CHAPTER 18Managing Individual Performance :A Strategic PerspectiveSusan E. Jackson and RandaLL S . SchulerRutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ, USAGSBA-Zurich, SwitzerlandINTRODUCTION 372DESIGNING AN INTEGRATED AND COHERENTADDRESSING THE CONCERNS OF MULTIPLEHUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM 377STAKEHOLDERS 373THE MAJOR TASKS OF HUMAN RESOURCECUSTOMERS 373MANAGEMENT 379EMPLOYEES 373USING HR PRACTICES TO ACCOMPLISH THE MAJOROWNERS AND SHAREHOLDERS 373HR TASKS : KEY CHALLENGES 381COMMUNITIES AND SOCIETY 374CONTINUOUS MONITORING, EVALUATION,LINKING PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES AND REVISION 386TO BUSINESS STRATEGY 374CONTINUOUS MONITORING AND EVALUATION 386BASIC TYPES OF STRATEGIES 375TAKING CORRECTIVE ACTION 387STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATION 375REFERENCES 388SUMMARYDesigning and implementing an approach to managing employees that ensures theyare a source of sustainable competitive advantage is the objective of “strategic humanresource management”.
A strategic human resource management system reflectsthe concerns of multiple stakeholders, is linked to the organizations specific businessstrategy, represents an integrated and coherent set of HR practices, and it is continuouslymonitored, evaluated and revised . This chapter describes the implicationsof these four features of strategic human resource management (HRM) systems, focusingon organizations pursuing strategies that require innovation . We show how anintegrated HRM system addresses four major tasks : managing behaviors, managing motivation,managing competencies, and managing opportunities .
After illustrating howthese tasks are shaped by a strategy of innovation, we consider some of the key challengesthat arise when applying this framework . Finally, we note that the performancemanagement system should be monitored and evaluated to assess how effectively it(a) sends a clear, consistent message to employees and (b) represents the concernsof multiple stakeholders . Taking corrective action based on performance against thesegoals is essential for the organizations continuous learning and improvement .Psychological Management ofIndividual Per%ornu ncc . Edited by Sabine Sonnentag .2002 John Wiley & Sons .
Ltd .3 7 2INTRODUCTIONA firm has a competitive advantage when all or part of the market prefers the firmsproducts and/or services . Because competition is the name of the game, companies seekways to compete that can last a long time and cannot easily be imitated by competitors .That is, they seek to gain a sustainable competitive advantage (Barney, 1991 ; Porter,1985; Schuler, Jackson, & Storey, 2001) .Some firms use their human resource management systems to gain a sustainablecompetitive advantage . Several conditions must be met if an organization is to gain asustainable competitive advantage through human resource management .
Perhaps themost obvious condition needed is that the firms human resources-employees-mustbe a source of added value . Employees can add value in a variety ways : through theirinteractions with customers, by attracting other talent to the firm, by adapting quickly tochanging conditions and so on. A human resource management system that encouragesemployee behaviors such as these can therefore be a source of competitive advantage .If the employees in competing firms add similar value, no advantage is gained . Thus,rarity is another condition required in order for human resources to be a source ofcompetitive advantage .
One way in which employees might be rare is that they haveunusually high levels of skill or knowledge . Employees who are unusually committed tothe organization and its goals could help the organization to gain competitive advantageby keeping down the costs associated with high turnover . Employees with unusually highlevels of organization-specific knowledge may be less likely to repeat past mistakes andbe better able to recommend changes that will improve the operation of the total system .
By helping an organization acquire, develop and retain employees such as these, a firmshuman resource management system contributes to its competitive advantage .Finally, in order for a firms human resources to be a source of sustainable competitiveadvantage, they must be difficult to copy and there must be no other substitutableresources that competitors can rely on . The most difficult human resource to imitate isa corporate culture that has evolved over a period to suit the specific needs of the organization.
Thus, a human resource management system plays a strategic role when itsupports the development and continuous evolution of a unique corporate culture that istailored to the needs of the organization .Designing and implementing an approach to managing employees that ensures theyare a source of sustainable competitive advantage is the objective of “strategic humanresource management” . To be strategic, a human resource management system must???reflect the concerns of multiple stakeholders,???be linked to the organizations specific business strategy,???represent an integrated and coherent set of HR practices, and???be continuously monitored, evaluated and revised .By implication, a strategic approach to managing individual performance requiresthat these same issues be addressed . In the remainder of this chapter, we discuss theimplications of these four features of strategic human resource management (HRM)systems, focusing specifically on the implications for managing individual performance .Throughout this chapter, we use the term performance management system to refer tothose human resource practices that together can affect employee performance . As willbe described in more detail later, several HR practices that can be considered to bepart of a performance management system, including aspects of the selection process,MANAGING INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE: A STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVEADDRESSING THE CONCERNS OF MULTIPLE STAKEHOLDERS 373socialization and training, performance measurement, as well as rewards and recognitionprograms. To the extent that any particular HR practice can have a meaningful impacton employee performance, we consider the practice to be part of an organizationsperformance management system .
