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Surrey Business School (PG)

MANM382: Methods and
Analytics for HR Research

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End-of-Semester Structured
Assignment Cover Sheet


Student URN


Date Due
Time Due

29 January 2017

Student Name

Riya Jain

No of Words (excluding the assignment



MSc Human Resource Management



*Please complete the shaded boxes above
before submission


Submission instructions                                                                     

The submission of
the assignment is electronic via SurreyLearn. A copy of this coversheet and
completed assignment must be uploaded to SurreyLearn before the deadline. Late
submissions will have the appropriate penalties applied.

Resit arrangements

Students who fail
the assignment will be required to re-work their original piece to an
acceptable standard under re-sit regulations.

Assignment instructions

You must first
identify an area of HR or HR research to complete this assignment. Once you
have chosen a topic, answer the following questions by placing your answer to
each question directly beneath the question. The total word limit for all your
answers combined is 3,000 words
(excluding the questions themselves). Appropriate penalties will be applied to
assignments over the word limit.










Chosen Topic: Performance appraisal (PA)


What academic literature would you situate the topic in? How did
you locate this literature?


at the work place is very crucial for an organisation as it allows the employee
and employers reviews performance and improve it, as well as reward decisions
depending on the evaluation (Khan, 2013).
Therefore, I will be basing my topic of research surrounding performance
appraisals and will be concentrating on aspects such as the effectiveness of
appraisals on job satisfaction, and why appraisal may not work due to preserved
unfairness and if methods that appraises use had any correlation with employee
job satisfaction.  I will be using
sources such as Surrey online library and Google scholar to locate the needed
information. The relevancy of the literature will be determined by analysing
the literature review of articles and identifying key concepts which are
written in the abstract or introduction.


What are the main theories? What are the main trends or empirical
findings for each? You may briefly outline key theories or articles.


One of
the theory is that performance appraisal has a direct effect on effect job
satisfaction after it has take place. According to research conducted by
Aleassa 2014, 80% of employees are dissatisfied with their organisations PA
system. Furthermore, the research goes on to say that only 10% on workers
stated the PA helped to improve performance. As well as this, if employees perceive
an unhealthy work environment such as an unstable PA, there is a higher chance
of it negatively correlating with job satisfaction.


theory is that the employees perceptions of what a fair appraisal is can have
an effect on how they observe the feedback according to Cawley et  at (1998). Moreover, when equity is perceived
in the PA system it can positivity correlate to organisational commitment (
Pettijohn et al, 2001).


theory is how often an employee is appraised has an influence PA and it
effectiveness, according to a study 63% of high growing companies appraise
their employees more than once a year. Where as only 22% of low growth
companies appraise their employee once a year. 
The researchers concluded that due to change being rapid in the business
world, the objective that employees are working towards need to change as well
which can only be done through performance evaluation (Deb,2008).  


final theory is that the methods/process of appraisal can have an impact on
employee job satisfaction due to this advantages and disadvantages according to
a meta-analysis conducted by Shaout and Yousif (2014). They went on to say that
it is hard to state which method is better, but it is crucial for the
organisation to understand that the methods need to altered according to the
type and size of business.







In your view, are there any controversies or issues? If so,
outline the main ones.


conducting research, a common theme has appeared which is that most of the
experiments where carried were field experiments, therefore it was hard to control
extraneous variables before data was collected. Even though an experimental
design would mean that the advantages of a field setting would be sacrificed,
it would allow the researcher to manipulate variables.   Additionally,
there was a lack of research with a longitudinal approach, most studies measure
the effects of apparels once and concluded the research.


What key research questions would you address if investigating
this topic? What is the relevance of these questions to HR, organisations,
and the academic literature?


Some of
the research question I am interested in are as follows:


“To what extend does performance appraisal
effect job satisfaction after it can take place?”


satisfaction is positively correlated with performance. Therefore, it needs to
be understood to increase performance at the work place. By investigating job
satisfaction, HR can alter methods according to if the current method it is
working or not. The main aim of appraisals is to evaluate and improve current
performance, if methods that the current HR team has developed is not correlating
with higher performance then in research this question will allow the
organisations aware of this.


Does employee’s perceptions of what an
fair appraisal is have an effect on how they obtain the feedback?


