaviour could be created.

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Performance over Culture

It is the assertion of this dissertation that the assessment and analysis of employee performance (and their subsequent advancement in a company) should be done in a non-biased method and should not be subject to a company’s organisational culture (Hui et al., 2009; Beausaert et al., 2011). For instance, in some organisations, seniority plays an important role when it comes to the interaction and assessment of employees within a company, and often has many “unspoken rules” when it comes to assessing older employees over their younger counterparts (Gruman and Saks, 2011). Hui et al. (2009) as well as Gruman and Saks (2011) state that advancement in some organisations (particularly those in Japan) is often based on seniority and not necessarily capability (Gruman and Saks, 2011; Nimon and Zigarmi, 2011; Hui et al., 2009). Experience and capability are two different facets of an employee’s value to a company and should not be confused with one being the same as the other. Experience relates to the capacity of an individual to recognise an assortment of problems and situations that they have encountered in the past and apply an effective solution based on what they already know (Talent management: ensuring your people give you the competitive edge, 2010; Nimon and Zigarmi, 2011). Individual capability, on the other hand, relates more to an individual’s creative, intellectual and performance-based capacity to perform a task or do their job. It is based on this interpretation that assessing an individual based heavily on their experience is an insufficient method of analysis since it fails to determine their true capabilities (Gruman and Saks, 2011, Lloyd, 2012; Nimon and Zigarmi, 2011). It is with this in mind that this literature review will focus on the inherent issues associated with performance management practices that have been adversely influenced by a company’s organisational culture and what practices have been developed thus far to address the problem.

Performance, culture and sustainability in global organisations from APEX™
Performance, culture and sustainability in global organisations from APEX™ – benchmarking performance culture (2015).

Impact of Organisational Culture on Performance Management

Organisational culture can be described as a set of behaviours, beliefs and systems that are inherently unique to particular companies or organisations (Beausaert et al., 2011; Athalye, 2015). These arise from a combination of the company’s internal policies along with the social systems that are inherent in a particular area or region (Gruman and Saks, 2011; Athalye, 2015; Bhave, 2014). Differences in organisational culture across vast regions can be significant, as seen in the differences between a general overview of American organisational culture with its Japanese counterpart. For example, American organisational culture on advancement (i.e. promotion within the company) is often based on capability and competence (Richard and Johnson, 2001; Bhave, 2014). However, the primary reason behind the development of this type of organisational culture model is due to the fact that the American social system is based more on competition and individual rights. In comparison, Japan’s organisational culture, when it comes to advancement, is often determined by seniority and not necessarily capability (Richard and Johnson, 2001; Cekada, 2010). The differences between the two are inherently tied to the social systems inherent in both countries wherein Japan has a more hierarchical age-based system that focuses more on the group rather than the individual while the U.S. places a greater emphasis on individual rights (Richard and Johnson, 2001; Defilippo and Rogener, 2012). On the other end of the spectrum, there are the systems seen in some GCC countries such as KSA, Qatar and Kuwait, which follows a similar hierarchical structure to Japan yet is focused more on individual hierarchies rather than group dynamics (Morris et al., 2015; Defilippo and Rogener, 2012). This is due to the fact that significant levels of nepotism, discrimination and preferential treatment exist within these countries due to most of the labour force within the country consisting primarily of foreign labourers (Fox, 2013). As such, local citizens within the country are often placed in positions of authority regardless of proven individual capability (Morris et al., 2015; Fox, 2013). Performance evaluation, in this case, is highly skewed towards individual review and is a good example of a biased method of evaluation that focuses more on personal opinion and perceived capability rather than raw score assessments (Morris et al., 2015).

From the examples of America, Japan, KSA, Qatar, and Kuwait that have been presented, it could be suggested that each country has its own unique circumstances that influence the organisational culture that workers are used to (Hassan, 2013; Hui et al., 2009). This, in turn, impacts the manner in which companies implement methods of performance evaluation based on their inherent organisational cultures and, as such, shows the connection between organisational culture and performance evaluation (Hui et al., 2009; Selvarajan and Cloninger, 2009). As such, it can be seen that there is no such thing as a “one size fits all” method of performance management since each region or even each company for that matter has its own unique circumstances that require different strategies in order to resolve the inherent HR issues present in each case (Wright, 2013; Lloyd, 2012; Perera, 2009). Further complicating this issue is the current trend in global outsourcing wherein companies shift aspects of their operations into different countries due to the associated cost savings (Yost, 2013; Weber and Wasieleski, 2013; Van Emmerik et al., 2008). This manifests into a situation where the performance management systems implemented in one region are now being subjected to another region that has a different organisational culture that has been influenced by the local social system (Athalye, 2015; Van Emmerik et al., 2008). This creates a significant issue when it comes to properly addressing performance assessment, given the different standards that employees are used to (Saks and Gruman, 2011; Toegel and Conger, 2003). For example, in the case of Japan and China, a greater degree of importance is placed on seniority and experience within the organisation (Mehrotra and Phillips, 2013; Keiko et al., 2009).

While such a system may seem to be at odds with Western organisational culture models, it has actually served Japan rather well considering the amount of training that each individual employee goes through that ensures that they are more or less on equal footing with their more competition-oriented international counterparts (Fitch et al., 2012; Castilla, 2011). It is due to this that performance assessment within Japan often focuses on how much an employee is “part of the group”, so to speak, rather than through their own capability alone. It should be noted, though, that this particular issue is not isolated to Japan but actually encompasses numerous regions where a hierarchical system is seen within their social systems (Guo, 2014; Mehrotra and Phillips, 2013). Countries like India, China and the Middle East all have similar systems that place emphasis on seniority when it comes to performance assessment (Selvarajan and Cloninger, 2009). It is due to this that when previously western-based companies outsource their operations into these countries and implement their performance management strategies (Bhave, 2014; Mehrotra and Phillips, 2013; Selvarajan and Cloninger, 2009). As such, new performance management methods need to be devised that can be flexible enough to accommodate the different types of organisational culture in different regions (Guo, 2014; Hui et al., 2009).

Common Methods of Performance Assessment

One of the more common yet efficient methods of performance assessment that is implemented by a wide variety of organisations is the use of metrics. Basically, metric-based performance assessment focuses on how well an employee matches what the company deems as “an adequate level of performance” (Mura and Longo, 2013; Mulvaney et al., 2008). This is done by creating a standard level of performance and measuring how well the employee performs. An example of this in action can be seen in various voice-based call centres wherein the time it takes to resolve an issue is one of the metrics that an employee can be judged by (Wine et al., 2014; Mulvaney et al., 2008). For instance, if the set standard is 8 minutes per call and an employee were to achieve a standard of seven minutes and 30 seconds, then it can be stated that such an employee exceeds the performance metrics of the company and would be eligible for promotion (Wine et al., 2014). Other such metrics that can be applied to a variety of jobs take the form of the number of successful sales, the amount of merchandise moved, the overall performance level of employees (for managers) and the performance of the company as a whole (for CEOs) (Beausaert et al., 2011; Nimon and Zigarmi, 2011). The use of metrics in employee assessment is advantageous given its capacity to immediately determine where improvements can be applied and to determine whether continued poor performance is an indicator that the employee in question is not adequate enough for the company (Beausaert et al., 2011; Nimon and Zigarmi, 2011). Since employees can view their performance rating based on what they have done at their jobs, they can determine where they can improve and what can be done in order to do so (Simoneaux and Stroud, 2012; Mulvaney et al., 2008). On the surface, it may seem to be the ideal means of performance assessment; however, there are several issues that first need to be addressed. The first would be the resistance of employees within a particular organisational culture towards the implementation of a ratings-based system of evaluation (Simoneaux and Stroud, 2012; Kondrasuk, 2011). Given that some employees are used to a more “informal” (i.e. the essay method of evaluation) means of being evaluated and, as such, may find such a system overly constraining (Nimon and Zigarmi, 2011). There are also issues when it comes to how such a system would be compatible with the hierarchical methods currently utilised in other regions that have traditionally placed emphasis on seniority over performance (Nimon and Zigarmi, 2011). Implementing such a system would result in considerable resistance, given that the entrenched “seniors” would view it as a danger to their current positions (Lloyd, 2012; Mulvaney et al., 2008). While it is true that utilising effective methods of performance management is supposed to help a company get rid of entrenched practices that are detrimental to a company’s continued growth, the fact remains that any company’s HR department must take note of the inherent organisational culture within a region and not try to unilaterally implement what they think is right in an absolute fashion (Willems et al., 2012). Though it may be logically sound, it would most likely result in an internal conflict within the company and reduce its overall performance level. This is one of the reasons why a rating based system, while effective at measuring performance, cannot be completely implemented without some means of mitigating the resistance to change (Castilla, 2011; Hui et al., 2009). It is due to this that this dissertation suggests that some form of the transition period would be necessary in order to “ease” employees into the desired changes (Beausaert, Segers and Gijselaers, 2011; Castilla, 2011). The strategies behind this period will be further discussed in the analysis and discussion portion of this dissertation. However, the applicability of the rating system in the broader scheme of the present-day outsourcing industry is still questionable and requires further analysis before any final decisions can be made.