Although managing individual performance is one of the primary goals of most HRMsystems, it is not the only goal . For example, another important objective of an HRM systemis to manage the flow of employees into and through the organization . Recruitment,career planning, terminations and retirement planning are examples of practices that areparticularly relevant to managing employee flows . As another example, in some organizations,the goal of managing labor costs is particularly important . In such organizations,reducing the costs of employee benefits may be especially important .ADDRESSING THE CONCERNS OF MULTIPLE STAKEHOLDERSStakeholders are individuals or groups that have interests, rights, or ownership in anorganization and its activities . Stakeholders who have similar interests and rights are saidto belong to the same stakeholder group . Customers, suppliers, employees, and strategicpartners are all examples of stakeholder groups (Clarkson, 1995 ; Freeman, 1994 ; Jones,1995) .
CUSTOMERSCustomers may be seeking goods and services that are low in cost, high in quality, or simplyunique . Their concerns can be addressed by performance management systems thatincorporate customers perspectives into performance definitions and employee evaluationmeasures . For example, customers views can be used when developing job descriptions,designing training programs, and appraising individual employees .EMPLOYEESMost employees are concerned about being treated fairly and paid well .
These concernscan be addressed by transparent and fair performance management systems that allowall employees to translate their efforts into rewards that they value . Increasingly, organizationsare finding that employees also are concerned about balancing their work andnonwork roles . Designing policies and practices that make it easier for employees toperform well in all of their life roles is one way that performance management practicescan address the concerns of employees . For example, a performance management systemthat emphasizes the specific number of hours and the schedule of work can create timeconflicts that make it difficult to perform nonwork roles . In contrast, a system that emphasizesperformance results and accepts variation among employees regarding workloadand scheduling may improve employees ability to successfully juggle multiple roles .OWNERS AND SHAREHOLDERSMost owners and shareholders invest their money in companies for financial reasons .Their concerns are addressed when a firm evaluates the cost-effectiveness of its performancemanagement practices .
This implies that organizations should evaluate their374MANAGING INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE : A STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVEperformance management systems to assess their economic utility . Owners and shareholdersmay also be interested in the long-term survival of the firm, however. This impliesthat short-term cost considerations and short-term performance gains should not be theprimary drivers of performance management practices . Effective practices produce highlevels of sustainable individual performance. They also minimize negative behavioralside-effects (e .
g., absenteeism and turnover) that contribute to higher labor costs in thelonger term .COMMUNITIES AND SOCIETYLocal communities and society as a whole are concerned that business organizationscomply with laws and regulations, contribute to the well-being of their communities, andprotect and preserve the natural environment . Legal compliance and socially responsiblebehavior establish legitimacy and help businesses to gain acceptance and support fromthe community. Ultimately, this increases their chances for long-term survival (Meyer &Rowan, 1977; Scott, 1987 ; Zucker, 1987) . Societal concerns can be addressed by performancemanagement systems that reward employees for advancing the interests of societyand punish employees who ignore these interests . For example, employee recognitionprograms can be used to reward employees for using their work-related expertise to helpcharitable or public service organizations to achieve their goals .
Administering swiftand severe sanctions to employees who engage in unethical or illegal behavior is anothermeans through which organizations can use their performance management practices toaddress societal concerns .The concerns of stakeholders define the social context within which strategic humanresource management occurs. A strategic approach to performance management assertsthat effective performance management systems are responsive to this social context .Sometimes the concerns of different stakeholders seem to conflict with each other . Inthat case, the management challenge is to find creative approaches to resolving theseconflicts .
Some evidence suggests that this is indeed possible . For example, satisfyingemployees also appears to contribute to satisfying shareholders and investors (e .g., seeFryzell & Wang, 1994 ; Richard, 2000 ; Welbourne & Andrews, 1996) .Responding to stakeholders concerns is just one aspect of the strategic approach . Asthe term implies, the strategic approach also involves designing a performance managementsystem that is linked to the organizations competitive strategy .
We discuss thislinkage next .LINKING PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT PRACTICESTO BUSINESS STRATEGYA corporate level strategy describes how the corporation will select and manage a portfolioof businesses to ensure that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts (Porter,1987) . The central issue addressed is usually how much diversification (low, high) andwhat type of diversification (related, unrelated) to pursue . Corporate level strategies oftenhave implications for how the human resources function is structured . More relevant tothe development of specific performance management practices is the business strategy.A business strategy is specific to a particular company or business division . BusinessLINKING PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT PRACTICES TO BUSINESS STRATEGY3 7 5strategies describe how a company competes against other direct rivals offering the sameproducts and services .BASIC TYPES OF STRATEGIESFirms describe their business strategies using a variety of terms, but basically thesestrategies reflect two decisions : Who are the customers What is the relative importanceattached to innovation, quality, and cost (Miller, 1992 ; Campbell-Hunt, 2000) .
By specifyingtheir target customers, firms clarify their primary stakeholders . By prioritizing therelative importance attached to innovation, quality and cost, they begin to clarify thebehaviors needed from employees . Understanding the answer to the second question isessential to the design of effective practices for managing individual performance .InnovationInnovation is a strategy that involves differentiating the firms products and services fromthose of competitors by having something new that competitors cannot offer, usuallybecause the new product or service is protected by trademarks, copyrights or patents .
When a desirable new product or service is created, its uniqueness and limited availabilitymean that a company can charge a premium price and a sufficiently large number ofcustomers will be willing to pay it .QualityOffering excellent quality is another basic way to differentiate ones products and servicesfrom those of others . In the international arena, the standards of quality keep going up ;an acceptable quality yesterday may be unacceptable today . Thus, organizations thatcompete on the basis of quality pursue continuous improvement with a vengeance .Delivering total quality depends on all parts of the organization working together basedon feedback from customers, because quality is in the eyes, ears, hands and taste budsof customers .CostA cost leadership strategy involves offering no-frills, standardized products and serviceswith acceptable features at the lowest price . The most common approach to pursing a lowcoststrategy is to generate a high volume of sales to make up for the low margin associatedwith each sale .
