Performance Concept

Performance Concept

Sonnentag & Frese (2002:12) point out the Performance is what the organization hires one to do, and do well. Thus, performance is not defines by the action itself but by judgemental and evaluative processes. Moreover, only actions which can be scaled, i.e., measured, are considered to constitute performance, the outcome aspect refers to the consequence or result of the individual’s behavior. The above described behaviors may result in outcomes such as numbers of engines assembled, pupils’ reading profiency, sales figures, or number of successful heart operations.

In many situations, the behavioral and outcome aspects are related empirically, but they do not overlap completely. Outcome aspects of performance depend also on factors other than the individual’s behavior. For example, imagine a teacher who delivers a perfect speaking lesson (behavioral aspect of performance), but one or two of his pupils nevertheless do not improve their speaking skills because of their intellectual deficits (outcome aspect of performance).

In practice, it might be difficult to describe the action aspect of performance without any reference to the outcome aspect. Because not any action but only actions relevant for organizational goals constitute performance, one needs criteria for evaluating the degree to which an individual’s performance meets the organizational goals. It is difficult to imagine how to conceptualize such criteria without simultaneously considering the outcome aspect of performance at the same time. Thus, the emphasis on performance being an action does not really solve all the problems.

Moreover, despite the general agreement that the behavioral and the outcome aspect of performance have to be differentiated, authors do not completely agree about which of these two aspects should be labelled ‘performance’


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