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Employee Performance Appraisal: A Process Perspective of Institutional Logics and Routine Dynamics

Melhem, Muntaser (2022) Employee Performance Appraisal: A Process Perspective of Institutional Logics and Routine Dynamics. Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) thesis, University of Kent,. (doi:10.22024/UniKent/01.02.100545) (Access to this publication is currently restricted. You may be able to access a copy if URLs are provided) (KAR id:100545)

Language: English

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This research aims to contribute to the understanding of international Performance Appraisal (PA) adoption and replication failure in the Middle Eastern context. Research on the adoption of international PA in the Middle East and non-western contexts in general has been receiving increasing attention over the past decade. The empirical results of the literature on international PA adoption success are inconclusive and researchers remain in constant debate over its effectiveness with much of its studies conducted in western empirical settings. While the results of some studies cast a positive impact from adopting the process on employees and organisations, the majority of studies conducted in non-western contexts demonstrate the difficulty of adopting PA. To this extent, the effective adoption of international PA in general remains largely debated. Crucially, extant studies majorly focus on country-by-country comparisons and predominantly cite the large institutional and cultural distances between western and non-western contexts as the main reason for failure. However, beyond differences in national cultures, our understanding to how international PA fails to be adopted as intended remains largely unexplored.

This thesis adopts a qualitative methodology to provide an in-depth micro-level exploration and explanation to international PA adoption and replication failure in Global Professional Service Firms (GPSFs) operating in the Middle East. The thesis is composed of three studies, a qualitative meta-synthesis of case studies and two empirical studies. The qualitative meta-synthesis is grounded in the theories of roles and institutional logics and investigates PA adoption failure in non-western contexts. It uncovers explanations and mechanisms for failure beyond those addressed in previously published case studies. The empirical studies are conducted in the Middle Eastern context. They contribute to our understanding on PA adoption and replication failure at the micro-level by (1) cross fertilising between institutional logics and routine dynamics theories to investigate the influence of multiple and contradictory institutional logics on PA failure, and (2) coupling routine dynamics and emotions theories to examine how negative feelings and emotions result in PA failure. The abductive empirical analysis of multiple case studies follows a practice and process perspective and is informed by theories from sociology, organisations and psychology.

In depth micro-level analysis of the data in each study shows that actors negotiate different meanings to PA and demonstrate how they incorporate their self-interest during the replication of multiple PA processes. In particular, they show how professionals translate multiple and contradictory institutional logics and take advantage of them to replicate corrupt PA processes, and shed light on the creation of covert, varied, and idiosyncratic PA processes while actors are actively regulating their negative emotions throughout PA replication. Moreover, the studies tap into issues of universal application to PA in the Middle East, dysfunctional institutional complementarities, and the incorporation of self-interest and self-seeking behaviours in processes and organisations. The thesis provides the following key contributions: the results contribute to the existing international PA literature on the workings of its failure in the Middle East by revealing PA multiplicity at the micro-level. Additionally, the thesis contributes to the micro-institutional literature in the institutional logics framework and to the embedded agency in institutions by uncovering the effects of logics on everyday organisational activities through roles and routines. Finally, the thesis contributes to the routine dynamics theory a nuanced understanding on the influence of power and politics on routine change. Several more contributions to theory and practice, as well as methodological implications are delineated in more detail in the thesis.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctor of Philosophy (PhD))
Thesis advisor: Seitanidi, M.May
Thesis advisor: Iqbal, Abdullah
DOI/Identification number: 10.22024/UniKent/01.02.100545
Uncontrolled keywords: Institutional logics; Routine dynamics; Management control systems; Performance appraisal
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HF Commerce > HF5351 Business
Divisions: Divisions > Kent Business School - Division > Department of Leadership and Management
SWORD Depositor: System Moodle
Depositing User: System Moodle
Date Deposited: 20 Mar 2023 15:10 UTC
Last Modified: 22 Mar 2023 08:36 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Melhem, Muntaser.

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