Performance appraisal and culture: Practice and attitudes in Hong Kong and Great Britain

Ed SNAPE, David Thompson, Fanny Ka Ching Yan, Tom Redman

    Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

    68 Citations (Scopus)


    This article compares the practice of and attitudes towards performance appraisal for managerial and professional staff in Hong Kong and Britain, and considers the extent to which actual practice and employee preferences are in alignment. Findings suggest that appraisal may be more widespread in Hong Kong than in Britain. However, British appraisal tends to be more participative and to place greater emphasis on discussing objectives, development and career plans. Hong Kong appraisals appear to be more directive and Hong Kong respondents perceive a higher level of negative appraiser behaviour. In spite of this, Hong Kong respondents show if anything slightly more confidence in the utility of appraisal than do British respondents. They show stronger support for appraisals use for reward and punishment and less support for the objectives-setting and training and development uses than do the British sample. Hong Kong respondents are more likely than their British counterparts to favour involving a more senior manager in appraisal, and they are less likely to prefer more frequent appraisals. There was little evidence that Hong Kong respondents had a stronger preference for group-based appraisal criteria, although they did show more support than the British sample for the use of personality as a basis for appraisal. Overall, the suggestion is that appraisal has been adopted in Hong Kong organizations but that the practice of appraisal has been adapted to suit the cultural characteristics of the society.

    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)841-861
    Number of pages21
    JournalInternational Journal of Human Resource Management
    Issue number5
    Publication statusPublished - 1998

    Scopus Subject Areas

    • Strategy and Management
    • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management
    • Management of Technology and Innovation

    User-Defined Keywords

    • Comparative management
    • Culture
    • Great Britain
    • Hong Kong
    • Managers and professionals
    • Performance appraisal


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