The critical incident evaluation focuses on the creation of a log that details the performance of an employee throughout a particular year (Morris et al., 2015; Fitch et al., 2012). This log contains aspects related to how an employee reacts to changes in operations, how they deal with deadlines, their capacity to work together in a team and other similar factors that focus on overall performance (Fitch et al., 2012; Xiaomeng and Bartol, 2010). The method of evaluation, in this case, focuses on good and bad incidents involving the employee in question wherein a list is created that enables the HR personnel in charge to determine how effective that particular employee is (Hassan, 2013; Saks and Gruman, 2011; Defilippo and Rogener, 2012). Unlike the use of metrics that have a set numerical value that can be utilised to measure performance without the direct supervision of a manager, critical incidents reports are highly dependent on managerial input based on how they view an employee’s actions over a broad course of different incidents within the span of a year (Saks and Gruman, 2011). These effects can range from proper customer service to leadership training; by focusing on where an employee is lacking based on the incident involved, this allows a non-biased method of evaluation since there would be just behind the evaluation as per the factors involved in the incident (Tang et al., 2013; Van Emmerik et al., 2008). Despite the advantages that have been mentioned with this method, there are also disadvantages that need to be taken into consideration as well. The first is the fact that unlike metric-based methods of evaluation, the use of critical incident reports is lacking when it comes to being measurable (Taylor, 2014; Simoneaux and Stroud, 2012; Nimon and Zigarmi, 2011). There is no numerical basis behind the evaluation, which are primarily centred on how employees react to incidents and are not indicative of how well they perform their job overall (Wine et al., 2014; Nimon and Zigarmi, 2011). For instance, an employee could do well during the critical incident reviews, yet their performance could be towards the lower end of the spectrum for their department. The second problem is the fact that managers are inherently limited in their capacity to view all actions done by an employee (Guo, 2014; Lloyd, 2012). They cannot be there all the time and, as such, are liable to miss certain details of an employee’s performance, which result in inaccurate data being presented (Guo, 2014; Lloyd, 2012).

Determining the Effectiveness of Performance Management Methods

Effective methods of performance management should be measurable and capable of justifying the outputs that are given based on a set of predetermined factors that are utilised in order to measure the traits desired in employees (Mura and Longo, 2013). As such, determining the effectiveness of performance management methods are intrinsically linked to how such processes are in line with the outputs of specific departments or of the company as a whole (Lloyd, 2012; Defilippo and Rogener, 2012). For instance, if the methods utilised to measure the performance of a specific department indicates that the employees are working at a high rate of efficiency and effectiveness yet the output of that department is lower as compared to other similar departments within the company, this is indicative of an issue with the way in which the performance of the employees is measured (Athalye, 2015; Lloyd, 2012). However, Weber and Wasieleski (2013) explain that the relationship between the two aforementioned factors should be based on the second principle of determining performance management effectiveness, namely: reliability. Reliability in the performance evaluation process implies that the same set of data would have been collected each time in repeat examinations of the same variable or phenomenon and would have produced the same result (Morris et al., 2015; Cekada, 2010). The output produced can be correlated to specific methods of evaluation in order to generate a result that is considered valid since it is based on units of measurement that are specifically designed to properly evaluate an employee’s performance (Morris et al., 2015; Risher, 2005). It is due to the specificity requirements associated with the function of consistency of measurement that methods of evaluation such as the essay method are often criticised as significantly lacking when it comes to properly correlating employee performance with a proper, consistent level of measurement (Cekada, 2010). Selvarajan and Cloninger (2009) argue that essay methods and other forms of evaluation that are dependent on the impression of the reviewer are qualitative in nature and are thus subject to inherent biases. Selvarajan and Cloninger (2009) define these as informal methods of measurement since they supposedly create skewed results based on the individual doing the evaluations. What this means is that despite an employee having a single type of output, the inherent bias of the essay method of evaluation often results in a variety of possible outcomes from different individuals doing the assessment instead of a single evaluated output for the level of performance done by an employee (Simoneaux and Stroud, 2012; Kondrasuk, 2011). Selvarajan and Cloninger (2009) go on to argue that this type of bias does not exist in quantitative methods of evaluation that derive employee performance primarily from numerical assessments of performance based on goals set by the company and the capacity of an employee to meet or exceed them (Saks and Gruman, 2011; Mulvaney et al., 2008). On the other hand, it should be noted that researchers such as Fitch et al. (2012) state that relying primarily on quantitative methods of evaluation is ineffective due to the broad range of job duties that may not be necessarily encompassed by a metrics-based approach on evaluation. For instance, the higher tier managers of a company or even executives such as the CEO or CFO may be required to fulfil particular objectives during their tenure that cannot be adequately measured by a primarily metric based approach (Weber and Wasieleski, 2013; Hassan, 2013; Toegel and Conger, 2003). The same concept applies to cases where creativity (i.e. advertising, marketing, animation, etc.) is the focal point behind the success of a department and, as such, cannot be accurately quantified due to its abstract nature (Castilla, 2011). Methods of performance evaluation for these cases thus focus on the “management by objectives” approach that utilises the capacity of an employee to meet specific objectives as set by their department head or by the company itself (Gignac and Palmer, 2011; Fox, 2013). Functional consistency, in this case, focuses on adherence to meeting the objectives and can thus be measured since failing or meeting objects can be analysed the same way by different evaluators, with all of them coming to the same conclusion based on the outcome (Fox, 2013). This relationship between functional consistency and the resulting output utilising the “management by objectives” approach shows a great deal of promise as a method of non-biased performance evaluation and can be implemented in a wide variety of instances without being too complicated to implement (Wright, 2013). Another factor that should be taken into consideration is the capacity for the method to be more easily understood and interpreted by employees since they can measure their own performance based on how well they meet the set objectives of the company (Wright, 2013). It should be noted, though, that such a method does not encompass all potential job types and is more of a short term method of performance evaluation that is isolated to managers and another similar type of employees and may not be as accurate when it comes to lower-tier employees that work either in a call centre or a factory line where objectives are few and primarily encompass that individual’s capacity to fulfil job orders or handle the clients of a company within a specific amount of time (Bhave, 2014).

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Chapter summary

Based on what has been presented so far, it can be seen that there are numerous points of view that need to be taken into consideration when it comes to performance evaluation. Following this literature review, it would appear that further analysis is necessary when it comes to what specific processes are utilised by HR managers today as their preferred method of non-biased evaluation. Therefore, the aim of this study will be to interview various HR managers and determine what processes they currently utilise and why do they use them. Through an evaluation of their responses, it is expected that this dissertation will be able to come up with effective recommendations that can be applied in the company the author is currently working at for future expansion into new international territories. In order to support the aim, several objectives will be met:

  1. The primary objective of this study is to determine what methods do current HR managers of multinational utilise in order to standardise performance evaluation across different organisational cultures.
  2. The secondary objective is to examine the respective viewpoints of each HR manager regarding the respective methods utilised (i.e. their pros and cons) and determine from the data which method is the most ideal when it comes to standardised performance evaluation that has relatively little bias in the examination process.

Methodology

Introduction

This section of the dissertation focuses on the methodology that will be utilised in this research study. It is expected that through the use of the methods and strategies that have been selected, an accurate examination can be created, which will enable a broader understanding of the topic being researched.

