Appreciating the collaborative outcomes of performance management

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This paper proposes a research study on the title: 'appreciating the collaborative outcomes of performance management and HRM as change drivers - A case study of Lloyds TSB". The proposal identifies the problem statement that influenced the study, explaining its purpose, aim and objectives. The proposal also sets the research questions and creates a hypothesis that will be tested. Suggested research methodology had been detailed along with identifying the research limitations, research outcomes and ethical considerations that have been undertaken.

Key words: Performance management; human resource management; change management

Introduction to the problem statement

Until the last few decades, the organisational success was measured by the economic performance, the satisfaction level of the customers and employees, the stock price and the accountability of the organization towards the society, in general. During the 1980 and 1990, organizational culture and stakeholder activities directed the focus on stakeholder value, by means of short- term arrangements in stock prices (Kanji, 2005). However, some research study signifies that the affiliation between an organization's elementary economic performance and share price during a course of short period is not inevitably strong because there are many factors that remain out of the management's control, such as stakeholder's sentiment and overall market condition that affects the share price. For that reason, it was necessarily realized that a multi- faceted explanation of organizational success should exist that is based upon those factors through which management can assess a) organizational performance by means of implying factors that are in its control, b) the elementary economic performance, and c) the strength of an organization as an institution (Kanji, 2005). Such measurements of performance should identify financial goals and evaluate risks in context of long- term value generation of the organization (Jackson, 1995; Kanji 1998). Subsequently, a more balanced outlook of success and the defined time over which the success is measured is likely to serve the stakeholders and the community / society in a better way, by means of fostering higher levels of innovation and business growth.

Organizations have been reportedly observed to be seeking 'human capital', 'talented workforce', and 'talent pool' etc., more than seeking investments (Kanji, 2005). Further on, there has also been a dominantly realized shift in employees' approach towards seeking jobs. Employees are now being acquainted with the fact that jobs are no longer for life and career opportunities are enormous. Similarly managers should also identify that the needs and demands of their human capital or valuable employees are transforming due to the major changes realized in the living standards and life pattern. In addition to monetary benefits, employees seek value, connotation, recognition, relationships and individuality from their jobs (Kanji, 1998).

As a result of which, the winning organizations define and provide job roles that make employees feeling valued, authoritative, where opportunities are available to develop professional relationships, and where employees can strike a balance between their personal and professional lives. In addition, employees seek jobs that not only develop their careers but also provide them with opportunities to develop their skills, competencies and behaviours. Today employees working for successful organizations can be seen empowered and confident because of the fact that they are well aware of their performance expectations and are guided thorough out their career path as to how to improve and deliver performance excellence.

From the perspective of business operations, managing employees' and organization's performance is crucial to success. Similarly the role of human resource management is also crucial. Human resource management can play a strategic role in transforming an organisation through relating functions, processes and interpreting them in to a change strategy aligned to the vision, mission and strategy of the organization. Further on human resource management possesses the capability of implying data to develop a persuasive case for change and generate the need for a performance management system, procedures and initiatives that are directed towards delivering the organizational strategy. This research study is inspired by the collaborative role of human resource management and performance management in an organizational success. However, in order to seek an insight, the research study aims to identify the challenges that an organization may encounter with, while implementing / developing a performance management system and the role human resource management has to play.

Purpose of the research study

While assessing the success factors of an organisational performance, it has been learned that powerful performance management coupled with competent leadership plays the vital role. The purpose of this research study is to address the challenges that are faced by human resource management in understanding the organisational transformation / change that is necessitated by the organisation- Lloyds TSB, UK.

Aim of the research study

The research study aims to critically examine the collaborative role of performance management and human resource management as change driver with in a banking environment.

Research objectives and questions

Research objectives

To identify the implications of performance management system and its benefit outcomes that influences its implementation.

To examine the key elements of the change that are required to implement / develop the performance management system in the examined organisation.

To critically examine and assess the role of human resource management a change driver facilitating the process of implementation / development of performance management.

To assess the collaborative role of human resource management and performance management in organisational success.