To achieve high volume, companies competing on cost usually seek thebroadest possible customer base . Efficient production systems, tight cost monitoringand controls, low investment in R&D, and a minimal salesforce are characteristic of thisstrategy.STRATEGY IMPLEMENTATIONTo be successful, an organizations competitive strategy must be effectively implemented .Effective strategy implementation is a complex, dynamic and never-ending processthat touches all aspects of organizational life . Perhaps most important for managing3 7 6performance, competitive strategies partly determine the structure of work, the objectivesto be achieved, and the behaviors that are needed and considered acceptable meansfor achieving those objectives . Here we illustrate some of the implications for performancemanagement practices of a strategy that gives high priority to innovation .The structure of workInnovation occurs when people juxtapose existing ideas and information in new ways .
Thus, effective performance management practices increase the chances of informationcoming together. These practices must also be embedded within an appropriate organizationstructure . Functional structures, which are common in bureaucratic organizations,tend to prevent the flow of information across boundaries . By segmenting the workforceinto groups with domain-specific knowledge and skills, functional structures create barriersto the juxtaposing of ideas in new ways. Even when new ways of doing things arediscovered, rigid functional structures make adopting these new ways difficult becausethey give employees little autonomy to change the way they perform their individual jobs .
Innovative organizations eschew bureaucratic designs . Instead, they are structured tosupport the proliferation of teams that can be formed and disbanded as needed . Ratherthan grouping people together primarily on the basis of similar functional expertise,innovative organizations bring employees with dissimilar expertise together to formmulti-disciplinary teams .
Team members have considerable autonomy to make key decisions,and can take action without waiting for requests to crawl through a bureaucraticdecision-making process (Bums & Stalker, 1995 ; Quinn, Anderson, & Finkelstein,1996) .Compared to functional structures, team-based structures are more flexible and fluid .Knowledge flows more easily among members of the organization, which contributes tolearning and creates opportunities for innovation (Bontis & Crossan, 1999) . Thus, theway work is structured is an essential aspect of strategic performance management .Just as innovative organizations tend to have fuzzy internal boundaries, they havea fuzzy external boundary. Just as they use teams to bring together dissimilar expertiselocated internally, they use teams to bring together expertise located in other organizations. Strategic alliances and network forms of organization support innovationby encouraging knowledge flows between companies .
Prevalent in high-tech industries,strategic alliances and network structures allow older, established firms to gainaccess to new discoveries made by scientists in universities and in small, creative organizations(Liebeskind, Oliver, Zucker, & Brewer, 1996) . Thus, for innovative firms, akey strategic task is managing the performance of employees who cross organizationalboundaries .Prioritization of objectivesCompanies whose managers set specific objectives and then aggressively pursue actionscalculated to achieve their performance targets typically outperform companies whosemanagers have good intentions, try hard, and hope for success (Brews & Hunt, 1999) . Thisrelationship is captured in the old adage, “you cannot manage what you cannot measure” .
When success is defined as effectively serving the interests of stakeholders, their needsdefine a firms fundamental objectives . These objectives, in turn, drive approaches tomanaging employee performance .MANAGING INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE : A STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVEDESIGNING AN INTEGRATED AND COHERENT HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM3 7 7Profit-oriented businesses are often criticized for focusing too much on objectivesthat reflect the concerns of owners and shareholders and paying too little attention toobjectives that reflect the concerns of other stakeholders, such as employees . If performancemanagement practices are used simply as tools to achieve short-term businessgoals, they are likely to give undue weight to economic concerns at the expense ofother stakeholders concerns .
Unfortunately, the strategic human resource managementperspective is sometimes misconstrued as simply using human resource managementpractices to ensure that business objectives are met . In our view, considering only businesssuccess when designing performance management practices does not constitute astrategic approach . A truly strategic approach presumes that the concerns of employeesand other key stakeholders also are addressed by the performance management system .Establishing norms for employee behaviorIn the strategic HRM literature, several alternative models have been proposed for explainingthe means through which human resource management systems contribute to afirms competitive advantage (e .g., see Arthur, 1994 ; Becker & Huselid, 1998 ; Jackson& Schuler, 1995) . One such model is referred to as the behavioral perspective (Schuler &Jackson, 1987) . According to the behavioral perspective, human resource managementpractices are an organizations primary means for energizing and directing employeebehaviors.
This perspective recognizes that many external forces, which are beyond thecontrol of individual employees, have significant consequences for the ultimate successand survival of the firm . But having stated that caveat, it asserts that the aggregatedeffects of individual employee behaviors are primary determinants of organizationaleffectiveness . Specifically, performance management practices communicate the expectationsthat members of the organization have for how people should behave ; they shapethe aspirations of organizational members and also facilitate the achievement of thoseaspirations through formal and informal rewards and punishment .DESIGNING AN INTEGRATED AND COHERENT HUMAN RESOURCEMANAGEMENT SYSTEMA strategic perspective assumes that an organizations approach to managing performanceincludes a complex array of many elements . As already explained, these elementsshould be aligned with the organizations unique conditions, especially conditions createdby the concerns of major stakeholders. Equally important are the degree of integrationand internal alignment among all of the elements that comprise the total HR system . Forexample, an international study of 62 automobile plants found that flexible productionsystems enhanced production speed and quality the most when they were part of anintegrated set of HR practices (MacDuffie & Krafcik, 1992) .