Research Method

It was suggested that a qualitative research methodology would be the most effective when it comes to examining the needed data (Saunders, Lewis & Thornhill, 2009). The reason behind this choice is due to the fact that qualitative research is a type of exploratory research that tries to examine and explain particular aspects of a scenario through an in-depth method of examination (Bridges-Rhoads and Van Cleave, 2014; Saunders et al., 2009). It is applied in order to explain human behaviour and the varying factors that influence such behaviours (Bridges-Rhoads and Van Cleave, 2014). Some of the characteristics of this type of research come in the form of descriptive analysis of data in order to get a more “in-depth” perspective regarding a particular situation, topic or individual being examined (Bridges-Rhoads and Van Cleave, 2014; Arthur, 1997). Thus, the advantages of this research method focus on how it is able to accurately and succinctly describe and interpret data based on the various reasons that govern a situation to come about (Saunders et al., 2009). This is particularly important since the main method of data collection would be to examine the opinions of HR managers currently operating within multinational corporations regarding their respective application of performance management processes in the face of different organisational cultures (Drisko, 2005; Drisko, 2005). While such a problem is often resolved through the use of mixed quantitative-qualitative research design, this type of methodology is not being utilised in this dissertation (Saunders et al., 2009).

It would be necessary to gauge their opinions regarding non-biased methods of performance evaluation across different regions and what steps their respective HR departments have implemented in order to properly implement these methods with little in the way of employee resistance to change brought about by the inherent organisational culture that exists within the new regions that the company has expanded into (Bridges-Rhoads and Van Cleave, 2014; Saunders et al., 2009). It is based on these needs that the chosen method of data gathering will utilise interviews and document analysis in order to obtain the necessary information for the study (Bridges-Rhoads and Van Cleave, 2014; Drisko, 2005). The advantage of a multiple methods research design lies in its use of different perspectives in order to examine a subject. This enables the researcher to back up the claims made by one perspective with those garnered from another perspective (Saunders et al., 2009). This helps to prove the academic veracity and accuracy of the study results and enables a better understanding of the topic that is being examined (Bridges-Rhoads and Van Cleave, 2014; Arthur, 1997). A document-based method of data gathering is concerned primarily with an examination of various academic texts (Fawcett et al., 2014; Arthur, 1997). The reason this method was chosen to be included in the study is due to the fact that document analysis is far easier to do and has a high degree of academic veracity given the findings that have been verified and properly vetted by previous researchers (Fawcett et al., 2014). However, there are some limitations in that the data retrieved from previous studies lack details from new developments in the field or are at times not applicable to certain areas being investigated (Fawcett et al., 2014; Saunders et al. 2009; Arthur, 1997). For instance, studies that have investigated the use of performance evaluation practices in Europe may not be as applicable in cases involving the Middle East, Japan and the U.S. This is the primary weakness of the second approach utilised and can be addressed through the use of interviews in order to back up the presented assumptions via the interview results (Fawcett et al., 2014; Saunders et al., 2009).

Methodological choice from Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2011)
Methodological choice from Saunders, Lewis and Thornhill (2011)

Data Gathering

Interviews

Interviews involve researchers directly communicating with their research subjects through the use of a prepared list of questions involving the topic that is being investigated (Saunders et al., 2009). It is data gathering method that allows researchers to directly interact with their research subjects in such a way that they are able to delve into the certain perspective of even go into particular lines of questioning based on how the interview proceeds (Fawcett et al., 2014; Saunders et al., 2009). Such a method is an effective means of eliciting the desired views that the researcher is after when it comes to the opinions of the HR manager regarding non-biased methods of performance evaluation across different organisational cultures (Fawcett et al., 2014; Saunders et al., 2009). It is based on this perspective that this research method will utilise open-ended questions to enable the respondents to give broader views regarding the implementation of their respective company’s HR strategies and how they address the issue of evaluating employees across different organisational cultures (Drisko, 2005).

Based on the requirements of the dissertation, one need that arose was the necessity of conducting some method of examination where a researcher can directly experience the attitudes and perspectives of the HR managers regarding non-biased methods of performance evaluation (Bridges-Rhoads and Van Cleave, 2014; Arthur, 1997). It is based on this necessity that it was determined that through the use of interviews, a researcher to draw on multiple sources of information (i.e. the different HR personnel that can be contacted) in order to delve into the subject matter that is being explored (Saunders et al., 2009; Drisko, 2005). The application of this method of data collection allows for the creation of a far more accurate account regarding performance management since it comes from multiple sources instead of a single primary source (i.e. evaluating the topic through a case study analysis of a single company) (Bridges-Rhoads and Van Cleave, 2014; Saunders et al., 2009). The advantage of this methodological approach for this study lies in the fact that interviews would allow a researcher to directly analyse the HR managers since an interview allows for a certain degree of “give and take” when it comes to gaining information (Bridges-Rhoads and Van Cleave, 2014; Arthur, 1997). This means that the interviewer would be able to immediately get feedback regarding the proposed viewpoints developed during the interview instead of attempting to discern such a viewpoint from survey data (Saunders et al., 2009). Aside from this, the individual being interviewed may bring up topics or approaches that the researcher may have missed, which would contribute towards the veracity and quality of the work being produced (Saunders et al., 2009; Drisko, 2005). It should be noted that through the use of interviews, the researcher would be able to directly observe the reactions of the respondents and react accordingly (i.e. bring up topics of interest when plausible) (Saunders et al., 2009). These advantages make interviews a suitable method when it comes to instances where a researcher is trying to develop a more in-depth perspective about a particular population that is being examined. Based on this evaluation, it becomes evident that the interview-based method of examination would be suitable for this research dissertation (Saunders et al., 2009; Drisko, 2005).

The rationale behind the development of each question was based on the work of Arthur (1997), which contained a variety of questionnaire examples that focused on utilising grounded theory as the basis behind their development. It is due to the use of this conceptual framework that the following grounded theory guide was used in developing the questionnaire.

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  1. What is going on?
  2. What is the main problem within the company for those involved?
  3. What is currently being done to resolve this issue?
  4. Are there possible alternatives to the current solution?

The sample size of the interview will consist of 10 HR managers who will be contacted by the researcher. The reason behind such a small sample size is due to the fact that through the use of open-ended interview questions, the researcher will be able to gather far more in-depth data from the personal perspective of the managers as compared to simply utilise questionnaires and, as such, a small sample size would be sufficient (Drisko, 2005; Arthur, 1997). Furthermore, there are also time constraints to take into consideration wherein it is unlikely that the researcher would be able to sufficiently contact large amounts of research subjects and gather all the necessary data within the time limit provided due to the chosen data gathering procedure (Drisko, 2005; Arthur, 1997).

Questionnaire Development

This section focuses on the questions that will be utilised in the study and help to justify their creation based on both relevant methodological processes as well as literature on the issues that they are focusing on.

The context of the first question (See Appendix A) lies in the fact that across various regional markets, the inherent organisational culture that is influenced by the local culture differs significantly from each other. As such, this creates issues in relation to the type of performance evaluation processes that are implemented (Saks and Gruman, 2011). This is due to the fact that methods of performance evaluation are at times intrinsically connected to the local organisational culture and, as such, can result in instances of incompatibility when employees are exposed to a method of evaluation (i.e. the local culture versus those from a foreign entity) that they are not used to (Weber and Wasieleski, 2013). It is also necessary to take note of the fact that foreign entities apply their own method of performance evaluation since it is connected to the manner in which the product or service they sell is created (Saks and Gruman, 2011). There are also issues related to employee resistance to change that need to be taken into consideration when it comes to applying new methods of performance evaluation (Lloyd, 2012). It is due to this that the context of this question is to determine what issues HR managers normally encounter when establishing new branches in other regions, which enables the researcher to transition into the proceeding question regarding the type of bias-free evaluation processes that are implemented (Mehrotra and Phillips, 2013).

The context behind the second question (See Appendix A) is to determine how the HR departments of the various companies addressed the problems that were identified in the previous question. This involves an investigation into what specific performance management was implemented, the justification behind the choice and whether the implementation was forced or not (Gignac and Palmer, 2011). The necessity behind this question is that it enables the researcher to determine the different strategies the HR managers implement across various types of organisational cultures and the inherent successes of such strategies, and the different issues they encountered during implementation (Gignac and Palmer, 2011). During the interview, the researcher will elaborate on the various performance management strategies that were discussed in the literature review and whether they were chosen for the offshore locations of the companies (Kondrasuk, 2011).

The third question (See Appendix A) helps to delve into the main focus of this research dissertation by enabling the HR managers that are being interviewed to express their opinion regarding the type of evaluation processes they have implemented and those elaborated on by the researcher and determine, based on their own experience, which they believe is free from bias (Nimon and Zigarmi, 2011). The basis behind this method of evaluation lies in the opinion of the researcher that HR managers are aware of which methods of evaluation are the most likely to contain bias by the evaluators and, as such, can state which process would be the most effective if companies seek a non-biased method of evaluation (Nimon and Zigarmi, 2011).

