Most organisations in the world, whether public or private. large or small, tend to make use of performance appraisal systems to attain objectives related to the management of human resources. However, organisations tend to use numerous tools related to the appraisal of performance. Unfortunately, the employment of various methods for performance appraisal has resulted in confusion, most especially as regards the true purpose of the former. Hence, researchers who have conducted studies with respect to the matter have proposed different solutions with respect to the manner by which the performance appraisal system could be effectively improve the latter. Feng, Foster and Heling (n.d.) mentioned that an effective appraisal system takes into regard cultural values that staff finds fair and acceptable. Moreover, an effective appraisal system also demands a reciprocal cooperation between the members of the staff and the management of the organisation. Parenthetically, it is through this reciprocal cooperation that the satisfaction and motivation of the employees are guaranteed.
Moreover, Kavanagh, Benson and Brown (2007) also provided a theoretical discussion regarding performance appraisal processes. According to Kavanagh, Benson and Brown (2007), performance appraisal processes are best explained through the control and social exchange theories. The process control theory mentions that the perceptions of fairness are related to the degree of control provided for each employee. (Bernardin, Hagan, Kane and Villanova 1998. Crawford 2005). On the other hand, social exchange theory gives paramount importance to the relationships that form future obligations as a consequence of the development of an effective performance appraisal system (Arvey and Murphy 2008. Bartol, Durham and Poon 2001. Crawford 2005. Grote 2002. Sloman 1999). An effective performance appraisal system entails the proper manner by which employees are treated (Burke and Cooper 2005. Khan 2005). As such, fairness is considered essential to determine the amount of control exercised over an employee as well as in the manner by which the person conducting the appraisal over the employees concerned (Schuler and Huber 1996). Additionally, an effective appraisal system also frowns upon diversity (Arvey and Murphy 2008. Crawford 2005. Sloman 1999). According to various studies conducted that focused on performance appraisal systems, the latter must acknowledge the means by which the organisation could accommodate diversity amongst their employees (Burke and Cooper 2005. Sloman 1999). As earlier mentioned, a number of appraisal methods exist, depending on the preference of the organisation (Crawford 2002. Grote 2002. Sims 2002). There are performance appraisal systems which are based on ratings whereas there are others that focused on the comparison of the objectives and the performance of the employees in relation to the latter (Grote 2002).