 It is important to treat all employees with
respect and equally, we all compare our self’s to other especially in the
organisational setting. If inequality has been perceived by employees, it can
result in decline of employee performance according to Adam’s equity theory  (Miller et all
2010). From a HR point of the if the correct process of appraisals has
not been followed it could be a breach of contract. Additionally, from an
organisational point of view, it is easy to focus on the negative behaviour
that an employee has portrayed, and when only negatives are communicated
through the appraisal this can cause employees of believe negative behaviours
are only what an employee is capable of due to self-fulfilling prophecy.  Therefore, it is important to find current
procedures being followed, and if they are perceived as fair which is why
believe this is an important research questions to investigate on.


“Can the extend of how often an employee
is appraised have an effect on performance appraisals and its effectiveness?”


ensure that PA’s are effective, it needs to be tracked and consistent. By
looking into how often organisation appraise their employees and by compering
number of objectives met my employees who were and weren’t appraised by their
employer more than once a year, I will be able to offer evidence to the
organisation which shows the effectiveness of consistent appraisals.





Can the methods/process of appraisal have
an impact on employee job satisfaction?


It is
important that organisations use the appraisals methods that is appropriate for
their business. Additionally, is it possible that one organisation has varies
methods of appraisal for their employees depending of who is conducting it.
Therefore, by investigating then methods I will be able to inform HR on which
methods is working best to create job satisfaction with in their employees. In
terms of organisation, by understanding this and applying the appropriate
method of appraisal it can decrease the likeliness of employee turnover and withdrawal.


What type of data would you need to answer these questions? Why
do you propose this approach?


I believe
while collecting this data I will be using both quantitative and qualitative answers
from employees.  I will be using
quantitative data as it will help the reader and I to understand the results
better as it can be compared to other employees (Robin and Judge, 2016) . For
example, comparing the data from employees whose appraisal process differed
according to their manager, this information being quantitative would mean it
is far more efficient to compare. Additionally, the qualitative part will be
for the interview which I will be conducting with the managers to understand
the process that they use to appraise employees. The method being qualitative
will mean I will be able to obtain in-depth understanding of an answer ( Robins
and Judge, 2016)


From where would you collect the data? How would you collect
these data? How would you sample respondents? How much data would be
‘enough’ and why?


collect the data firstly I would create networks using LinkedIn and the
personal contacts i have built due to past work experiences in HR. Furthermore,
I would approach them in a manner where I can inform them of the advantage my
research would have on their organisations. When choosing which organisations
to approach, I will try to approach organisations which are private sectors to
control any extraneous variables which may come from different sectors.


data will be collected in a mixed format of both quantitative and qualitative,
and the selection criteria for the participants will be anyone who has worked
in the organisation for more than two to five year, as they are more likely to
have been part of an appraisal. The cap of 5 years is due to increase in a
relational relationship forming when the duration of employment increases
therefore the responds maybe biased (Halac,


I would like my sample size to be between 120-150, the reason for choosing this
number is even though it may be hard to convince people to commit to completing
a survey, the higher number or samples would give be a better representation of
what the overall means would be like. As well as this, larger sample would make
it more valid and reliable when comparing groups.



What research instruments would you use? Give examples and
justify each.


I will
be using a questionnaire as my methods of data collection for the employees. This
is due to most of the data from this being numerical, therefore I will be able
to compare and find trend easily.  I will
also be using mainly closed question due to my sample size being large and
people may not want to spend a large amount of time filling in questions. I
will be using a validated scale, I plan to validate the measurement by asking a
professional who is familiar with my topic to analysis the questions. I will
also try to select the questions in the questionnaire from previous research
articles others have conducted which will increase its validity, the questions
below are adapted from Aforo & Antwi,
(2012). Furthermore, I
will be conducting a pilot study prior to using the questionnaire, then once
the results from the pilot study has been created, I will analysis the number
to see if there are correlations.  Finally,
a 4-point Likert scale will be mostly used. The type of questions I will be
using are:


performance criteria (i.e., competencies, behaviours, results / outcomes) have
been clearly identified in the appraisal system”

performance criteria have been extracted from an up-to-date job description.”