This line of questioning (See Appendix A) enables the researcher to examine whether the implementation of non-biased methods of performance evaluation actually results in effective outcomes for a company (Mura and Longo, 2013). The reasoning behind this is that if biased or non-biased methods of evaluation produced the same results for a company, then there would not be any need to differentiate between the two processes (Mura and Longo, 2013). As such, this section helps to justify the aims of the study.

The purpose behind the final question (See Appendix A) lies in the earlier assertion of this dissertation that there is no such thing as a one size fits all strategy when it comes to employee assessment for performance management (Wright, 2013; Lloyd, 2012; Perera, 2009). However, current methods of performance evaluations can be sufficiently modified (and are at times modified) in order to address the various needs of a company (Hui et al., 2009). It is due to this that a greater understanding is needed regarding a strategy that is both free from bias and is widely compatible across different organisational cultures (Hui et al., 2009).

Data Gathering Procedure

The data gathering procedure for this dissertation requires the researcher to send emails to 10 HR managers that are located in companies that can be traversed to and are relatively nearby. These emails will contain a request to meet with the HR manager for a short 10 to 15-minute interview at their convenience, where the researcher will ask a variety of questions regarding the performance management strategies being implemented in their company’s subsidiaries in other countries and why these methods were chosen (Bridges-Rhoads and Van Cleave, 2014; Drisko, 2005). Other methods involved in this analysis will focus on the pros and cons of the chosen methods and what the HR manager thinks of them. Overall, it is expected that the data collection procedure will be relatively uneventful. The data will be presented via narrative review wherein the researcher will summarise the opinions of the managers that have been interviewed based on the individual questions and combine such views with information from the literature review (Bridges-Rhoads and Van Cleave, 2014; Saunders et al., 2009).

Data Analysis

The data analysis portion of this study involves compiling the results of the interviews that were undertaken and combining them into an effective narrative of the various strategies that have been implemented by the various companies that were utilised in the study (Fawcett et al., 2014; Saunders et al., 2009). This aspect of the research will be discussed in the data analysis section of the study while criticisms or viewpoints of the researcher combined with information from the literature review will be utilised in the discussion section in order to point out any discrepancies or areas where improvements can be implemented (Fawcett et al., 2014; Arthur, 1997). The data will be presented via narrative review wherein the researcher will summarise the opinions of the managers that have been interviewed based on the individual questions and combine such views with information from the literature review (Bridges-Rhoads and Van Cleave, 2014; Arthur, 1997). By utilising this method, the researcher will be able to outline the similarity or divergences between the perspective indicated in the literature review and actual practices implemented by HR managers (Fawcett et al., 2014).

Study Concerns

One potential concern that should be taken into consideration is the potential that the responses given by the study participants are, in fact, inaccurate or outright false (Bridges-Rhoads and Van Cleave, 2014; Saunders et al., 2009). This methodology exposes the participant to an assortment of risks that need to be taken into consideration during the research process. The main risk the participants will encounter is if any of the answers that criticise or indicate dissatisfaction with current methods of performance evaluation leaks (Bridges-Rhoads and Van Cleave, 2014; Saunders et al., 2009). This may have consequences on the attitude and opinion of company officials towards them and can result in victimisation. To eliminate this risk, the responses will be kept in an anonymous location. This way, the only way to access the information will be through a procedure that involves the researcher (Bridges-Rhoads and Van Cleave, 2014; Saunders et al., 2009). The project thus observes research ethics in sampling as well as during the data collection process.

Scope and Limitations

The independent variable for this dissertation will consist of the academic literature that will be analysed by the researcher for the literature review, while the dependent variable will be the interview responses of the various HR managers/personnel that will be recruited for this study (Drisko, 2005; Arthur, 1997). It is anticipated that through a comparison between the literature review and the data analysis results of the interviews, this dissertation will be able to conduct a proper analysis of effective non-biased methods of performance evaluation (Fawcett et al., Schwieterman, Hazen and Overstreet, 2014; Arthur, 1997).

It must be noted that the time constraint for this particular study only allows structured interviews with an unrepresentative number of people and also a limited amount of flexibility when conducting the interview (Bridges-Rhoads and Van Cleave, 2014; Saunders et al., 2009). As such, the number of people that can be reasonably interviewed for this dissertation will be fairly limited. This is one of the main limitations of the study and an aspect that should be taken into consideration when evaluating the results of the data (Drisko, 2005; Arthur, 1997).

The main weakness of this study is in its reliance on interview results as the primary source of data in order to examine non-biased methods of performance evaluation (Fawcett et al., 2014; Drisko, 2005). There is always the possibility that the interview responses that have been accumulated have been falsified by the HR personnel or that the HR manager that is being interviewed does not know of what methods of evaluation have been implemented in the company’s outsourced departments (Saunders et al., 2009; Drisko, 2005). While this can be resolved by backing up the data with relevant literature, it still presents itself as a problem that cannot be easily remedied (Drisko, 2005).

Ethical Considerations

Possible ethical considerations that may arise through this study consist of the following:

  • The potential for unintentional plagiarism through the verbatim lifting of information, arguments, and points of view from the researched source material.
  • The use of unsubstantiated information taken from unverifiable or nonacademic resources (e.g., Internet articles).
  • The use of a biased viewpoint on issues that may inadvertently result in an alteration of the questionnaire results.
  • Presentation of data without sufficient corroborating evidence or a lack of citations.
  • Falsifying the results of the research for the benefit of the initial assumptions of the study.
  • Using views and ideas without giving due credit to the original source.

Time will be taken to elaborate on the rights of participants during the study process, including the right to informed consent and the right to confidentiality. By addressing these concerns through guidelines on proper ethics and research, it is expected that a few ethical concerns will need to be addressed.

Chapter summary

In order to carry out the study in question, one will have to consider the qualitative approach, as the qualitative design of the study presupposes that the relationships between the key variables should be analysed from a qualitative perspective. In other words, the nature of the relationships in question, the effects that the variables identified above have on each other, and the factors that contribute to the alteration of the research outcomes will be analysed. Moreover, seeing that the study will look into the nature of the relationships mentioned above, the exploratory approach should be adopted as the key tool for data acquisition and analysis. The study will be carried out in accordance with the basic ethical principles and will require that each of the participants should sign an informed consent form. Thus, the integrity of the research will remain intact, and the results attained will be deemed trustworthy and objective.

Findings and Analysis

Chapter description

In the specified chapter, the key findings of the study based on the interview outcomes are discussed. The significance of staff members’ compliance with the basic rules and regulations determined by the company’s policies can hardly be overestimated. Therefore, the necessity to determine the factors that define the employees’ behavioural patterns, the tools, with the help of which a leader may shape the staff’s performance and the key methods of avoiding any possible bias in the process are essential to the success of the assessment process (Richard and Johnson, 2001), as the responses of the interviewees demand. The chapter addresses the specified issues, identifying the ways in which one can evaluate the staff’s performance and, therefore, locate the means of improving the organisational performance of the employees. The chapter also debates the imposture of corporate values as opposed to the promotion of the staff’s individual values.

Addressing Question # 1: Defining the Problem

The literature review has shown that there is, in fact, a very close connection between the behavioural patterns that employees adopt within a specific organisational environment and the quality of the performance that they deliver (Bhave, 2014). The interviewees pointed at considerable acculturation problems, which new staff members have when becoming members of the company’s team: nearly 60% of new recruits face major issues in adapting towards the organisational behaviour and ethical standards of the firm. Moreover, the responses retrieved in the course of taking interviews to display the tendency among company leaders to resort to creating a set of rigid strategies that the staff is supposed to comply with, therefore, denying the employees the opportunity of manifesting their personal ideas of corporate behaviour and the communication process (Bhave, 2014). While the specified approach can be viewed as rather simple and leads to the quick development of the expected responses among employees, it may serve as a binding factor for the staff’s involvement with the company. In other words, the approach chosen by most company leaders will block the staff’s way to developing loyalty towards the organisation (Selvarajan & Cloninger, 2009); as a result, the employees are very likely to deliver the performance that can be defined as moderate or even barely meet the levels of acceptable performance quality.

