Models and theories of performance management system

Increasing complexities in functions of business have lead to the emergence of new and comprehensive concepts in business management. Performance management is a concept in the field of human resource management. “It is a continuous process of identifying, measuring and developing the performance of individuals and aligning performance with the strategic goals of the organization” (Aguinis, 2009). Performance management is many times mistaken as performance appraisal but the latter is just a part of the former.

There is no single universally accepted model of performance management. Various experts have explained the concept in their own ways. Mabey has prescribed the model in the form of ‘performance management cycle’. This cycle has 5 elements which suggest how performance management system should be implemented in an organization. The elements of performance management system cycle includes:

  1. Setting of objectives.
  2. Measuring the performance.
  3. Feedback of performance results.
  4. Reward system based on performance outcomes
  5. And amendments to objectives and activities (Mabey et al, 1999).
Performance management system

Performance management system

What others say

Salaman says there are two theories underlying the concept:

  1. The goal setting theory.
  2. Expectancy theory.

Goal setting theory had been proposed by Edwin Locke in the year 1968. This theory suggests that the individual goals established by an employee play an important role in motivating him for superior performance. This is because the employees keep following their goals. If these goals are not achieved, they either improve their performance or modify the goals and make them more realistic. In case the performance improves it will result in achievement of the performance management system aims (Salaman et al, 2005).

Expectancy theory had been proposed by Victor Vroom in 1964. This theory is based on the hypothesis that individuals adjust their behavior in the organization on the basis of anticipated satisfaction of valued goals set by them. The individuals modify their behavior in such a way which is most likely to lead them to attain these goals. This theory underlies the concept of performance management as it is believed that performance is influenced by the expectations concerning future events (Salaman et al, 2005).


  • Aguinis, Herman. 2009. 2nd Edition. Performance Management. Dorling Kindersley India Pvt. Ltd.
  • Salaman, Graeme; Storey, John; Billsberry, Jon. 2nd Edition. 2005. Strategic Human Resource Management: Theory and Practice. Sage Publications Ltd.
  • Mabey, Christopher; Salaman, Graeme; Storey, John. 2nd Edition. 1999. Human Resource Management: A Strategic Introduction. Blackwell Publishers Ltd.

Ankita Agarwal

Analyst at Project Guru
Ankita is working with the editorial board of Project Guru as a Research Analyst and Writer. With Masters in Commerce and Business Studies, Ankita learned much of what she knows about management through experience. She has previously worked in various financial institutions like Birla Global, HDFC Ltd. and Citi Financial. She is self-motivated and writes for the Knowledge Tank section of Project Guru. She has authored more than 80 articles so far in Human Resources Management, Strategic Management, Finance and Marketing. She likes to pen her thoughts about the latest issues gripping these areas across the world.

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  • Goal-setting theory and performance management system Goal-setting theory refers to the effects of setting goals on subsequent performance. Researcher Edwin Locke found that individuals who set specific, difficult goals performed better than those who set general, easy goals (Yearta, Maitlis, & Briner, 1995).
  • Expectancy theory of performance management system Performance management has been identified as a system that creates context for continuous monitoring and measuring activities of individual employees in a firm. Similarly it also measures the performance of the entire organization so that organisational goals are met in an effective […]


  1. thank you for the info. I will find this useful.

    • hi Guys.

      Please can someone share grounded theories in performance management particular in the public sector … this is for masters thesis proposal

  2. Doing research on performance management for PHD.

    • Hi there,

      noticed you said you’re doing your PHD on performance management. I also an doing my dissertation on performance management and was wondering if you knew of any solid theories or techniques you found in your research?



      • Hi Tom,
        You can study on new-age methods to assess performance, particularly in dynamic industries like IT and entertainment. traditional methods are no more relevant and you can do a comparative analysis.

    • working in same field. wish to contact you.

  3. information provides useful background to performance management.

  4. doing my thesis proposal on performance managment,

    ….i coudn’t find the full article……….failed to open the pdf…………can i get a copy at anymeans???

    thank you,

  5. Friends i find this network of friends important and helpfull to as well, could you provide me information about Performance Management for my research work as well. Will be glad to share mine as well.

    • Hey Denis!
      In performance management, you can study:
      – new age performance management styles
      – impact of performance management initiatives on employee motivation
      – performance management methods for temporary workers
      – performance management techniques for senior management

  6. pls can i get more articles on pm in public sector…

    • Hi guys. am also doing a research on effects of performance appraisal in the public sector. I need your help in this area

  7. Hi, I really find this useful. please can I get articles on PM and PA(performance appraisals) in the banking sector in Africa and UK. thank you.

  8. Am doing my PhD in Performance Management systems in the care sector, would you help me find journals and articles that deal with the performance management systems please?

  9. thank you so much, i found this article very educative.

  10. Ngora Richard

    help us and put this work in pdf dia

  11. Thanks for the writes up I got for theories of PMS. Please I get more literature reviews on PMS a of a pharmaceutical industry

    • Thanks for your input we are working on it and we will post another article related to PMS in pharma sector in 10 – 15 days.

  12. Literature review on Performance management system in pharmaceuticals industry

  13. Dan-Eheremwen

    Hello all,

    am working on quality assurance in sellected academic programmes and performance of polytechnic graduates. i need comment from the house

  14. peter chimoto

    Dear all

    am doing a research on service delivery performance. please help what questionnaire can I use and the related theories.