To identify the reasons for success / failure and make recommendations for improvements to be adopted by the organisation.

Research questions:

In a collaborative role, up to what extent human resource management expedite the process of implementation of performance management system?

What is the role of change management in driving the change while implementing / improving performance management system?

Research background: Literature review

Performance management

The subject of performance management had been increasingly gained interest of human resource management / development professionals, particularly those who are employed in facilitating organizations with a strategic re- organization of their performance management systems. A hypothetical viewpoint in this regard presents many questions for the human resource management professionals concerning the impact of performance management system on organizational performance, and up to what extent change management programme is capable of expediting and facilitating the implementation of development process of performance management system.

Performance management has been explained as management's structured application of processes that are aimed at improving and enhancing performance of human capital in an organization (Warren, 1982). The discipline of performance management places focus on the 'processes'. A more comprehensive definition of performance management is that it is a process for determining a common understanding concerning what needs to be attained, and how it can be attained along with an insight into managing people that improves the prospects of accomplishing success' (Weiss and Hartle, 1997). In addition to this, another perspective of performance management shows that the process also manages teams and individuals so that performance excellence can be realized (Armstrong and Baron, 2004). It has also been evaluated that the management discipline also determines a common understanding regarding the adaption of an approach that not only leads the people but also develop them. With such an approach, the employed management system ensures that the management and the people deliver performance as expected that ultimately contributes towards improved organisational performance.

This research study understands performance management as an initiative undertaken by the management to manage performance, including the linked business processes, systems, employee skills as well as leadership behaviours. The study also acknowledge the fact that in order to deploy performance management effectively, human resource function needs to obtain an understanding of current situation / state of the organization, the vision of desired state, and the required transformations in the due course.

Waal and Coevert (2007) suggests that during the implementation process of a performance management system, the organisation should pay exclusive attention towards fostering and enhancing the behavioural factors of performance management, so that the system can be effectively implemented and integrated with other business systems. Based upon this suggestion, this research study gains its inspiration of identifying the role of other management disciplines such as human resource management and change management in facilitating the implementation process.

Change management

While implementing / developing such a system, change is inevitable. Therefore, it is imperative to observe that whilst deploying any change, equal importance should be paid to manage the change. The consequence of not managing change in an appropriate manner is ineffective deployment / adaption of the change and thus adversely affect the organizational success (Feurer and Chaharbaghi, 1995). The benefit outcomes of effective change management are a) open, clear and two- sided communication with in the organization, b) improving and preserving current motivational levels, c) valuing employees, their opinions and contribution, d) diminishing absenteeism, e) adapting a proactive approach rather than a reactive approach towards undetected hurdles and f) assigning sufficient budget and organizational resources for the goals that are driven by change management (Feurer and Chaharbaghi, 1995).

The role of human resource management in implementing any change is also crucial and ongoing. Rather it is the ongoing commitment of the human resource function and developers and top management that ensure a successful implementation of change in an organization. The aim of this research study is to examine and critically assess the role of human resource management in collaboration with performance management towards organisational success. For that reason, the role of human resource management while implementing a change (at this instance implementation / development of performance management system) will be closely examined. As stated above, in order to achieve organizational success and sustainability, change is inevitable and with in an era where businesses seek much more than sustainability, motivated for excellence, human resources has been deemed as an essential source of competitiveness (Porter, 1985; Ulrich, 1987). During the course of change, the major challenges that are faced by the management is the motivation of each employee so that he cannot only adopt to change but willingly explore new opportunities, along with (Lorange, 1994). It has been further articulated by Sue (1994) that human capital is the ultimate factor towards achieving competitive advantage, regardless of the effectiveness and sophistication of business systems and implied technology. Further on Pfeffer (1995) identifies five best performing USA based organizations from a period of 1972 to 1992 who relied on its management of human capital for a sustained advantage rather than on technology, strategic position etc.

Conclusively in a highly competitive and dynamic business environment, the role of human resource management happens to be highly critical. With in the same context, it has further been concluded that the role of human resource management in successful deployment of change is equally crucial.

