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Lessons learned from performance management systems implementations

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Title:Lessons learned from performance management systems implementations
Author(s):André A. de Waal (Maastricht School of Management, Maastricht, The Netherlands), Harold Counet (Maastricht School of Management, Maastricht, The Netherlands)
Citation:André A. de Waal, Harold Counet, "Lessons learned from performance management systems implementations", Emerald 58, (2009)
Keywords:Performance management, Performance management systems
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/17410400910951026 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Acknowledgements:The authors gratefully acknowledge the help of Dr Vincent Feltkamp in constructing Table III.

Purpose – The purpose of this paper is to identify the main problems that can be encountered during the implementation and use of a performance management system (PMS).

Design/methodology/approach – Problems encountered during the implementation and use of a PMS were collected from the literature and put into a survey which was sent to 31 experts in performance management (PM). These experts gave their opinion on the frequency, impact and solvability of the listed problems as they encountered these in practice.

Findings – The study shows that the failure rate of PM implementations has decreased in the past decade from 70 to 56 percent, and that the most severe problems organizations encounter are: lack of top management commitment; not having a PM culture; PM getting a low priority or its use being abandoned after a change of management; management putting low priority on the implementation; and people not seeing (enough) benefit from PM.

Research limitations/implications – The main limitation is that the number of experts could be higher in order to get an even broader view on the main problems.

Practical implications – The practical implication of the study is that management can now better prepare itself for the issues to be expected while introducing PMSs in the organization.

Originality/value – The need for an efficient and effective PMSs has increased over the last decade and the successful implementation and use of these systems has become of paramount importance to organizations. Unfortunately, until now only scattered information was available in the literature about the problems that can be expected during the implementation and use processes. Even the failure rate, which is often mentioned in the literature has never been substantiated. This paper gives, for the first time, a systematic overview of the main problems to be expected, and a more accurate failure rate of PMSs.

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