During the past decade, researchers have attempted to identify a small number ofunique bundles of HR practices that comprise integrated and coherent HR systems(Becker & Huselid, 1998) . Implicit in such research is the assumption that the manyvarieties of HR systems being used in organizations can be reduced to a small number ofarchetypes . These efforts have been of limited success . One potential problem with thisstructural approach to assessing HR systems is that it underestimates the complex effectsof the external and internal environments of organizations (see Jackson & Schuler, 1995) .
3 7 8MANAGING INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE : A STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVEFor example, in looking for bundles that fit particular business strategies, researchers(and we include ourselves) tended to ignore concrete differences among firms regardingemployees concerns or the technologies in use .A process-based approach to the design of integrated HR systems represents an alternativeperspective . A process-based approach does not attempt to specify the practicesthat fit specific organizational conditions ; instead, it presumes that the process throughwhich an HR system evolves determines the degree of coherence and integration amongspecific practices . Some processes are very likely to yield integrated HR systems . Theprocess we describe in this chapter is one that we believe would be relatively more likelyto yield an integrated system . Other processes for creating HR systems may be less likelyto result in coherence and integration . For example, if a firm chooses to outsource thedesign and/or implementation of its staffing to one external vendor and outsource thedesign and implementation of its training programs to another vendor, there is likely tobe little integration between these aspects of the HR system . Another popular approachto developing HR systems is to conduct “benchmarking” studies to learn what otherfirms are doing, and then imitate the so-called “best practices” .
Relying on the benchmarkingapproach, a firm might imitate the staffing practices in one organization, thetraining practices in another, and the pay practices in a third . The degree of integrationand coherence among these practices would most likely be quite low .The development of an integrated and coherent HR system is more likely to occur whenan organization begins by stating this as an objective . Having stated the objective, theorganization also must have a method for achieving it . In the remainder of this section,we argue that the development of an integrated HR system requires an understandingof the major HR tasks to be achieved, and the use of HR practices in creative ways toachieve these tasks . Figure 18 .1 illustrates this general framework..
Z~Monitor, Revalue, ReviseInternal Organizational Environment(e .g., structure and culture)HR Practices for Major StakeholderManaging HR Tasks SatisfactionPerformance???Staffing ??? Managing ??? Customersbehaviors???Training and ??? Employeesdevelopment??? Managingmotivation??? Owners and???Performance shareholdersmeasurement??? Managingand feedbackcompetencies??? Communityand society???ManagingopportunitiesFIGURE 18.1 Framework for Managing Human Resources for Learning and Innovation (adaptedfrom Jackson & Schuler, 2000b)DESIGNING AN INTEGRATED AND COHERENT HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM3 79In general, the four major tasks of any HR system involve : managing behaviors, managingmotivation, managing competencies, and managing opportunities . ) After illustratinghow these tasks are shaped by a strategy that emphasizes innovation, we illustratesome of the implications for developing internally consistent performance managementpractices.THE MAJOR TASKS OF HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENTEffective individual and organizational performance occurs when the organization succeedsin generating the behaviors, motivation, competencies, and opportunities neededto implement the business strategy and satisfy the needs of the organizations primarystakeholders . Behaviors are the most proximal determinants of performance, and identifyingthe behaviors that are needed is perhaps the most fundamental challenge of effectiveperformance management . The task of managing behaviors is supported by the remainingtasks: managing competencies, managing motivation, and managing opportunities .
Managing behaviorsIn order to effectively manage employee performance to support innovation, it is necessaryto first specify the behaviors needed for innovation to flourish . (Alternatively,effectively managing performance given a strategy based on customer service requiresspecifying the behaviors needed to meet and exceed the expectations of customers .)Behaviors that facilitate (or impede) innovation include sharing information, and findingand solving problems . Consequently, performance management involves more thansimply directing and motivating individual employees working on individual tasks .
Italso involves managing social interactions (Murphy & Jackson, 1999) .By sharing information about the problems they face and the solutions they discover,employees minimize the number of times they reinvent the wheel . Information sharingspeeds up the process of organizational learning . As Bontis and Crossan (1999) explain,sharing information can support two types of learning flows . Feed-forward learningcan occur when the knowledge and experiences of individuals and work groups is usedto inform strategic decisions . Feed-back learning occurs when organizational practicesprovide employees with information that is useful in doing their work.
Communicationof company goals, policies and procedures as well as feedback about individual performanceall support feed-back learning flows . Traditionally, performance managementsystems have emphasized feed-back learning flows and ignored feed-forward learningflows .Innovation and learning occur when employees actively engage in problem findingand creative problem solving. Sherematas (2000) model of the problem-solving processesrequired for new product development describes the importance of centrifugal andcentripetal behavior patterns . Centrifugal actions are those related to reaching for andgathering new and relevant information . Such actions locate problems that need solutionsand they also locate information that can be used during problem solving . Centripetalbehaviors facilitate the integration of information and ideas .