The specified findings align with the key insights that the literature review has provided. Indeed, while the idea of an organisation defining the further aspirations and behavioural patterns of the staff is often viewed as acceptable in the states that are characterised by high bureaucracy and nepotism rates, in the countries where democratic principles are incorporated into the framework of the state laws and regulations, as well as the national identity, the specified approach does not work quite well (Selvarajan & Cloninger, 2009). Therefore, the study has revealed a strong need for organisations to locate the methods of influencing the staff’s performance by increasing employees’ engagement rates.

Addressing Question # 2: Working on a Solution

The implementation of performance evaluation methodologies ranging from metrics to management by objectives was based on the type of industry that a company was in, according to the interview results. The specified observation aligns with the key findings of the study, according to which the integration of the company’s key values, behavioural patterns and ethical principles by foisting them on the staff is only possible in the society, where democracy is obliterated. In other scenarios, an organisation needs to develop a flexible approach based on enhancing motivation among the staff through incentives and appraisals, as research has shown (Richard and Johnson, 2001; Bhave, 2014). As seen in the case of the call centre industry, efficiency was at the heart of their operations and required employees to perform based on strict guidelines due to the impact that each individual employee had on the production process as a whole (Morris et al., 2015; Defilippo and Rogener, 2012). This particular methodological approach is not as applicable when it comes to industries that require creativity more than efficiency in operations, as seen in the case of the software developers. In such instances, it is the capacity for employees to meet objectives that is at the heart of the operational process in such companies and why the management by objectives approach works so well in such instances as an objective method of performance evaluation (Mulvaney et al., 2008).

Addressing Question # 3: The Key Factors

After examining the opinions given by the research subjects that were examined for this study, the following factors have been discerned as being the necessary aspects of a performance management process that is free from bias:

Objective Capacity to Evaluate

An objective capacity to evaluate focuses on the capacity of a process of evaluation to be free from aspects related to organisational culture, personal opinion or leniency, according to the personal interview outcomes. This aspect of a bias-free method of evaluation focuses on the facts as they are and the capacity for an employee to meet or exceed the parameters that they are subjected to (Selvarajan & Cloninger, 2009). It is suggested that for any process of evaluation to be truly bias-free, the introduction of the factors that contribute to bias being removed should be considered. The significance of the specified characteristics of a positive environment for carrying out the evaluation process has also been emphasised by a range of researchers; however, most of them claim that the impeccable design of the environment that meets every single requirement for conducting an assessment of the company’s performance is barely attainable since all evaluation subjects are most likely to have an inherent bias (Selvarajan & Cloninger, 2009)

Specific and Measurable

Aside from being objective, it is necessary for a bias-free method of evaluation to be specific and measurable based on factors that have been previously determined by the company (Fitch et al., 2012). Based on the interview, it was noted that one of the issues when it comes to essay type methods of evaluation is that the means by which an employee is measured is subjected to the personal opinion of the manager or evaluator: as Interviewee A said, “A lot of HR interviewers use their personal impressions to assess me as a specialist.” The problem with this is that when subjected to validation via repetition (i.e. having someone else perform the same type of evaluation on the same employee), the end result tends to be different since it is done through the opinion of an entirely different person, as the outcomes of interviews with several participants (Interviewees A, B, C and D) display. This could indicate that this particular process of evaluation is subject to considerable bias based on personal opinion and is neither specific nor measurable since it changes based on who is doing the evaluation (Selvarajan & Cloninger, 2009). In comparison, utilising methodologies such as metrics or management through objectives is specific and measurable since there are quantitative factors that enable the measurement to be the same regardless of who does the measuring (Wine et al., 2014).

The importance of providing metrics for the analysis of a company’s performance through the assessment of the staff’s engagement and motivation rates has also been suggested by a range of researchers. As Saks and Gruman (2011) state, the key variables, which are introduced into the analysis, must be very specific; moreover, the variables in question need to be measured with the help of the existing or previously designed scale. At this point, though, one must mention that the need to deviate from the quantitative method of evaluation is stressed by a range of scholars (Saks and Gruman, 2011; Mulvaney et al., 2008). While some of them still insist on the importance of introducing the quantitative factor into the study, most agree that the research addressing the subject matter must revolve around the analysis of the relationships between the key variables without trying to quantify the research outcomes (Fitch et al., 2012).

Awareness of performance objectives

The last aspect when it comes to bias-free evaluations is that the employees must be aware of the performance objectives that are connected to their job (Saks and Gruman, 2011). Measuring performance should be done not only by the managers or HR departments but by employees as well (Fox, 2013). This could ensure they are aware at all times regarding their current performance and how they will be evaluated based on how well they meet the parameters set by the company. Indeed, a range of scholars (Fox, 2013; Saks and Gruman, 2011) stresses the need to rely on the comparison of the performance objectives with the actual outcomes of the analysis. It should be noted, though, that the interviews did not return one of the expected outcomes, i.e., the obvious need for making sure that the conclusions of the study are based on the same outcome (Fox, 2013). Disregarding the above-mentioned minor dent in the overall satisfactory results of the interviews, it can be assumed that the research carried out among the leaders of several companies has proven the key conclusions made from the overview of the current literature.

Answering Question # 4

From the responses of the participants, it was shown that there is a significant difference in employee performance when biased and non-biased methods of performance evaluation are utilised; for instance, Participant B pointed out that interviewers often display a lack of open-mindedness when it comes to personal traits of the applicants. This is in part due to the fact that with non-biased methods, the employees are well aware of how their current performance factors into their evaluation. The information acquired from the participants displays that the suppositions of Hui et al. (2009) and Beausaert et al. (2011) concerning the need to eradicate the factors causing even minor ambiguity in the research results fit the present-day setting of a company performance assessment perfectly.

Answers related to question 5 for this dissertation show quite clearly that most respondent rating scales are believed to be the most efficient type of evaluation, seeing that three respondents out of five voted for the specified type of assessment. The outcomes of the interview indicate that most HR staff members, indeed, pay consistently little attention to the culture-related issues and the process of acculturation that new recruits have to go through.

Recommendation

After examining the data that has been presented so far, it can be concluded by this study that the performance management processes involving employee assessment that can be implemented to a wide variety of different organisational cultures without considerable bias need to factor in: awareness of performance objectives has to be specific and measurable as well as have the objective capacity to evaluate. The necessity to adopt the strategy that enhances the staff’s engagement and, therefore, allows for increasing their input and the overall output of the company have been stressed by a range of scholars, as the literature review has shown (Gruman and Saks, 2011). Investing in the staff and, thus, increasing their performance rates is an essential addition to the company leader’s strategy. Utilising this methodology, a company would be able to adjust the type of metrics involved while at the same time enabling employees to understand what is expected of them from their jobs. By doing so, the company leader would enable the company to meet its performance objectives in the region that they have expanded to. It is important to note, though, that this methodology espouses the imposition of a company’s organisational culture over the local one (Hui et al., 2009). The basis behind this is due to how the local organisational culture may compromise the operational processes that are necessary to ensure operations proceed smoothly and that the methods of evaluation are not subjected to bias or leniency.

Moreover, the fact that the study also has its limitations should be brought up despite embracing a range of factors that may impede the research process and jeopardise the objectivity of the study outcomes. Specifically, a relatively limited amount of samples and, therefore, a certain drop in objectivity rates is expected. To be more exact, the research results may be viewed as applicable to a specific environment instead of being generally true. In addition, there is a threat of affecting the responses of the research participants to a certain degree, as the interviews were carried out in the course of live communication and, therefore, were prone to the influence of the human factor (Fitch et al., 2012). Nevertheless, it is expected that the veracity of the research outcomes is going to be rather high and that the study will help gain a deep insight into the current problems of enhancing and measuring staff performance by altering their organisational behaviour.

Chapter summary

The organisational culture can be either modelled after the basic corporate values and ethical principles that the company upholds or based on the philosophy and behavioural patterns that the staff members have, according to the interview outcomes. Seeing that organisational behaviour has a tangible effect on the company’s performance, it is reasonable to choose the former option. The assessment of the company’s performance, in its turn, can be conducted with the help of various metrics applications, the assessment of the objectives and their completion, etc. In order to carry out the evaluation of the organisational productivity, one must make sure that specific and measurable characteristics have been located, the assessment is carried out in an objective and unbiased manner, and the key goals of the organisation are evident. The study has shown that the performance of the staff is highly dependent on the objectivity of the evaluation tool used.

Conclusion

Introduction

This chapter will review and summarise the research, outlining the key outcomes and suggesting further opportunities for the analysis.

