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Sensemaking and "Nonsense " in Performance Appraisal Systems


  • Traini Giancarlo


Performance appraisal systems have become usual practice both in private and in the public sector, where they have been made compulsory. Unfortunately, the way such systems are set up and run is very often self-defeating, because on the one hand final users will get messages contrasting with the real reason of creation, and on the other performance appraisal systems tend to favour opportunistic behaviours and, hence, distortions in the reward systems. This paper compares the features of the "sensemaking" process available in literature to the methods through which performance appraisal systems are usually applied; particular emphasis has been given to the analysis of the conditions of effectiveness supporting performance that need constant adaptation to complex environment. This approach is also applied to the analysis of the relation among individual performance appraisal, human resources management, planning and control systems, and their capability of creating or destroying "sense " in organizations.

Suggested Citation

  • Traini Giancarlo, 2007. "Sensemaking and "Nonsense " in Performance Appraisal Systems," Economia dei Servizi, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 437-452.
  • Handle: RePEc:mul:j1t56u:doi:10.2382/24830:y:2007:i:3:p:437-452

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    performance appraisal system; sensemaking;


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