Elements of the process-based approach we describe here have also been presented in Jackson and Schuler (2000a) andSchuler. JacksonL and Storey ( 222001) .380MANAGING INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE : A STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVEAs described next, employees are most likely to engage in these behaviors when theyare motivated to do so, when they have the competencies needed to do so, and when theyhave opportunities to do so .Managing motivationMotivational forces influence which behaviors employees choose to engage in as wellas how much effort they put into those behaviors in the short-term and in the long-term .That is, the task of motivating employees involves influencing both the direction andpersistence of behaviors .
Psychologists have long recognized that the direction and persistence of behaviors areinfluenced by both personal and situational factors . Typically, the task of performancemanagement has been construed as shaping the situation . Research on creative organizationalclimates suggests that when innovation is the goal, motivation is enhanced by challengingwork and freedom in how to carry out the work .
Creativity is impeded by harshcriticism of ideas, internal competition, and protecting the status quo . Too much emphasison productivity and excessive workloads also appear to reduce creativity (Amabile, Conti,Coon, Lazenby, & Herron, 1996) . For firms that emphasize innovation, effective performancemanagement does not take as its only goal creating these conditions, however . Aneffective approach also recognizes that some types of people-including those who areindividual contributors and those who are managers-may enjoy and be motivated byworking in the types of environments that support innovation and creativity .
But othersmay be more motivated in an environment where the work is routine and predictableand where expectations and deadlines are specific and clear. The strategic approach toperformance management is consistent with the psychological literature showing theimportance of taking both situational and personal factors into account as explanationsfor motivation .Managing competenciesManaging competencies involves ensuring that individual employees and the teamsthey work in have the skills, knowledge and attitudes that are required to carry outtheir work . A strategic approach to managing human resources recognizes two typesof competencies that need to be managed : (a) competencies that support the behaviorsneeded currently and (b) competencies that ensure that the workforce is prepared toquickly begin performing new tasks as needed in the future (Wright & Snell, 1998) .Some of the basic skills, knowledge and attitudes that an organization needs in the presentwill also likely be useful in the future.
Some will become obsolete, and some will betransformed . Recent studies of knowledge-based organizations highlight the dynamicaspects of managing the competencies needed for innovation .Bontis and Crossan (1999) use the term “knowledge stocks” to refer to the store ofknowledge and information in organizations . As the level of a firms knowledge stockincreases, so does the firms potential for creativity and innovation . Individual-levelknowledge stocks refer to the knowledge and abilities of an employee . Group-levelknowledge stocks develop when individuals interact to share knowledge and engage increative problem solving (Levine & Moreland, 1999 ; Liebeskind et al .
, 1996).Performance management practices that support the development and retention ofknowledge stocks within the organization increase its capacity for innovation . Ultimately,DESIGNING AN INTEGRATED AND COHERENT HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM38 1the stock of any type of competency is determined by investments in competency developmentand by competency flows . Knowledge stocks can be increased by performancemanagement practices that encourage employees to invest in continuously learning,e .g., providing incentives for training and professional development .
By developinga reputation for being an employer of choice, an organization can more easilyimport the competencies it needs . In this way, competency flows into the organization.And by retaining that talent, the firm prevents competencies from flowing out tocompetitors .
Managing opportunitiesIf a workforce has both the motivation and the competencies needed to innovate, is it possiblethat they will fail to do so Yes . They also need the right opportunities . Considerableresearch on creativity and innovation documents the importance of having contact withpeople who have information, perspectives and experiences that are dissimilar to onesown. As we have already noted, flat, team-based structures facilitate innovation by involvingemployees in a broad range of activities and exposing them to others from whomthey can learn .
But simply organizing around teams does not ensure that everyone willhave opportunities to be creative or learn from others . The teams must be intentionallystaffed to bring together diverse perspectives and talents (Jackson, 1996) .Furthermore, many opportunities for innovation and learning arise beyond the boundariesof work teams, and even beyond the boundaries of the organization . Many timesemployees in different parts of an organization are working on the same challenge, butare completely unaware of each other . They do not discuss common problems as they tryto solve them, and they do not share solutions once they have been discovered becausethey have no opportunities to do so . Innovative organizations find ways to prevent thisby creating opportunities for people to cross or span boundaries that might otherwise bebarriers to information flow (Bouty, 2000) .
Organizations create opportunities for innovation when they make it easy to shareideas, experiences and knowledge . Major innovations arise when people engage inmeaningful dialogue and conversation . Electronic “knowledge management” systemscan facilitate knowledge storage and distribution, but these systems appear to be lessuseful in stimulating the creative processes associated with innovation .
When innovationis the objective, person-to-person exchanges appear to be more useful than documentexchanges (Hansen, Nohria, & Tierney, 1999) . Thus, performance management systemsthat create opportunities for person-to-person exchanges can facilitate innovation andlearning.USING HR PRACTICES TO ACCOMPLISH THE MAJOR HR TASKS: KEY CHALLENGESHuman resource management practices enable organizations to successfully carry out thefour HR tasks of managing behaviors, managing motivation, managing competencies,and managing opportunities . The primary categories of practices are : staffing ; trainingand development ; performance measurement and feedback ; and recognition and monetaryreward systems . Under the traditional model of personnel management, each subsetof practices was closely tied to, at most, two particular tasks .