The aim of the research was to determine whether the incorporation of the GSS based strategy will allow for improving the process of communication in the course of DHA meetings. The objectives include the analysis of the effects that personal interviews have on the communication process among the members of DHA and the analysis of changes in the performance of the DHA staff at the DHHQ. Data to meet the various objectives was gathered through interviews and questionnaires analysis.

After examining the data that has been presented so far, it can be concluded by this study that the performance management processes involving employee assessment that can be implemented to a wide variety of different organisational cultures without considerable bias need to factor in: awareness of performance objectives has to be specific and measurable as well as have the objective capacity to evaluate. The necessity to adopt the strategy that enhances the staff’s engagement and, therefore, allows for increasing their input and the overall output of the company, has been stressed by a range of scholars, as the literature review has shown (Gruman and Saks, 2011; Beausaert et al., 2011; Hui et al., 2009). Investing in the staff and, thus, increasing their performance rates is an essential addition to the company leader’s strategy. It is suggested that, by utilising this methodology, a company would be able to adjust the type of metrics involved while at the same time enabling employees to understand what is expected of them from their jobs. By doing so, the company leader would enable the company to meet its performance objectives in the region that they have expanded to. It is important to note, though, that this methodology espouses the imposition of a company’s organisational culture over the local one (Hui et al., 2009). The basis behind this is due to how the local organisational culture may compromise the operational processes that are necessary to ensure operations proceed smoothly and that the methods of evaluation are not subjected to bias or leniency.

Moreover, the fact that the study also has its limitations should be brought up despite embracing a range of factors that may impede the research process and jeopardise the objectivity of the study outcomes. Specifically, a relatively limited amount of samples and, therefore, a certain drop in objectivity rates is expected (Hui et al., 2009). To be more exact, the research results may be viewed as applicable to a specific environment instead of being generally true. In addition, there is a threat of affecting the responses of the research participants to a certain degree, as the interviews were carried out in the course of live communication and, therefore, were prone to the influence of the human factor (Hui et al., 2009). Nevertheless, it is expected that the veracity of the research outcomes is going to be rather high and that the study will help gain a deep insight into the current problems of enhancing and measuring staff performance by altering their organisational behaviour. Therefore, further studies should focus on the individual factors that affect the process of recruiting new staff members. Indeed, an overview of the recent literature has shown that there are significant gaps in the specified domain; therefore, a more thorough analysis of the possibilities in recruitment should be evaluated.

This study has shown that bias in performance evaluation and local organisational cultures can have a significant impact on the manner in which companies operate when they outsource their processes or departments to new locations abroad. In order to counter this effect, it could be suggested that the processes that would enable the company to implement a non-biased method of evaluation should be implemented. As such, it is recommended that a combination of metrics and management by objectives approach be implemented in order to help a company properly transition when they establish operations abroad.

Appendix

Consent Form

Performance Management and Organisational Culture: Applying HR Strategies to Implement Non-biased Methods of Employee Assessment

Dear Participant,

You are cordially invited to participate in a research study involving the implementation of non-biased methods of employee assessment across different regional departments by companies that utilise outsourcing or offshoring.

Please read through this form in order to familiarise yourself with the responses expected of you, Prior to participating in this study. Should you have any questions or concerns, please voice them to the researcher at any time.

Background Information

The purpose of this study is to determine the current HR strategies that have been implemented by companies that have expanded into different regions and thus have to deal with an assortment of organisational cultures. It is due to this that HR departments apply a variety of performance management strategies involving employee assessment. What this study seeks to accomplish is to examine the current strategies that have been implemented, determine their strengths, weaknesses and methods of application and evaluate them based on perceived effectiveness.

Procedures

Should you agree to participate in this study; the following will be asked of you:

  1. Sign the consent form indicating that you are willing to participate in this study and that you are allowing the researcher to utilise the information you give as part of the data analysis.
  2. Give clear, concise, and, above all, honest answers on the questionnaire, as well as to the individual interviewing you.

Assurance of Anonymity

All information that will be obtained via this method of data gathering will be kept strictly confidential with all research participants being assured of the anonymity of their responses. None of the responses will be released with any indication that they were given by a particular individual. The results will be quantified into basic statistics to ensure that no personally identifiable information can be identified. Information gathered from respondents of the survey will be destroyed after a period of 10 years to further ensure that no personal information will be leaked in any way.

Voluntary Nature of the Study

Your participation in this study is strictly voluntary. Your decision as to whether or not to participate will not affect your current or future relations with anyone involved in the study. You may withdraw from the study at any time without any penalty, even if you initially decide to participate.

Risk from Undertaking the Study

Although there are no outright risks in participating in a study of this nature, there are some long-term risks that should be taken into consideration. The possibility exist that participants in the study may face victimisation or undue criticism due to the views they present, which may or may not appeal to the “image” that various governments wish themselves to be portrayed. In order to prevent such problems from occurring, all the data will be sealed within a locked cabinet and will not be presented without ensuring that all possible methods of identification have been removed beforehand.

Consent Form

Performance Management and Organisational Culture: Applying HR Strategies to Implement Non-biased Methods of Employee Assessment

Contacts and Questions

The researcher conducting this study is xxx. The researcher’s adviser is xxx, PhD. You may ask any questions you have now. If you have questions later, you may contact us.

Contact info for researcher: Contact info for advisor:

You will receive a copy of this form from the researcher.

Statement of Consent:

I have read the above information. I have asked questions and received answers. I consent to participate in the study.

Participant Pseudonym: __________________________

Interview Template

Interview begins

Hi! I am (NAME OF RESEARCHER) and this interview is to help determine the current HR strategies that have been implemented by companies that have expanded into different regions and thus have to deal with an assortment of organisational cultures. It is due to this that HR departments apply a variety of performance management strategies involving employee assessment. What this study seeks to accomplish is to examine the current strategies that have been implemented, determine their strengths, weaknesses and methods of application and evaluate them based on perceived effectiveness.

I assure you that all answers between the two of us will be confidential so please feel free to answer in any way that you choose.

A copy of the questions will be provided to you and all you need to do is express your opinion on every question.

Start of questioning

  1. With your organisation having different offshore offices in various countries in order to address the global demand for your company’s products/services, what issues do you normally encounter when it comes to performance evaluation?
  2. Based on the previous question involving the types of issues that your company encountered when transitioning into new markets, what type of employee performance evaluation methodology did your company implement? Did it attempt to conform to the local organisational culture or did the company implement its own method and superimpose it over the local organisational culture? Did this lead to significant issues before, during and after the implementation process?
  3. When it comes to the implementation of performance evaluation strategies across different organisational cultures, what type of evaluation process do you believe is free from bias based on your own experiences and the various strategies that the researcher has elaborated on?
  4. Based on the strategies that have been implemented by your company in its off-shored locations, is there a significant difference in employee performance (based on department outputs) whether biased or non-biased methods of implementation are used?
  5. Through your experience in dealing with different organisational cultures, what type of performance evaluation do you believe is the most compatible across a broad range of different cultures?

End of interview

Thank for you for participation! It is greatly appreciated.

Interview Results

Research Subjects: HR managers and HR assistants

Industry: Call Centre
  • With your organisation having different offshore offices in various countries in order to address the global demand for your company’s products/services, what issues do you normally encounter when it comes to performance evaluation?

Our metric based performance culture was initially not well received locally and this caused our operations to suffer during the first few months of our expansion.

  • Based on the previous question involving the types of issues that your company encountered when transitioning into new markets, what type of employee performance evaluation methodology did your company implement?

The employee performance methodology that we used was the metric system of evaluation. We superimposed this system over the local organisational culture since it was necessary for operations. Despite the high level of employee churn and burnout that occurred, we did not implement a new system since we could not compromise on the efficiency of operations necessary to ensure proper operations.

  • When it comes to the implementation of performance evaluation strategies across different organisational cultures, what type of evaluation process do you believe is free from bias based on your own experiences and the various strategies that the researcher has elaborated on?

Based on our own experience when it came to clashing employee evaluation strategies, I would have to say that the metric system would be the most non-biased that I have implemented so far.

  • Based on the strategies that have been implemented by your company in its off-shored locations, is there a significant difference in employee performance (based on department outputs) whether biased or non-biased methods of implementation are used?

While the essay method reflected what the managers thought of the performance of their employees, it did not adequately reflect the performance goals that the company was after. In comparison, our operations in our home market that utilised the metric based method of evaluation far outstripped their Indian counterparts and showed that from an efficiency point of view, utilising non-biased methods did produce the desired results. I have to preface this though by stating that this is reflective of the standards utilised within our specific industry and may not be necessarily applicable in others.

