The Determinants of Performance Appraisal Systems: A Note (Do Brown and Heywood's Results for Australia Hold Up for Britain?)



This article offers a replication for Britain of Brown and Heywood's analysis of the determinants of performance appraisal in Australia. Although there are some important limiting differences between our two datasets — the Australia Workplace Industrial Relations Survey (AWIRS) and the Workplace Employment Relations Survey (WERS) — we reach one central point of agreement and one intriguing shared insight. First, performance appraisal is negatively associated with tenure: where employers cannot rely on the carrot of deferred pay or the stick of dismissal to motivate workers, they will tend to rely more on monitoring, ceteris paribus. Second, employer monitoring and performance pay may be complementary. However, consonant with the disparate results from the wider literature, there is more modest agreement on the contribution of specific human resource management practices, and still less on the role of job control.