For example, staffingand training practices were viewed as relevant primarily for managing competencies .382 MANAGING INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE : A STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVEPerformance measurement and feedback were viewed as relevant primarily for managingbehavior, and recognition and monetary reward systems were viewed as relevantprimarily for managing motivation .A strategic perspective assumes that all available HR practices can and should be usedin unison to achieve the four major HR tasks . We are suggesting here that managing individualperformance is also best understood as an objective that can be achieved throughthe systematic design of an entire system of human resource management practices . Thatis, successfully managing individual performance requires effectively using the entireset of available HR practices . Stakeholders interests, in turn, should determine boththe performance criteria of most importance and the acceptability of the organizationsapproach to achieving excellent individual performances .Organizations that compete by offering low-cost, standardized services may use HRtools differently than organizations that compete by creating innovative solutions thataddress their customers unique needs .
A strategic perspective assumes that there is no”one best way” . Rather, the available HR tools should be used creatively to achieve thefour tasks of managing behavior, managing motivation, managing competencies, andmanaging opportunities in a given organizational context .Years of research on how to develop performance measures has produced extensivetechnical knowledge that can be applied to measuring the performance of individualemployees . Various employment laws and legal guidelines strongly encourage employersto use this knowledge in order to ensure that employees are treated “fairly” . In USculture, “fair” treatment often translates into using performance information as the basisfor making important employment decisions .
Unfortunately, many of these technical andlegal guidelines for performance measurement are grounded in an outdated bureaucraticmodel of organizations . As a result, they fail to address some of the more difficult issuesfaced by organizations that seek to continuously innovate . Here we discuss four of theseissues: role instability, team-based work structures, involvement of multiple stakeholders,and balancing competing objectives .Rote instabilityEmployees with broadly defined jobs and who participate as members of multiple projectteams often find themselves taking on a diversity of roles and being subjected to shiftingrole expectations . On one project such a person may serve as team leader, while inanother he or she may be called upon as an expert adviser in a narrowly defined area .One project may require frequent meetings and close working relationships . Another mayrequire individuals to make significant progress working alone, with meetings occurringonly occasionally in order to report on each persons progress .
Within the span ofa typical day or week, an employee may repeatedly move between these diverse sets ofexpectations, adapting to the demands of each with varying degrees of ease. To performwell in such environments requires role flexibility .Increasingly, employees are expected to demonstrate role flexibility, either becausethey are managing multiple roles simultaneously or because their roles are shifting rapidlyacross time . Consequently, their willingness and ability to adapt to diverse and changingexpectations is becoming an important aspect of performance (Hesketh & Neal, 1999 ;Murphy & Jackson, 1999) . The inclusion of measures of adaptive performance as criteriafor hiring, training and rewarding employees may be one approach toward developing aDESIGNING AN INTEGRATED AND COHERENT HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM383workforce of employees who easily learn new tasks, are confident in approaching newtasks, and have the capacity to cope with the changes that innovation inevitably demands .Team-based work structuresWhen work is organized around teams, as required by innovation, the objective of performancemanagement shifts from managing individual performance to managing teamperformance . What do effective teams look like As Figure 18 .
2 shows, there are manyaspects to team performance ; effective functioning includes many things (Jackson &Schuler, 2000a) . No team is likely to be outstanding on all of the performance dimensionsthat might be measured . In order to decide which aspects of team performanceto measure, goals for the teams must first be established . These goals, in turn, shouldreflect strategic concerns . If reducing cost and speeding up order fulfillment are importantto the strategy, one set of measures might be suggested . But if the strategy callsfor teams that can develop creative solutions, a very different set of measures wouldbe appropriate . Or, perhaps the vision is to become a learning organization, and teamsare viewed as a vehicle to facilitate learning . Then goals that indicate learning at theorganizational and/or individual level should be specified .
Measures of learning mightthen be developed (e.g., product and customer knowledge) or the outcomes that learningshould affect might be measured (e.
g., speed of new product development or customersatisfaction). Because it is based in a systems view, the strategic approach to managingperformance recognizes that individual performance measurement should be consideredin the context of team performance measurement . Team performance measures, in turn,should be considered in the context of larger organizational units .Team PerformanceTask CompletionTeam DevelopmentStakeholder Satisfaction??? Accuracy ??? Team members Team is satisfied withmanage conflict their procedures and outputconstructively???Responsiveness ??? Team members ??? Customers are satisfiedcoordinate to achievewith teams procedures andcommon goalsoutputs???Innovation ??? Team is connectedwithin the organization ???Others in organizationand beyond itsare satisfied with teamsboundariesprocedures and outputsCost Containment??? Team is flexible andprepared for new tasksFIGURE 18 .2 Possible performance indicators for work teams and team members (adapted fromJackson & Schuler, 2000a)38 4MANAGING INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE : A STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVEInvolvement of multiple stakeholdersA strategic perspective suggests that performance measures at all levels of analysis(individuals, teams, business units, and so on) should reflect the perspectives of multiplestakeholders .
In team-based and highly-networked organizational structures, definitionsand measures of performance take into account the perspectives of many role partners .Consequently feedback processes become more complex . At a minimum, formal feedbackis likely to reflect the views of a variety of different constituents .One way to provide employees with feedback from many stakeholders is throughthe use of 360-degree feedback systems. In the traditional approach, feedback aboutperformance emphasizes the views of a single person-usually a supervisor-to theexclusion of almost all other views . In contrast, 360-degree systems collect perceptionsof an employees performance from a set of colleagues and internal customers who forma circle around the employee .
Whereas traditional performance appraisals were developed for evaluating employees,360-degree feedback was originally designed as a tool for employee development(Chappelow, 1998) . Employees usually picked the people from whom they wanted to getfeedback and the results were often completely confidential . The intent was to provideinformation to employees, who could then use it to improve their performance .