  • Through your experience in dealing with different organisational cultures, what type of performance evaluation do you believe is the most compatible across a broad range of different cultures?

If I have to state a particular method, I would lean towards metrics since it entails the creation of specific and measurable outputs that can be used as a means of gauging performance. Though, it would be difficult to gauge something related to creativity and you would be more likely to evaluate the resulting outcome of a creative project. One possible method would be to combine different methodologies to suit the needs of your specific operation.

Research Subjects: HR Personnel

Industry: Software Development

  • With your organisation having different offshore offices in various countries in order to address the global demand for your company’s products/services, what issues do you normally encounter when it comes to performance evaluation?

In our line of work, we tend to focus more on the creative aspects of a job. For instance, we have teams in the Philippines that are evaluated based on an essay approach, while we have teams in Taiwan that focus more on the management by objectives approach. These varied methods make it difficult to understand how each different type of performance evaluation reflects on the performance of all teams as a whole.

  • Based on the previous question involving the types of issues that your company encountered when transitioning into new markets, what type of employee performance evaluation methodology did your company implement?

When it comes to software development, the process of evaluation is based more on how specific development goals are met by the team and not necessarily by individual performance. Since the development of specific aspects of a piece of software is done in stages, it is necessary to implement a management by objectives approach.

  • When it comes to the implementation of performance evaluation strategies across different organisational cultures, what type of evaluation process do you believe is free from bias based on your own experiences and the various strategies that the researcher has elaborated on?

After going through the various software development cycles that we have successfully accomplished, I would have to say that the management by objectives approach is the evaluation process that is mostly free from bias.

  • Based on the strategies that have been implemented by your company in its off-shored locations, is there a significant difference in employee performance (based on department outputs) whether biased or non-biased methods of implementation are used?

Based on my personal experience on the matter, I would have to say that there is a difference between biased and non-biased methods when it came to observing a case in the Philippines. The local predilection of “not rocking the boat” or giving individuals more leeway when it came to their performance nearly ruined the company’s credibility. This is indicative of significant bias in operational evaluation which has yet to be dealt with internally. It is my belief that if stricter performance evaluations were to be implemented, the overall level of performance within that sector would improve significantly.

  • Through your experience in dealing with different organisational cultures, what type of performance evaluation do you believe is the most compatible across a broad range of different cultures?

After going over the processes that we have used in the company so far, I believe that the management by objectives approach is the most appealing since it focuses on objectives to be met which can be implemented across a broad range of cultures.

Research Subjects: HR Personnel

Industry: Food and Beverages

  • With your organisation having different offshore offices in various countries in order to address the global demand for your company’s products/services, what issues do you normally encounter when it comes to performance evaluation?

As a rule, these are the language issues and the cultural differences. Traditionally, we resort to introducing the foreign staff to the company’s concept of quality and the basic steps of the production process from the very beginning, yet some of the personnel members have a different concept of quality, which is far too low for the company’s standards.

  • Based on the previous question involving the types of issues that your company encountered when transitioning into new markets, what type of employee performance evaluation methodology did your company implement?

Our company bases the evaluation on the company’s revenues, as well as calculating the customer satisfaction rates within the target region. As soon as a significant drop (5%–10%) among the target population is observed, we realise that the employee performance needs enhancement.

  • When it comes to the implementation of performance evaluation strategies across different organisational cultures, what type of evaluation process do you believe is free from bias based on your own experiences and the various strategies that the researcher has elaborated on?

I think it is the one that involves the basic quality requirements solely. As soon as our company starts altering its quality and performance related standards based on the country that it enters and the target market that it caters to, it loses its credibility.

  • Based on the strategies that have been implemented by your company in its off-shored locations, is there a significant difference in employee performance (based on department outputs) whether biased or non-biased methods of implementation are used?

The non-biased methods allow for a more accurate implementation of the task. However, the biased methods invite an opportunity for complying with the company’s standards in a more accurate manner.

  • Through your experience in dealing with different organisational cultures, what type of performance evaluation do you believe is the most compatible across a broad range of different cultures?

We believe that a company must evaluate the staff’s efficiency based on the performance by objectives method. As long as all objectives are met, it can be assumed that the employees have delivered a good performance. Moreover, the changes in the customer satisfaction rates are also measured in order to define the staff’s performance.

Research Subjects: HR Personnel

Industry: IT

  • With your organisation having different offshore offices in various countries in order to address the global demand for your company’s products/services, what issues do you normally encounter when it comes to performance evaluation?

Typically, we do not have any issues outside of adapting towards the specifics of the local culture. In certain cases, the local staff members refuse to understand the basic quality requirements and prefer to carry out the assignments in the manner that the company views as inadequate.

  • Based on the previous question involving the types of issues that your company encountered when transitioning into new markets, what type of employee performance evaluation methodology did your company implement?

We access the input of every single employee individually. In addition, we put a very strong emphasis on the importance of efficient communication between the managers and the staff. In order to access the performance of the staff accurately, we apply the principle of rating scales.

  • When it comes to the implementation of performance evaluation strategies across different organisational cultures, what type of evaluation process do you believe is free from bias based on your own experiences and the various strategies that the researcher has elaborated on?

A combined method of using the corporate standards and the local ones seems a decent solution. Moreover, our company puts a very strong emphasis on the significance of feedback collection and processing; we value every piece of information that the employees provide us with.

  • Based on the strategies that have been implemented by your company in its off-shored locations, is there a significant difference in employee performance (based on department outputs) whether biased or non-biased methods of implementation are used?

No actual differences have been spotted. However, the non-biased methods traditionally take more time than the biased ones due to the necessity to eradicate the existing obstacles in improving the staff’s performance quality.

  • Through your experience in dealing with different organisational cultures, what type of performance evaluation do you believe is the most compatible across a broad range of different cultures?

We believe that by processing the feedback retrieve from all stakeholders involved, i.e., the staff, the clients, the suppliers, etc., we will be capable of enhancing performance of the organisation and its staff across all cultures. It is also desirable that a compromise between the local concept of quality and the company’s standards should be located.

Research Subjects: HR Personnel

Industry: Call Centre

  • With your organisation having different offshore offices in various countries in order to address the global demand for your company’s products/services, what issues do you normally encounter when it comes to performance evaluation?

Our company does not have any issues due to an efficient HR strategy. We attempt at taking every single opinion of all stakeholders into account; as a result, the organisation meets the needs of both the customers and the staff. Naturally, we put a very strong stress on the significance of the corporate values so that even foreign staff could understand what performance is viewed as acceptable in our organisation.

  • Based on the previous question involving the types of issues that your company encountered when transitioning into new markets, what type of employee performance evaluation methodology did your company implement?

Our company conducts regular audits for performance assessment. Therefore, I guess you can say that we use the principle of rating scales as the key tool. Although trusting the staff is one of our company’s basic principles, we need to make sure that the employees have a clear idea of the corporate quality standards.

  • When it comes to the implementation of performance evaluation strategies across different organisational cultures, what type of evaluation process do you believe is free from bias based on your own experiences and the various strategies that the researcher has elaborated on?

The corporate values and standards must be used as the key tool. I assume, however, that the performance evaluation may also incorporate multiple reviews. When a staff member is assessed by a single member of the quality assurance team, the possibility for subjective assessment becomes very high. Thus, it is desirable to have a team of reviewers.

  • Based on the strategies that have been implemented by your company in its off-shored locations, is there a significant difference in employee performance (based on department outputs) whether biased or non-biased methods of implementation are used?

Biased methods trigger less impressive performance among the staff.

  • Through your experience in dealing with different organisational cultures, what type of performance evaluation do you believe is the most compatible across a broad range of different cultures?

A mixed approach incorporating our and foreign principles is desirable. Seeing that the company is aimed at meeting the needs of all stakeholders involved, the evaluation of critical incidents can be viewed as a tool for performance analysis.

Research Subjects: HR Personnel

Industry: Consulting

  • With your organisation having different offshore offices in various countries in order to address the global demand for your company’s products/services, what issues do you normally encounter when it comes to performance evaluation?

It is hard to come up with the evaluation of the employees’ actions due to the cultural differences. We utilise the principle of management by objectives as one of the basic tools for performance evaluation, so we often need to focus on the needs of the company rather than on the cultural specifics of the local staff.

  • Based on the previous question involving the types of issues that your company encountered when transitioning into new markets, what type of employee performance evaluation methodology did your company implement?