Research methodology

Research methodology is formed of research philosophy and approach, strategies, data analysis techniques etc. This research study proposes to imply qualitative research methods. Sekaran (2000) explains that qualitative research is most appropriate when the researcher seeks answers to specific questions that will further contribute towards the expansion of the issues, under examination.

Research philosophy and approach

While conducting the research study, the employed research philosophy will be "positivist philosophical underpinning" (Adcroft and Willis 2008, p. 313). This philosophy gains inspiration from a hypothetical and conceptual model of management research study presented by Adcroft and Willis (2008). The model suggests that the management research studies should be created by considerations that are drawn on the philosophical method towards the under- examined research. This means that during the course of this research, the knowledge about the subject (human resource management, performance management and change management) should be acquired by means of actually understanding the subject, in a practical manner. Therefore, the study aims to obtain this observed insight by means of employing primary research methods of data collection and observations.

The employed research approach will be deductive research approach. As explained by Saunders et al. (2000) deductive research approach identifies and clarifies the relationship between two variables of hypothetical conception. The reason for opting this particular approach against the inductive approach is the implication of the approach that initiates through viewing a general view of the subject while concluding with recognition of particular research findings. Further on, it has also been observed that deductive approach obtains its support from tested set of rules, regulations and principles of the subject (Saunders et al., 2009). The hypothesis that will be tested during the course of this research study is: 'Does performance management and human resource management deliver performance excellence in a collaborative role?'' The relationship between the two variables that will be tested are a) collaborative role of performance management and human resource management and b- organisational success.

Explaining the proposed 'deductive approach' to be adapted by the research study, suggestions made by Robson (1993) had been adapted here:

Determine understanding and take under consideration, the hypothetical concepts of the subject under examination.

Develop a hypothesis to be tested (positive, negative or inconclusive) once the research findings have been finalized.

Make observations while carrying out the primary research so that research findings can be drawn to smooth the progress of establishing discussions and reaching conclusions.

Compose i) whether or not hypothesis has been tested positive, negative or inconclusive, and ii) outcomes of the research study against the research objectives.

6.2 Research strategies

The research study will adapt to a combination of two research strategies: case study strategy and survey strategy (Saunders et al., 2000). Presented below are the explanations of each strategy and reasons for choosing them (Saunders et al., 2000; 2009):

Mostly associated with the deductive research approach, survey strategy is the most popular strategy adapted by business and management research studies. This strategy facilitates the collection of considerable amount of research data from a substantial population size in an inexpensive way. The major research tools are survey questionnaires, structured interviews and observations, however only survey questionnaires will be used by this research study. While carrying out the primary research, the questionnaires will be created so as to direct the survey respondents accurately in order to avoid un- certainties in the later phases, when the data will be interpreted. Thus the focus will be laid on drafting close- ended questions where the earlier question develops the background for the later questions. Further on, the survey questions will also be homogenized so that they can expedite simple assessment while the researcher carries out the process of interpretation and analysis (Saunders et al., 2000). The survey strategy is also deemed as highly dependable because the results of survey correspond to the behavioural and cognitive pattern of the population that had been surveyed. However, there are certain limitations of this strategy such as incapability of examining the subject up to broad extent because the numbers of questions are usually limited from ten to twelve.

The other employed strategy is the case study strategy that involves the empirical scrutiny of particular modern phenomenon with in its real-world environment using different sources of evidences (Saunders et al., 2000). The reason for hiring this strategy is that it directs the researcher towards developing the context of the study and employed actions while doing so (Morris and Wood 1991; cited by Saunders et al. 2000). Further more, case study strategy also enables the research process through helping the researcher while finding answers to why, what, and how questions. The research questions that had been set in section 4, will be mostly answered through employing this strategy.