Therefore,a feedback session would involve explaining how other people view the employee,comparing these perceptions to the employees self-assessments, and developing actionplans for how to improve in the future . Responsibility for communicating the feedbackusually rests with supervisors, who are expected to help employees understand, integrateand act on the feedback.Some organizations have begun using a variation of 360-degree assessments to conductofficial performance appraisals . In those companies, the emphasis shifts fromproviding feedback for developmental purposes to making evaluations that can be usedin personnel decisions related to promotion, compensation, and so on .
The philosophybehind 360-degree feedback approaches fits well within the types of organizational culturesthat are required for innovation and learning . In organizations where teamwork isthe norm, feedback from multiple sources is perceived as more valid than single-sourceapproaches because it involves a group of people who interact with the employee inmany different ways .Regardless of whether an organization uses a formal 360-degree feedback process,employees in innovative organizations are bombarded with feedback from a variety ofsources, including teammates, customers and subordinates . This feedback is used continuallyin subtle negotiations about how ones role will be construed . Many of theseother sources of feedback have neither the formal responsibility nor the resources neededto support and facilitate improvements in an employees performance . Faced with potentiallyconflicting feedback information from different sources, employees may feeluncertain about the expectations they must meet in order to perform their roles satisfactorily.
Practices such as 360-degree feedback and customer satisfaction surveysmay confuse employees about the relative priority to be given to each member in theirwork role set. Multiple role senders, in turn, may be unaware of each others conflictingexpectations and hence unable to moderate their performance expectations . Howdo employees respond to this type of feedback environment A typical response isto consider the reward system . If no recognition or rewards are tied to a source ofDESIGNING AN INTEGRATED AND COHERENT HUMAN RESOURCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM385available feedback, employees may conclude that the source and the feedback can safelybe ignored.
Balancing competing objectivesOf all the HR tools available to support innovation and learning, recognition and rewardsmay be both the most powerful and the least understood . In particular, existing theoriesof motivation and performance do little to help organizations to design recognition andreward practices that effectively address the competing demands and paradoxes foundwithin post-bureaucratic organizations, some of which are briefly noted below .Short-term versus long-term considerationsThe creative processes that result in significantly new innovations require that employeeshave cutting-edge knowledge in their fields . In addition, implementing innovationoften requires employees to develop new skills .
Maintaining cutting-edge skills, in turn,requires continuous learning . The need to motivate continuous learning requires thatworkers be rewarded today for developing the potential that may be needed in the future .As more and more companies consider paying for knowledge or skill acquisition, theycome face-to-face with the question of how much value they should place on performancein the current job versus behaviors that prepare employees for future jobs.Finding the appropriate balance between rewarding for current performance versusrewarding for long-term performance is a difficult balancing act . Many critics ofperformance-based incentive plans point to this as a common problem . Executive incentivesthat focus attention on short-term movements in the companys stock price,for example, may lead managers to make decisions that protect the stock price inthe short-term but discourage the investments needed for longer-term innovation andlearning. To address this problem, many executive pay packages include a mix of incentivesthat link pay to achieving both long- and short-term objectives .
Althoughsimilar approaches may be useful at lower levels in the organization, they rarely areused.Behaviors versus resultsA large body of evidence shows that generally, organizations are more likely to achievetheir stated goals when employees are rewarded for results that are consistent withthose goals. Some authors have concluded that this general principle holds even wheninnovation is the stated goal . However, psychological research suggests that tying pay toresults that require creativity and innovation may actually reduce employees motivationto experiment and try new ideas (Amabile, 1979 ; Dweck & Leggett, 1988; Mumford& Gustafson, 1988) . Experimentation is likely to involve some failure, especially in theshort-run . When pay is linked to innovation results, it raises employees concerns aboutthe potential negative evaluations that may result from failure and thus actually reducesrisk-taking and interferes with learning . Alternatively, it may send a message that anymeans to achieving results is acceptable, which is also problematic . These argumentssuggest that it may be better to provide incentives for the behaviors thought to lead toinnovation instead of paying for results, Of course, this approach works only if theorganization can accurately specify and monitor those behaviors .
3 86 MANAGING INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE : A STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVEIndividual versus teamIf results form the basis for at least some recognition and rewards, a related issue iswhether to reward and recognize individuals or teams or perhaps even larger work units .Currently, cultural norms rather than business objectives tend to drive this decision, withteam recognition being more common in collectivist cultures and individual monetaryrewards being more common in individualistic cultures . These cultural patterns may bebreaking down, however, as companies around the world internationalize their workforcesand join in the same race to develop innovative products and services .
As USorganizations restructure around teams to support innovation and adapt other HR practicesto this new structure, interest in team-based recognition and rewards seems to begrowing (Flannery, Hofrichter, & Patten, 1996) . At the same time, as Japanese companieshave begun competing in industries that require radical innovation rather thansmall engineering improvement, they have introduced elements of individual incentivepay. Matsushita was among the first to begin experimenting in this area . Their goal, itseems, is to encourage more of the risk taking and creativity that is needed to competein industries such as software engineering and telecommunications (The Economist,1999) .
Monetary rewards and recognition are powerful tools for motivating employees, directingtheir behavior, and developing their potential . Perhaps this explains why so manyUS firms have been experimenting with new forms of pay in recent years . Like otherareas of experimentation, the consequences of new pay systems are often difficult topredict accurately. They depend not only on design details but also on how managers administerthe system and how well the system is aligned with other HR practices .
