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AN EVALUATION OF PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES IN MANUFACTURING ORGANIZATIONS

5,000 2,500

Topic Description

CHAPTER ONE

INTRODUCTION

  • BACKGROUND OF THE STUDY

Organizations exist to fill the felt needs of the society. Individuals are engaged by organizations with the hope that they will contribute in fulfilling these felt needs.  There is, therefore, the need for an established mechanism for ascertaining whether the organization and individuals are doing well in their own part of the bargain.  In this way evaluation of individual and corporate performance has become imperative and assumed heightened significance in the scheme of things.  Thus, a holistic approach to performance evaluation is now rapidly becoming the norm as contrasted to the practice in the past when it used to be relegated to the background.  A change in perspective-from employment to performance-has been recorded (Torrington et al, 2005:224).  Contract for performance is emphasized because both parties have a stake in performance, thus calling for the need to develop integrative schemes.

Performance connotes how well or badly a work is done, how well or badly something works (Hornby, 2006:1080).  Thus, performance cannot be effectively divorced from the twin words of efficiency and effectiveness or from the three concepts of economy, efficiency and effectiveness, both at the macro and micro levels; performance is a critically important factor.  Ewurum (2006:1) states that performance occupies a strategic place in the organizational scheme of things, positing that both sides of the internal environment have a stake in performance for obvious reasons.  The employer expects the employees to deliver effective performance so that the organization would meet its short term and long term commitments to stakeholders, also grow and remain viable.  The employees, on their own part, have their personal needs, desires and aspirations.  Thus joining the organization and helping it to achieve its own goals and objectives is the best way to fulfill their own needs.  In the same way, the external publics of the organization have an interest in performance, just as the organization does.  Effective performance benefits the individuals, organization and the economy through increased efficiency, effectiveness and productive aggregates in terms of quality goods and services. Of course, performance has to be managed in order to attain these goals.

Performance management is an umbrella term that incorporates the configuration and measurement of distinct output areas.  Performance indicators provide the mechanism by which an organization measures critical success factors (Cisco, 2007:1).  It is a critical business tool, particularly in translating a strategy into results.  Performance management, therefore, is expected to grow and develop into an integrated business practice, with strong links to business strategy, compensation, employee development, and other systems.  The focus is on how organizations use performance management to achieve multiple goals.  Thus, in the manufacturing sector, performance management significantly drives individual performance, career planning, succession planning, training, transfer and business strategy.  Organizations increasingly use their performance management system to communicate organizational objectives.  By establishing and incorporating core organizational competencies and competencies for individual jobs into their performance management system, organizations will translate their overall strategies into individual expectations, behaviors and activities.

Ewurum (2006:1) amplifies this when he states that in performance management, effort is made to capture and coordinate all the issues that will make for the delivery of effective performance by organization members.  These include standards, targets, training, performance appraisal, leadership, motivation among others. Poor quality performance at organizational, societal, economic, individual and governmental levels has been the bane of the Nigerian nation.  Manufacturing concerns are not performing optimally in Nigeria thereby prompting Ifedi (1994:12) to observe:  that, there is little doubt that manufacturers in Nigeria have since the early 1980s been endangered.  After the glorious 1970s of popular vision of Nigeria as an industrial power, a vision envisaged to be realized by realistic and sincere execution, manufacturing in Nigeria became a victim of its very potentials. Ingredients necessary for the attainment of the vision, ranging from infrastructure to hygienic economic policies and their implementation either failed to materialize or gradually disappeared.

Topicion has almost ground to a halt because of non-availability or costliness of foreign exchange with snow balling effects on machinery, spare parts and some raw materials.  The public sector which traditionally provides most of the jobs has contracted, creating in the process a large and growing unemployment situation.  The social services sector has equally nose-dived.  Aside from the regular frustrations with power outages, bad roads, water supplies etc, not to mention our hospitals that lack disastrously in essential facilities (both human and materials) such as drugs, personnel, equipment etc, pot holes have taken over most streets and major roads as has garbage.  Families, industries, groups and individuals are growing from the impact of economic degeneration in Nigeria sequel to non-performance at macro and micro levels.  Now efforts are geared towards repositioning manufacturing and the entire Nigerian economy for delivery of high performance.

These issues are not limited to the Nigerian economy alone.  The global economic meltdown which is the burning issue in most countries of the world, for instance, many manufacturing organizations in Europe and America are either closing down or whittling operations.  Here in Nigeria, we all are witnesses of this global financial meltdown because many manufacturing organizations, construction companies, oil servicing firms, insurance companies even banks are closing down.  They are cutting jobs and dismissing their workers.  Some said that they are downsizing, rightsizing, streamlining, weight shedding or business review strategy as Cadbury tagged theirs.  Thus to stay afloat, effective and efficient performance management becomes a sine qua non.

It is against this background that the research is conducted on the performance management practices in selected Nigerian manufacturing organizations.

  • STATEMENT OF THE PROBLEM

In the past, whenever the issue of performance was raised in management circles, the reference, more often than not, has been to individual performance of the organizational members.  Managers were usually preoccupied with how to get the most from the employee in the pursuit of productivity and growth.  A holistic treatment or examination of performance usually occupied the back burner (Ewurum, 2006:2).  Today, macro and micro performance management have become very important in the organizational scheme of things. The problem of how to measure performance and the indices to use, have cropped up. Data collection presents a very great challenge in seeking to measure performance management in manufacturing firms.

Again there are the issues of measuring the performance of the organization using defined criteria and that of the individual workers in the organizations.  Lack of a single universally accepted appraisal system applied by every firm is a problem in itself.  Accentuated global competition, increasing demands from customers, shareholders, and regulatory agencies make seeking ways to improve manufacturing performance a continuum with its plethora of problems.  There is extreme pressure to acquire cutting edge technologies and to optimize benefits at low costs of products within the shortest possible time.  The question now is how can we evaluate performance management practices in manufacturing organizations in Southern Nigeria?

  • OBJECTIVES OF THE STUDY

The study sought out to achieve the following objectives:

  • To find out how performance management relates to productivity level of manufacturing organization leading to improved results.
  • To examine the extent performance management system is inhibited by inadequate training.
  • To find out the extent to which quantitative performance appraisal relates with performance management for organizational effectiveness.
  • To ascertain whether current performance management practices in Nigerian manufacturing organizations produce effective results.
  • To assess the performance management practices in Nigerian manufacturing organizations against best practice.
  • To determine the extent to which performance management challenges relates with organizational success.

 

  • RESEARCH QUESTIONS

Arising from the statement of problem and the objectives of the study, the researcher raised the following research questions:

  • What is the relationship between performance management and productivity level in manufacturing organizations in southern Nigeria?
  • To what extent does inadequate training affect performance management in manufacturing organizations in southern Nigeria?
  • To what extent does quantitative performance appraisal relate with performance management for organizational effectiveness in southern Nigeria.
  • To what extent do current performance management practices in Nigerian manufacturing organizations deliver effective results in southern Nigeria?

To what extent do performance management

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