Performance Management

| January 17, 2016

Performance Management

General guidance to students on content and approach

You have a choice from TWO questions. You are to answer ONE question only. The word limit is 2,000 words (plus or minus ten percent), including any appendix but excluding your table of references. NOTE: The ability to communicate a cogent and coherent argument in a limited number of words is an academic skill required of students at level 6.

Late submission of course work will be dealt with under standard University regulations, which are available through the student portal.

General guidance (from points 2-8) provided in question 1 can also be used in question 2.
Question One

Critically evaluate the view that competency frameworks ensure greater consistency and effectiveness in the performance management process by enhancing a common understanding of effective behaviour at work.

Your answer must make reference to relevant theory and appropriate examples

What is the question asking?

1. Read the questionand understand what is being asked of you
It is important to understand exactly what the question is asking. The focus here is on competency frameworks within performance management. This was covered during your 3rd lecture which looked specifically at competency frameworks within the recruitment and selection process. The understanding of competency frameworks will need to be extended beyond just recruitment and selection and applied to appraisals and under-performance, for example.

The focus of your discussion should be on whether or not you agree that competency frameworks ensure greater consistency and effectiveness in the performance management process by enhancing a common understanding of effective behaviour at work.

You will need to have read widely on competency frameworks and on their various roles within the performance management process so that you have a clear understanding of what they are. With this understanding you are then in a strong position of being able to argue whether you think they ensure greater consistency and whether they do enhance a common understanding of effective behaviour at work. The question asks to you to critically evaluate….This means that you must discuss the question and see different perspectives on the answer. You have had a skills workshop which centred around critical writing.

2. Introduction to the assignment. This is very important and several things can go into it. Most importantly, it needs to be relevant to the question. You could, for example, include an explanation of what competencies and competency frameworks are. Using definitions here can help you. You may also decide to explain their main purpose/role and their benefits over other traditional methods, for example within the recruitment and selection process.These are just some ideas. It is sometimes helpful to explain in the introduction how you intend to answer the question.

3.Support your arguments. The lecture slides and seminar activatesare a good starting pointgo help you understand the topic but to get a good grade, you need to do additional reading in order to gain a deep understanding of the topic area and so that you are in a better position to express an opinion in relation to the question. You should always remember to support your discussion with citations and quotesdrawn from the various books and journal articles that you have read. The question clearly asks you to make reference to relevant theory.

It is important to keep your focus constantly on the question and mould the information you have around the topic area to the question.

4.Structure your essay -the way you structure your assignment is important. It should ensure a gradual build-up of the discussion in a logical and coherent way towards answering the question. It is worth spending a few minutes once you have done a considerable amount of reading and have an understanding of the topic and the question being asked of you plan out the structure of the assignment and how you intend to develop your answer to the question in a logical and coherent way. Make use paragraphs to help with this – with different paragraphs covering specific points. Please remember that we do not use sub-headings in an essay.

5.Examples. The question also asks you to use suitable examples to illustrate points you have made in the assignment. Some of these can be real examples, but hypothetical examples are equally acceptable. All the books will give you lots of examples of competencies. Examples should always be used to support the point that you are trying to make in order for them to have relevance.

6. Conclusions – Please do not forget to conclude your assignment. This should always relate back to the questionand should show the reader that you have addressed it.An assignment that ends without a good conclusion will cost you marks. It should not be too long or short but should summarise your key points.

7. References – you should always reference properly both within the text and in the bibliography, using the Harvard method.It should list of all sources you have cited in your work. Make sure that you use good journals and recommended text books rather than web-sites such as Business Balls. You should only use websites to gain company information and even then you should be careful.

8. Finally….avoid lists/bullet points AND proof read your work carefully. Make sure that you have answered the assignment brief and kept your focus on the question. Make sure that itaddresses the criteria in the marking grid. Include an attractive title page with key information: module title, my name, my tutor, my student number, the essay brief and word count.