  15. It is very interesting note.
    Please, send me the full journal, if it is published

  16. pls, help me to find out articles on impact of performance management system on employee performance.

  17. i am doing my PhD research on Performance management

  18. Am struggling to find journals/articles dealing with performance management and its impact on employees – healthcare assistants and managers in care of the elderly care homes.
    Could someone help please?

  19. hey i find the articles useful, can u plz help m define how perfomance management is linked to HRM practices .

  20. The sharing is wonderful. I refer it to my students who are interested to conduct the study on performance management.

  21. Hi guys

    Wonderful ideas guys. I am thinking of using systems theory as my theoretical framework in my research project on the execution of performance appraisal in the public sector. I am not sure if this theory is right or there is another one better. Please assist.

    • Hi Nombulelo, i recently got feedback on my Masters research on performance management at a local municipality, having used the same systems theory for my framework, it is said that it is outdated. Any idea on the recent theories?

  22. I am a student at at Unisa doing my Ba degree in public Administration can you help me on how to write acritical essay on perfomance management in the public sector departments ?

  23. Please, send me a free copy of the article entitled on ” Models and Theories of performance management system”, which was published On 3 November, 2011. I am a PhD. candidate.

    Thank you.

  24. Hi there,

    I’m in search of a short case study on downsizing in a UK company. I’ll really appreciate if anyone can send me something.

  25. Hi,

    I’m in search for a short case study on downsizing in any uk based organisation.

    Can any one send me something


  26. Please send to me article about latest model and teories of performance in governance or public sector. I am a PhD candidate

  27. Hi, kindly send me free articles on recent models and theories of performance management, i’m doing Masters research on pm.

  28. Specifically recent theories on pm (10 yrs or less)

  29. Performance management conceptual framework

  30. Kindly send me articles on recent theories on performance management in the public sector.

  31. Have not received feedback on recent theories of performance management, kindly assist.

  32. Hi,
    I am a student at at University of Nairobi doing my MPA. can you help me on how to write acritical essay on perfomance management in the public sector departments ?

  33. I am currently doing a research on PMS and its effects on Organizational success. Can you please help me with materials?

  34. I am also working on PMS and its effects on Organizational success and I need additional materials. Please assist.

  35. I am appointed as the Personnel Officer in a public service department, and iam required to provide advice on a performance management model that can be implemented effectively in the public service delivery, and also I am required to provide advice and support on the implementation of performance management policies, systems and practices in the department..,please help me out.

  36. Where i can find the exact theories of employees performance.

  37. hey guys, I found this useful. can anyone just tell me more on Performance Appraisal.

  38. Hi, please send me a free article of social cognitive theory of performance management

  39. hi…can anyone help me
    i have to do a section on different models of performance management for my dissertation….
    can anyone tell me what the main models are

  40. can someone help find a theory about managerial perdormance?

  41. Can someone help on performance management theories

  42. i am appointed as the Personnel Officer in a public service department, and iam required to provide advice on a performance management model that can be implemented effectively in the public service delivery, and also I am required to provide advice and support on the implementation of performance management policies, systems and practices in the department..,please help me out

  43. Dear all
    I am also doing a research on design a model of performance management . I need your help in this area

    • Sudeshna Chakraborty

      Dear Mehr,

      Kindly let us know exactly on which area of research do you need our assistance. Also, you can drop your query at [email protected] in case you require any personal assistance.

  44. I would like to get more information about performance management

    • Sudeshna Chakraborty

      Dear Benjamin,

      Nice to hear from you. We are currently enriching our repository on Performance Management. You can subscribe to our newsletters to obtain updates whenever articles are published.
      Also, you can share your interest area within performance management so that we can assist you or develop articles on the same. 🙂

  45. Greetings. Would you please help me learning regarding employee performance index and indicators.

    Best regards
    Mahbubul Alam

  46. Hi There,

    doing research into PM surrounding purchasing, can anyone please give me relevant literature?

    Huge Thanks!

  47. Hi guys,

    I need your assistance, I am currently working on PM assignment within Catering division.


  48. Afternoon.

    My name is Sophie and i am doing my research study on Aligning employee performance plans and performance to that of the organisation (a Public entity). I got a few ideas on the theories I can use but since the systems theory is outdated as a framework, what else can i use? The objectives of the study is to establish if the plans of the employees are aligned to that of the organisation and if empoyees understand the importance of appraisals

  49. hello guys.
    how do i tackle this question. am doing BA administration.

    Choose one performance management approach of your choice and demonstrate how it can be applied in an SME you are familiar with.

  50. I would like to extend my gratitude for this website, i am learning a lot and grateful for the useful information for my mba thesis… thanks, can you suggest best theoretical framework for performance management… thanks a lot, more power and God Bless…

  51. I am a Human Resources Manager in one of the companies and greatly thankful about this website. I am managing to convert evething i am mastering theoratically into pratice.

  52. I am doing a research on performance measurement framework for fast food industries in developing countries. I need journals related to that study please help. Any suggestion on which i should use

  53. Hi, I am doing a research on teachers perception on the performance management strategies. Please help me out with the literature review

  54. How can I get thevrefferences of theory of performance about addiction in offline mobile gaming


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