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Human Resource Management, 3rd Edition by Brown Kenneth G., Stewart Greg L.

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Chapter 14

Aligning Strategy with Practice

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A MANAGER'S PERSPECTIVE

TAKASHI LEAVES HIS OFFICE AND WALKS ACROSS THE COURTYARD TO THE CORPORATE BUILDING. TODAY HE IS MEETING WITH A GROUP OF TOP EXECUTIVES TO EXPLAIN PROPOSED CHANGES TO THE PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL PROCESS. FROM PAST EXPERIENCE, TAKASHI KNOWS THAT THE PROPOSAL WILL BE MET WITH SKEPTICISM BY SOME BUT ENTHUSIASTICALLY ACCEPTED BY OTHERS. DURING HIS 10-YEAR CAREER AS A HUMAN RESOURCE SPECIALIST HE HAS BEEN PART OF MORE THAN 30 INITIATIVES TO ALTER PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES, YET EACH TIME HE IS AMAZED AT THE EMOTIONS GENERATED BY CHANGE. THIS TIME HE IS PARTICULARLY NERVOUS BECAUSE HE PERSONALLY HAS CONCERNS ABOUT THE PROPOSAL THAT IS BEING PUT FORTH.

One of Takashi's main concerns is that hiring practices over the past few years have been geared toward selecting star performers. Recruits were promised high pay and rapid advancement. For the most part, these promises have been kept. The highest performers have been recognized and rewarded. However, the new performance management program puts less emphasis on identifying top performers and seeks to treat everyone similarly. Managers will no longer be required to rate employees in comparison to each other, and everyone in a work group can receive the same rating. Takashi worries that these changes to the performance management system will send a signal that is not ...

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