Assessment Criteria – Task 1

Course Title:
Module Title: Performance Management Level 6
Assessment Title: Coursework Weighted: 40%
Criteria & Weighting 80 – 100% Outstanding Work 70 – 79%
Excellent Work 60 – 69%
Good Quality Work 50 – 59%
Acceptable Work with some good aspects 40 – 49%
Satisfactory Work 0- 39%
Work does not satisfy assessment criteria
Use of relevant underpinning theory Very comprehensive explanation of concepts and extensive use of relevant and contrasting theory Comprehensive explanation of concepts and extensive use of relevant and contrasting theory Detailed explanation of concepts and wide ranging use of relevant and contrasting theory Some explanation of concepts and some use of relevant and contrasting theory Limited explanation of concepts and limited use of relevant and theory Fails to adequately explain concepts, no or minimal relevant theory
Discussion/application of relevant theories and models to support the answer to the question Thorough and wide ranging discussion of concepts and extensive interpretation/
application Wide ranging discussion of concepts and extensive interpretation/
application Thorough discussion of concepts and appropriate interpretation/
application Some discussion and application of concepts Limited discussion and application of concepts Description of concepts but no discussion/development of material.
Use of examples from industry to support the analysis Extensive use of relevant and appropriate examples/illustrations containing relevant supporting evidence Extensive use of examples/illustrations containing relevant supporting evidence Detailed use of relevant examples/illustrations and wide ranging supporting evidence Some use of examples/illustrations and supporting evidence Few examples/illustrations No relevant examples/illustrations used in assessment
Evaluation of theories and models and applications Extensive and thorough evaluation of frameworks and models Extensive evaluation of frameworks and models Rigorous evaluation Some evaluation Limited evaluation. Some recommendations Little evaluation of frameworks
Overall presentation, structure and referencing Well written. Reader friendly. Logical and coherent structure, good development of arguments. Good use of presentation techniques. Accurate spelling, grammar and referencing. Reader friendly. Logical and coherent structure, good development of arguments. Good use of presentation techniques. Accurate spelling, grammar and referencing. Overall reader friendly. Themes are developed, logical arguments followed through. Very few spelling, grammatical and referencing errors. The basics are satisfactory. Clear and appropriate structure. Grammar, spelling and referencing satisfactory. Weaknesses in presentation including errors of grammar, spelling and referencing Inadequately structured and written, hard to follow, no logical structure, full of grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. No referencing.

Question Two

“Performance appraisal has a poor track record, but it has considerable potential when done well” (Torrington et al 2014 p579). Critically evaluate this statement taking into account the wider role of performance appraisal in supporting the management of performance within the organisation.

What is the question asking?
The focus of this question is on performance appraisal and the discussion of the quote and the statement that follows it. It is always helpful after writing a suitable introduction to provide some relevant background theory/literature on the main topic areas (in this case appraisal and its link to managing performance) of the question before actually starting the discussion of it. Here you will have to be selective as to what goes into the section and include only that information which can be used to help answer the question. A common error that students make is to put everything they know about appraisal into this background section. Their answer then becomes descriptive and the focus on the question is lost.

Where the question says ‘critically evaluate…” make sure that you are discussing rather than just describing.

So… you will have to express an opinion as to whether performance appraisal has a poor track record or not. If so why do you say this? You would also need to discuss whether it has potential if it is done well. You will need to refer to various books and journal articles you have read to support your answer, although you can synthesize all these various opinions and give your own opinion too.

Equally important is to focus on the final statement of the question. This requires you to place the activity of performance appraisal within the wider performance management function. Your 1st and 4th lecture will help you with this. You can then show where performance appraisal falls down even though in is designed to play an important role in managing performance. For example, if objectives are not clearly expressed and communicated to people, they may not achieve their objectives because they didn’t know that they had to carry out certain responsibilities. Setting objectives forms part of the appraisal process. The reason this may not happen could be because line managers failed to do this effectively.

So you need to show where and how within the performance management process, appraisal may fail even though it was designed to improve the performance of people.
Suggestions for overcoming these problems in order to improve the potential that appraisals have should also be considered.

The rest of the guidance provided in question 1 can also be used in question 2.
Submission of Assignment in Electronic as well as Paper form

You will submit BOTH a paper version of your assignment and an electronic copy. This also applies to all deferrals, re-sits and resubmissions of any kind.

The paper version is the copy which will count for deadlines etc. You hand it in, in exactly the same way as usual, to Undergraduate Reception by the due date.

The electronic copy will be submitted via the Blackboard site for the module. You will find the place to do this by hitting the button “Submit Essay Here” (the clue is in the title). The section will be called “Submission of final assignment” – or something very similar. You will not see this till nearer the due date for the assignment. You can only submit one final version and you cannot withdraw it to change it. If you do submit the wrong thing – let your tutor know.

The electronic copy will then be reviewed by software called Turnitin UK. This compares what you have submitted to other electronic sources including students’ work. It produces an on-screen report which shows how much, and what, appears elsewhere, and what the source is. It gives a “score”, which is the percentage of the work submitted which appears elsewhere (see below).

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