As for
managers I will be using interviews questions to further understand the process
that they use while conducting an appraisal. 
I will be using a structure interview format with and optional comment
session for managers to communicate any further information regarding
appraisal. I believe in doing this I will be able to determine if methods are
fair and correlate the method to how employees are performing at the
organisation.  Some example questions


appraisal interview designed to be a constructive, two-way discussion of
performance and goal setting- discuss”

“Workers are
provided with regular feedback, how accurate is this statement”


Of the methods and analytical techniques introduced during the
course, which would you use to investigate your research questions (RQ)
based on the proposed data? What are the advantages and disadvantages of


RQ4 )To
investigate the effectiveness of varies methods of appraisal, structured
Interviews will be used to gain in in-depth information on individual methods,
additionally due to the broadness of the answers it is more likely ideas can be
obtaining regarding how to improve problems if any. Thematic analysis needs to
be used to identify patterns in the answers. One of the advantage of this
method is that it is highly flexible but provide detailed data.  Additionally, it can be used to summarise key
feather of extensive data. However, it can be time consuming as interview need
to be transcribed first and can be complexed during the coding stage.


RQ3) I have
decided to see what the effect of a moderator will have on the result, and I hypothesised
“how often appraisal are being conducted per employee every year will moderate
the positive relationship between performance appraisals and its effectiveness,
such that the relationship will be stronger when the number of appraisal a
year’s id higher. I will be doing this through a multiple linear regression as
it attempts to model the relationship between two variables even if it doesn’t
fit the data exactly as well as being very easy to handle. However, it can be
viewed as over simplified of many real-world problems as it assumes there are
only straight forward relationships between two variables which can be
misleading sometimes. 


RQ2,1 ) I will also be using a T-test to determine how both groups
(unfair/fair appraisal groups) obtain their feedback. I will also be looking at
the difference in results between individuals who recently had an appraisal
and  who hasn’t and seeing in there is a
difference between the group of how satisfied they are. This method is
applicable to these questions at it simplifies the results and shows if there
are differences between groups. Furthermore, I only require very little data
and even works when the sample number is not high. As I will be conducting an
in depended T-test, the sample may have individual difference which may effect
the end result.  



Do you foresee any issues in collecting and analysing the
proposed data? Explain what steps you would take to resolve any issues you


Some of the
issues which may occur while conducting this study is even if an organisation
gives me permission to conduct my research based on their organisation, when
the time approaches they may withdraw themselves from this. A method of
overcoming this maybe is to explain what the advantages of taking from in my
research will be for their organisation such as increased employee performance
if a gap in method of appraisal is found, the research will be free where as
external consults are expensive.

One other problem
may be the number of sample choosing to complete the questionnaire, as this
will be emailed to the employees it is possible that not all employees will
check or complete the questionnaire. As I am aiming for 120 sample, I would
need to send the questionnaire out to 300 samples In order to ensure a higher
return rate than that just sending it to 120 employees.   

Do you foresee and potential ethical issues? What steps would you
take to deal with potential ethical considerations?


problems maybe that people may change their mind weather they want the results
being published in the study, in order to overcome this I will ensure that I
make it clear that results will be published anonymously before they take part,
as well as this even after taking part in the questionnaire I will offer them a
deadline to which they can contact me and where I will withdraw the data of the


keeping the data safe Is an issue as there are cases where information can be
hacked or mishandle, In order to reduce the chance of this taking place I will
only view the information on a computer which I only have access to as well as
password locking the documents with employee detail, I will also code each
individual to a reference number which only the employee would know rather than
names which will increase anonymity.


How would you present your analysis? What analysis/information
would you include? What would you leave out? Why?


One of
the methods I will be using is a descriptive statistics tables, the reason for
this being it allows me to be present all the information I have collected in one
table as well as finding the mead, mode and median of data collect. On it there
will the types of appraisal, how satisfied individuals are, and fairness. I
would leave out the interview answers which can conducted with the managers,
the reason being it ins qualitative and would not fit in with this method of


For measuring
fairness and if appraisal was conducted recently questions, I will be using a
T- Test. I will introduce the results by clarifying what I was measure for
example “an independent t test was conducted to compare employee score of those
who perceived appraisal process as fair and unfair.” Followed up by if there
was a significant difference or not by indicating Mean (M) and Standard
deviation (SD), and finally what the p value is. While inputting data to for
the T-Test I will be deducting any unfinished or anomaly questionnaire results
I order to make overall outcome more reliable.


the thematic analysis will be creating by transcribing and finding patterns
within the interview conducted through coding information is has repeated
itself or would answer my research question. When coding the data to identify
pattern, information which does not relate to the research question will be discarded.
After a thorough theme as been determined, I will be creating a table to
present the code and number of time it has appeared. Furthermore, I will be
providing a write up which include evidence of where I gained the information
from such as quotes from the transcript.