We compare the performance rates of the staff on different time slots. In addition, we analyze the responses submitted in questionnaires, which we distribute among the customers and the company managers. The questionnaires incorporate Likert-style scales, therefore, making the process of evaluation more efficient.

  • When it comes to the implementation of performance evaluation strategies across different organisational cultures, what type of evaluation process do you believe is free from bias based on your own experiences and the various strategies that the researcher has elaborated on?

The application of the key ethical and quality standards needs to be carried out. In addition, the audit that involves the assessment of several independent experts, is crucial to the veracity of the evaluation outcomes. I believe that the level of expertise is in a direct proportion to the number of opinions voiced.

  • Based on the strategies that have been implemented by your company in its off-shored locations, is there a significant difference in employee performance (based on department outputs) whether biased or non-biased methods of implementation are used?

Biased methods trigger a more convoluted implementation scheme. However, I must admit that the implementation of non-biased methods is much more time-consuming. Therefore, it is very rarely that our company can afford a non-biased approach.

  • Through your experience in dealing with different organisational cultures, what type of performance evaluation do you believe is the most compatible across a broad range of different cultures?

The approach that incorporates the specifics of the local culture is preferable. However, we also implement the principle of competency building among the staff, therefore, increasing their efficiency and promoting their further growth as consulting experts.

Industry: Call Centre

  • With your organisation having different offshore offices in various countries in order to address the global demand for your company’s products/services, what issues do you normally encounter when it comes to performance evaluation?

Our company does not have any major issues in the given domain.

  • Based on the previous question involving the types of issues that your company encountered when transitioning into new markets, what type of employee performance evaluation methodology did your company implement?

We use a comparative analysis.

  • When it comes to the implementation of performance evaluation strategies across different organisational cultures, what type of evaluation process do you believe is free from bias based on your own experiences and the various strategies that the researcher has elaborated on?

The analysis must be based on the corporate values.

  • Based on the strategies that have been implemented by your company in its off-shored locations, is there a significant difference in employee performance (based on department outputs) whether biased or non-biased methods of implementation are used?

No significant difference have been noticed so far.

  • Through your experience in dealing with different organisational cultures, what type of performance evaluation do you believe is the most compatible across a broad range of different cultures?

It is necessary to asses both the staff’s personal input and the overall performance of the company.

Research Subjects: HR Personnel

Industry: Pharmaceutics

  • With your organisation having different offshore offices in various countries in order to address the global demand for your company’s products/services, what issues do you normally encounter when it comes to performance evaluation?

The company’s standards and the staff’s idea of good performance differ greatly. For example, the residents of some of the South African countries have a different concept of time management and quality standards, which affects the organisation’s overall performance greatly.

  • Based on the previous question involving the types of issues that your company encountered when transitioning into new markets, what type of employee performance evaluation methodology did your company implement?

The performance of each staff member is compared to the previous records. We carry out regular audits and then compare the results obtained in the process to the outcomes of the previous audit. As you may have guessed already, we prefer the principle of rating scales.

  • When it comes to the implementation of performance evaluation strategies across different organisational cultures, what type of evaluation process do you believe is free from bias based on your own experiences and the various strategies that the researcher has elaborated on?

Trying to avoid the possible bias, we believe that the key company’s principles should be included into the evaluation. Therefore, a general audit needs to be carried out. Since the audit needs to touch upon a number of corporate processes and aspects of the company’s performance, we believe that several experts need to be involved. Thus, we avoid possible controversies.

  • Based on the strategies that have been implemented by your company in its off-shored locations, is there a significant difference in employee performance (based on department outputs) whether biased or non-biased methods of implementation are used?

The differences are too minor and inconsistent to notice them.

  • Through your experience in dealing with different organisational cultures, what type of performance evaluation do you believe is the most compatible across a broad range of different cultures?

A complex method seems to be preferable. Because of the need to assess both the effects that the staff’s performance has on the company’s progress and the input of every single staff member separately, our organisation implements a practical model of performance evaluation. It allows us to check whether the staff follows the company’s requirements and adopts the proper attitude towards the organisation’s goals and its production process.

Research Subjects: HR Personnel

Industry: Transportation

  • With your organisation having different offshore offices in various countries in order to address the global demand for your company’s products/services, what issues do you normally encounter when it comes to performance evaluation?

We do not have such issues due to a flexible set of principles. However, I must admit that, when entering a new market and, therefore, facing the need to recruit the new staff, we have to face numerous issues with the staff adapting to the company’s requirements and principles.

  • Based on the previous question involving the types of issues that your company encountered when transitioning into new markets, what type of employee performance evaluation methodology did your company implement?

We carry out a detailed analysis of each employee’s input regularly. Basically, these are regular audits that keep the staff’s performance consistently good and allow our company to deliver the services of the finest quality.

  • When it comes to the implementation of performance evaluation strategies across different organisational cultures, what type of evaluation process do you believe is free from bias based on your own experiences and the various strategies that the researcher has elaborated on?

We believe that the staff must be evaluated individually. Therefore, we adopt a flexible system of regular audits. In the course of the assessment, we use the company’s standards to assess the staff’s performance properly. This approach emerged as a response to the outside factors; when we entered the markets of several third world countries in order to recruit new staff, we noticed that the local residents have their own concepts of quality, which were lower than those of the company, and were guided by a different set of ethical principles. Hence, our intervention was required.

  • Based on the strategies that have been implemented by your company in its off-shored locations, is there a significant difference in employee performance (based on department outputs) whether biased or non-biased methods of implementation are used?

The biased method prevents an accurate assessment of the staff’s performance. However, the non-biased approaches are usually more costly; as a result, certain pieces of information slip through the cracks as we conduct staff assessment.

  • Through your experience in dealing with different organisational cultures, what type of performance evaluation do you believe is the most compatible across a broad range of different cultures?

I think that we need to evaluate the staff based on the company’s standards. Moreover, we are thinking of employing a comprehensive strategy incorporating management by objectives and a rating scale.

Research Subjects: HR Personnel

Industry: Call Centre

  • With your organisation having different offshore offices in various countries in order to address the global demand for your company’s products/services, what issues do you normally encounter when it comes to performance evaluation?

It is hard to approach the behavioural specifics of the employees from the perspective of a different culture. Therefore, we need to be rather flexible in order to keep balance between satisfying the needs of the staff and meeting the company’s quality standards.

  • Based on the previous question involving the types of issues that your company encountered when transitioning into new markets, what type of employee performance evaluation methodology did your company implement?

We do not have a rigid system of staff’s performance evaluation. Specifically, regular audits based on rating scales are carried out; thus, we are capable of defining whether the staff follows the quality requirements set by the organisation.

  • When it comes to the implementation of performance evaluation strategies across different organisational cultures, what type of evaluation process do you believe is free from bias based on your own experiences and the various strategies that the researcher has elaborated on?

The one that allows integrating the local culture and the company’s strategies seems to be the most efficient. In other words, our company could make a very efficient use of the analysis of the local culture. We could design a new evaluation system based on the combination of the corporate values and the local concept of quality.

  • Based on the strategies that have been implemented by your company in its off-shored locations, is there a significant difference in employee performance (based on department outputs) whether biased or non-biased methods of implementation are used?

The biased approach may trigger confusion and prevent increase in employee satisfaction.

  • Through your experience in dealing with different organisational cultures, what type of performance evaluation do you believe is the most compatible across a broad range of different cultures?

The mixed evaluation type seems a legitimate solution. As I have stressed above, it is important to take the local quality standards into account. Unless the staff realises that the company operates on the terms that are different from their notion of quality, they are unable to deliver a proper performance. Therefore, a gradual transition from one state to another is needed.

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Appendix A: Questionnaire

  1. With your organisation having different offshore offices in various countries in order to address the global demand for your company’s products/services, what issues do you normally encounter when it comes to performance evaluation?
  2. Based on the previous question involving the types of issues that your company encountered when transitioning into new markets, what type of employee performance evaluation methodology did your company implement?
  3. When it comes to the implementation of performance evaluation strategies across different organisational cultures, what type of evaluation process do you believe is free from bias based on your own experiences and the various strategies that the researcher has elaborated on?
  4. Based on the strategies that have been implemented by your company in its off-shored locations, is there a significant difference in employee performance (based on department outputs) whether biased or non-biased methods of implementation are used?
  5. Through your experience in dealing with different organisational cultures, what type of performance evaluation do you believe is the most compatible across a broad range of different cultures?