BARRIERS TO EFFECTIVE PERFORMANCE APPRAISAL IN PUBLIC SECTOR ORGANIZATIONS (A CASE STUDY OF WARRI PETROCHEMICAL COMPANY)

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CHAPTER ONE

1.1   BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Public sector organizations are government owned enterprises established to provide specialized products and /or services in the economy. People from diverse interests are appointed by government to make policies as well as handle the day to day running of these organizations. Usually, the aim of government in establishing these corporations is to ensure that businesses do not unduly exploit the masses through exorbitant prices. Management of these corporations are therefore excepted to pursue this goal of government and in the process manage them in the best public interest.

To current out this task, management assembles other categories of workforce and assign duties to them in line with organizational objectives. Several policies are equally put in place to ensure that all employees are in tune with organizational vision, with performance appraisal which is a periodic review of individual behaviours carried out within the company. Performance evaluation has to appraise the worker from assigned duty. As observed by Nnabugwu (2009:118), performance appraisal treats each employee separately, but collectively to look at the goals of the enterprise. The chief aim of employee appraisal is to assess the extent of resource approximation by the employee. Nnabugwu notes further than policy formulation policies to guide each worker’s performance. It is this guideline that is used to assign job to each worker, hence, a means to also appraise him. Put succinctly, performance appraisal is a management technique of ensuring that each worker performs his task creditably in line with the assignment and he is marginally rewarded above the co-average performer-worker.

Every company formulates objectives, which are the goals it sets to achieve using the resources at its disposal. It then goes to guide performance of workers to achieve the set objectives. It is a product of top management. They stipulate the level of acceptable behaviour from workers outside of which there is discipline. According to Mc Peters (2006:100) policy is a standard for decision making in any organization. He argues that every organization makes policies after making objectives to direct workers on what to do at any time. It could be to use raw materials at any particular time, acceptable organizational politics, channel of internal conflict resolution, market penetration strategies, production techniques allowed, method of ergonomics allowed, method of procuring raw materials and other purchases and permissible human capital development.

According to Nnabugwu (2009:64), resource optimization works well with specific policy formulation. He notes that there is no maximization of value without resource optimization, adding that policy streamlines management action, which the worker is expected to fall in line with. He notes that every aspect of business is guided by policy and that the worker who does not see to the use of policy to foster productivity is at variance with management principles. In rendering social services to the vicinity, every business is guided by policies, which are administered by the concerned staff so as to optimize the resources being so allotted in order to keep the firm in business. If such services were not guided by policies, they would be rendered out of proportion, which jeopardizes the business.

In dealing with government, policy guideline is the yardstick of the staff. Government policy has to be interpreted by company management who brings out its policy to remain in business while obeying government policy. In the conflict resolution, management uses policy to deal with individual reactions so that the balance of objectives with workers demands is possible. As notes Bolaji (2008:213), there is no aspect of management that policy does not apply. It is purely a function of top management but the application is at all levels of work environment. This research work looks at the barriers to effective performance evaluation in public section. A case study of Warri Petrochemical.

1.2   STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

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