To conduct
the multiple Regressions analysis to see if the moderator influences the
Dependent variable, I will be analysing Independent Variable and moderators
effect on DV separately, then standardize the variables leaving out the DV. I
will then calculate the cross product between IV and moderator, which will then
be run into a multiple regressions analysis in which I which I will include the
cross product and the original IV and discuss the results.


What results would you expect from the proposed study? What
managerial implications would you advise based upon the expected results?
Explain your answer.


predict in term of my first research question that when collecting data on job
satisfaction, if the appraisal has been conducted effectively there will be an
increase in JS. In knowing that effective PA can correlate to higher
performance, managers can alter their method of PA which can act as an
advantage of organisation as higher JS means that employees are happier therefore
less turnovers will occur. Second expected result is that if employers perceive
PA as fair the more effect the outcome will be, therefore managers can use this
to create a transparent and consistent process which may result in higher
fairness. This can be done by giving opportunities to employees to shares their
views rather than letting PA be a one way communication.


Third outcome
would be that the more consistent the PA the more effective it will be in
guiding employee performance, I would advise that managers have a more
structure methods of PA as well as creating a database of when PA was done for
employees and automatic reminders in order to keep up with PA, I believe have
appraisal at least twice a year is important as change is consistent in an
organisational therefore this need to be reflected in employee goals. Fourth
outcome will be that there may be difference in the methods used amongst
employers, depending on the size of the organisation I advise that managers try
out various method on PA to find the right one for the business. Furthermore,
this can change with time as employees are most likely to change as well.


In what ways would this study contribute to relevant academic
debates or literatures?


study will contribute to existing research as if results turn out as predicted
it can show that PA is a powerful tool in the organisational which can
determine the performance of the organisation as if PA is perceived as unfair
it can lead to employee turnover. Furthermore, this study can confirm that the
methods of PA needs to altered according to business and culture or
organisation, and  that PA needs to be
consistent to be effective.




Basis of Assessment



Presentation and style
structure, unclear, referencing minimal or inaccurate 
structure, clear articulation, referencing acceptable              
structure, clear articulation, correctly/fully referenced

00 to 03
04 to 07
08 to 10


Originality and relevance of topic and
questions (Q1-Q4)
described topic with little demonstrable relevance to HR
outline of topic, sensible research questions
described topic situated in appropriate research, relevant to HR practice,
but unoriginal research questions
described topic, well-situated in appropriate research, highly relevant to HR
practice, original questions

00 to 05
06 to 10
11 to 15
16 to 20


Awareness and justification of research
methodologies (Q5-Q8)
reference made to the methodologies taught on the course, no justification
appropriate application of methodologies taught on the course, little or no
justification, lacking in detail
application of methodologies taught on the course, but in need of more
justification and detail
and justified application of methodologies taught on the course
and detailed application of methodologies taught on the course

00 to 05
06 to 10
11 to 15
16 to 20
21 to 25


Awareness of potential practical and
ethical issues and quality of solutions (Q9-Q10)
potential practical and ethical issues and solutions mentioned
potential practical and ethical issues mentioned, few solutions offered  
potential practical and ethical issues mentioned, some solutions offered   
potential practical and ethical issues mentioned, sensible solutions offered

00 to 05
06 to 10
11 to 15
16 to 20


Potential for insight and understanding
evidence of potential for extending insight into research and HR practice
potential for extending insight into research and HR practice
potential for extending insight into research and practice, but more
justification needed
but unbalanced potential for extending insight into research and practice
strong potential for insight and understanding in both research and practice

00 to 05
06 to 10
11 to 15
16 to 20
21 to 25


Total score – subject to moderation &
confirmation by the Board of Examiners


Comments: (Markers are required to complete this section)