Sampling design

The sample population will be comprised of employees working at the middle management and senior management of Lloyds TSB, UK. Ideally, the researcher aims to approach a minimum of ten London branches of the bank, so that a comprehensive picture of the subject can be obtained. However, in case of any un- foreseen incidents (people not returning the questionnaires, incompletely filled questionnaires that have been returned etc.) the researcher will focus on available number of branches, willing to participate in the survey study.

6.4 Data collection sources

The research data will be generated through both primary and secondary sources. The secondary data sources will be research journal articles, academic books, newspapers, trade publications etc. Primary data will be generated through survey research.

6.5 Data Analysis

This research study adapts qualitative data analysis technique. This technique of data analysis supports the researcher to determine research data / information that is directed towards constructivist perspective or participatory perspective or both. The constructivist perspective refers to the information that is build upon different interpretations drawing on different understandings of the researcher that is acquired to establish a hypothesis or research pattern. Where as participatory perceptive is referred to creating 'issue- related, change- related or combined' standpoints (Creswell 2003).

7. Research plan





Conduct a research and consult literature on subjects of performance management, change management and human resource management.

Improve and diversify knowledge and understanding of the subject, paying close consideration to hypothetical frameworks, concepts and practices as indicated by the literature.

4 weeks

96 hours


Collect secondary through recognised in section 6.4.

Carry out qualitative interpretation and analysis from the researched data and include the research findings to establish arguments so that discussions can be arranged and conclusions can be reached.

Organize research analysis and findings so that literature review chapter can be drafted along with the research progresses. The literature review chapter should demonstrate the extensive knowledge of the researcher over the examined subject.

4 weeks

96 hours


Review the research plan, make modifications as necessary and continue with the research study; send questionnaires to respondents, wait for a period of two weeks to collect the filled questionnaires etc., carry out with the interpretation and analysis process of the research data etc.

Complete the data collection process, and carry out the research interpretation, and analysis process as identified. There may be a possibility that things wouldn't fall with in the planned time frame therefore an extra window of time (2-3 weeks) will be created to accommodate any possible delays.

3 weeks

72 hours


Report writing

Draft the research report as the research progresses. It is essential that the researcher draft the report as the research is carried out so that important points, assumptions, understandings etc. are recorded.

4 weeks

96 hours



Total number of hours:

360-400 hours

8. Research limitations

As associated with any research study, this research study also anticipates certain limitations so that the researcher can be prepared to deal with. The limitations are expected in the form of limited knowledge of the researcher on the subject, incompetency while carrying out the process of data analysis and interpretation due to which results may be inaccurate and research findings can be inconclusive. In terms of research data sources, secondary research data gained from different sources may come up with conflicting hypothetical concepts, as a result of which reaching final conclusions may be difficult. Narrowing down the limitations further to this particular research study, the researcher may end up with a significantly lesser number of filled questionnaires that will affect the reliability of the research findings. Further more, the concerned personnel may not also be available to participate in the survey study due to planned holidays, emergencies etc. In terms of survey population, the main limitation that has been identified is that the research relates to a case study in which only couple of branches of Lloyds TSB will be approached, therefore the fact that whether or not the entire organisation agrees with the identified results, will be required to be further studied.

Ethical considerations

Any research study must follow the ethical considerations so that it viability and validity isn't questioned. While carrying out this study, the researcher adheres to following ethics: a) the data collection from the primary sources will only be carried out and used, once the organisation agrees upon sharing its valuable information with the researcher, b) the primary data will be strictly used for the identified purpose i.e. to complete a post- graduate research dissertation, c) the confidentiality and integrity of the primary data will be preserved if and as requested by the participating organisation, d) the identity (name, designation etc.) of the survey participants will be kept confidential and under no circumstances it will be revealed to any third party, e) the secondary data sources ( i.e. research journal articles, academic books, authors' names, date of publication, journal of publication etc.) will be truthfully referenced, f) any research work that doesn't belong to the researcher will be acknowledged and referred to, and g) the research report will be free of plagiarism.

Expected outcomes

The research study expects to identify the collaborative role of human resource management and performance management in organizational success. The study also expects to observe the facilitative role of human resource management and change management during the course of implementation / development of performance management system.