From Annual Ritual to Daily Routine: Continuous Performance Management and its Consequences for Employment Security

14 Pages Posted: 13 Mar 2018

See all articles by Glynne Williams

Glynne Williams

University of Leicester - School of Management

Vanessa Beck

University of Leicester - School of Management

Date Written: March 2018

Abstract

Management control in the workplace ultimately rests on the power to dismiss employees who are deemed to be underperforming. This article examines a more recent trend away from annual appraisal and towards continual monitoring and review. Based on a study of specialist proprietary performance management (PM) software packages and interviews with the consultants who market them, the contention is that these developments are driven by the need to control dismissal. In the case of the UK, we argue that the adoption of PM systems needs to be understood as a means of ‘retiring’ older workers who might otherwise remain in employment. The systems studied here draw on a range of data, allowing managers considerable discretion in how this evidence is used. Specifically, by dispensing with explicit ranking methods, these systems suggest a new employer confidence in the use of subjective evidence.

Keywords: performance management, dismissal, management consultants, performance appraisal, older workers, employment security.

Suggested Citation

Williams, Glynne and Beck, Vanessa, From Annual Ritual to Daily Routine: Continuous Performance Management and its Consequences for Employment Security (March 2018). New Technology, Work and Employment, Vol. 33, Issue 1, pp. 30-43, 2018. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3139078 or http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/ntwe.12106

Glynne Williams (Contact Author)

University of Leicester - School of Management ( email )

Leicester
Leicester, AK LE1 4AY
United Kingdom

Vanessa Beck

University of Leicester - School of Management ( email )

Leicester
Leicester, AK LE1 4AY
United Kingdom

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