Carefulmonitoring of the effects of new pay plans alerts managers to unintended behavioral consequencesand speeds the organizations learning about how best to use these powerfultools .CONTINUOUS MONITORING, EVALUATION, AND REVISIONThe design and implementation of effective HR practices is a dynamic process, which unfoldsin a unique way in each organization . Due to the complex interdependencies amongall elements of a dynamic organization, it is impossible to fully and accurately predicthow the introduction of one or more new HR practices will affect employees behaviorsor the longer-term consequences of those behaviors . Consequently, the creation of aneffective HR system proceeds in an iterative manner and requires continual monitoringand evaluation . At the same time as the organization is adjusting to ongoing changes, itmust be prepared to make revisions that will enable it to better address the future .CONTINUOUS MONITORING AND EVALUATIONTo judge improvement, an organization needs to know where it was before and whereit is now. That is, in must engage in continuous monitoring . Continuous monitoringensures that the organization and its employees learn from their mistakes and successes .
Like any body of knowledge, our understanding of how to manage people effectively isbased on what has worked in the past . As conditions change, some of our knowledgebecomes obsolete . Organizations experiment with their approaches to managing humanCONTINUOUS MONITORING, EVALUATION, AND REVISION 3 8 7resources in order to replace obsolete knowledge and thereby improve performance .A strategic approach to managing human resources suggests that the design of bothperformance management practices and monitoring and evaluation practices should bedriven by the same considerations . Our discussion of the strategic approach to managinghuman resources suggests that an organizations approach to monitoring and evaluatinga performance management system should focus on assessing how effectively the systemachieves two key goals : sending a clear, consistent message and representing the concernsof multiple stakeholders.Clear, consistent messageWhen designing a performance management system, the intent is to develop policies andpractices that are consistent and coordinated with each other in order to communicatea clear message to employees .
Thus, evaluation and monitoring activities should assesswhat messages employees are receiving . If the intended message is not being received,then further diagnosis may be needed to determine which practice(s) account for theapparent communication interference (e .g., a 360-degree feedback system an incentivesystem a training program) . A performance appraisal system that evaluates employeeson the basis of the attainment of long-term goals, coupled with a compensation systemthat rewards employees on the same basis, sends a clear message to employees . On theother hand, a human resource policy that describes employees as the firms most valuableresource, coupled with constant layoffs and little training, sends conflicting messages .Multiple stakeholdersIn firms that manage their employees strategically, managers know why they lead theirpeople the way they do .
Their entire set of HR practices has been explicitly developedto match the needs of their employees, customers, owners, and so on . Consequently,monitoring and evaluation practices should provide feedback that reflects these diverseperspectives . The objective of monitoring and evaluation is not simply to assess whetherplans have been carried out on schedule and within budget . Much more important iswhether the actions taken have achieved the desired results . Table 18.1 illustrates severalkey stakeholders and the concerns they are likely to have (Jackson & Schuler, 2000a) .TAKING CORRECTIVE ACTIONThe results of the evaluation process serve as input into decisions about how to reviseexisting performance management practices . Taking corrective action is essential for continuouslearning and improvement .
Where deficiencies are found, HR professionals mustdetermine whether these are due to poor implementation of well-laid plans, or whetherthe systems design is itself flawed . Appropriate HR practices may be foiled by managersand subordinates who resist the changes needed . For example, managers may resistchanging their leadership behaviors yet such changes may be essential to the successfulimplementation of new team-oriented HR practices and a culture of empowerment .
Theirsubordinates may resist practices that require them to more actively evaluate and givefeedback to their close colleagues and peers, fearing that this will disrupt friendshipsand create friction within the team .388Stakeholder groupExamples of concernsMANAGING INDIVIDUAL PERFORMANCE : A STRATEGIC PERSPECTIVETABLE 18 .1 Examples of stakeholders concerns for possible monitoring and evaluationOwners, investors, orFinancial soundnessother financial supportersConsistency in meeting shareholder expectationsSustained profitabilityAverage return on assets over 5-year periodTimely and accurate disclosure of financial informationCustomers, clients, orProduct/service quality, innovativeness, and availabilitypatronsResponsible management of defective or harmfulproducts/servicesSafety records for products/servicesPricing policies and practicesHonest, accurate, and responsible advertisingEmployeesNon-discriminatory, merit-based hiring and promotionDiversity of the workforce and quality of work lifeWage and salary levels and equitable distributionAvailability of training and developmentWorkplace safety and privacyCommunityEnvironmental issuesEnvironmental sensitivity in packaging and product designRecycling efforts and use of recycled materialsPollution preventionGlobal application of environmental standardsCommunity involvementMonetary charitable contributionsInnovation and creativity in philanthropic effortsProduct donationsAvailability of facilities and other assets for community useSupport for employee volunteer effortsBesides considering whether unmet objectives are due to the design or implementationof the performance management system, decisions about whether to make revisionsmust be sensitive to the dynamic nature of human reactions to change. On the onehand, early and frequent review can alert the organization to unanticipated disruptivereactions and enable early corrective action . On the other hand, however, it also isimportant to recognize that some deterioration in behavior and performance is normaland to be expected immediately after major changes are implemented . Initial performancedeterioriation may be followed by rapid performance improvement .
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