Performance Appraisal and Its Use for Individual and Organisational Improvement in the Civil Service of Ghana: The Case of Much Ado about Nothing?
Public Administration and Development
University of Ottawa, Canada; University for Development Studies, Ghana; Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), Ghana
Recent efforts to modernise public sector institutions have led to the adoption of performance management systems worldwide. The belief in performance management is that information generated can be used to help individuals improve themselves in terms of what they do in their organisations, which will subsequently impact positively on the organisation. An instrument for collecting performance information (PI) is performance appraisal (PA). Since the early 1990s, the Ghanaian government has attempted to develop a systematic appraisal system as a strategy to obtain PI in the civil service (CS). In spite of this, the CS continues to perform below expectations despite individuals getting promoted every year. What has been the effect of PA in the CS? How has the collected information been utilised to improve performance? What are the main barriers to the use of PI, and what practices can be put in place that might encourage the effective collection of PI and its use in the CS? We argue that the PA system is much ado about nothing. In analysing why this is so, we will look at the impediments that continue to affect the collection and usage of PI and to suggest ways that will help improve the system. © 2015 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
administrative framework; civil service; governance approach; management practice; organizational framework; performance assessment; Ghana