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11 F: The trait approach emphasizes the use of tools to measure stable traits such as personality and cognitive abilities.

11 F: The trait approach emphasizes the use of tools to measure stable traits such as personality and cognitive abilities.

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Part II: System Implementation_____________________________________________________________



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2. As you are performing, focus on what is happening and why you are doing

things the way you do them.

3. Once your task is finished, seek feedback on your performance from

expert sources, and the more the sources, the better.

4. Build mental models of your job, your situation, and your organization.

5. Repeat steps 1 through 4 continually.

Task performance is defined as activities that transform raw materials into the

goods and services that are produced by the organization and activities that help

with the transformation process by replenishing the supply of raw materials,

distributing its finished products, or providing important planning, coordination,

supervising, or staff functions that enable the organization to function effectively

and efficiently. Contextual performance is defined as those behaviors that

contribute to the organization’s effectiveness by providing a good environment in

which task performance can occur.

Both task and contextual performance are important dimensions to take

into account in performance management systems. First, global competition is

raising the effort levels required of employees. Second, many organizations are

organizing based on teams. Although some teams may not be permanent and are

formed to complete specific tasks only, the reality of today’s world of work is that

teams are here to stay. Third, contextual performance behaviors can make a

profound impact on customer satisfaction. Finally, when supervisors evaluate

performance, it is difficult for them to ignore the contextual performance

dimension, although it may not be part of the formal evaluation process. In short,

performance includes both a task and a contextual dimension.

(Answers will vary but should be aligned with the definitions of each type of

performance measure.)

The trait approach emphasizes the individual performer and ignores the

specific situation, behaviors, and results. It is best used when the organization is

undergoing a drastic restructuring, so that the organization can best allocate its

human resources across the new organizational units.

The behavior approach emphasizes what employees do on the job and

does not consider employees’ traits or the outcomes resulting from their

behaviors. This is basically a process-oriented approach that emphasizes how an

employee does the job.

The results approach emphasizes the outcomes and results produced by the

employees. It does not consider the traits that employees may possess or how

employees do the job and focuses on what is produced (e.g., sales, number of

accounts acquired, time spent with clients on the telephone, number of errors,

etc.). A results approach to measuring performance usually takes less time

because defining and measuring results usually takes less time than defining and

measuring behaviors needed to achieve these results. In fact, measuring both

behavior and results is the approach adopted by many organizations.

For example, assume an organization measures performance using results

through the management by objectives methodology. This would be appropriate if

the organization employs a highly skilled workforce, and there are several



Copyright © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall



Chapter 4



different ways to do a job successfully. Usually, the better you do your particular

job, the better your results will be. This organization may be a metric-oriented

organization, so results are seen immediately. However, there are some elements

of performance such as a supervisor’s ability to manage that would be better

measured through the behavior method. Using behaviors would draw attention to

managers’ behaviors and put more focus on walking the talk, rather than just

fulfilling the relevant metrics.

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The three determinants of performance that allow some people to perform at

higher levels than others are:

A. Declarative knowledge

B. Procedural knowledge

C. Motivation



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Motivation involves the following types of choice behaviors:

A. Choice to expend effort

B. Choice of level of effort

C. Choice to persist in the expenditure of that level of effort



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If any of the determinants of performance are lacking, overall performance will be

lacking.



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Three factors that influence determinants of performance are:

A. Individual employee characteristics

B. HR practices

C. Work environment



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Task performance includes activities that transform raw materials into

goods and services that are produced by an organization.



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Task performance includes activities that help with the transformation

process by replenishing the supply of raw materials, distributing finished

products, or providing important planning, coordination, or supervision.



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Contextual performance is defined as behaviors that contribute to the

organization’s effectiveness by providing a good working environment.



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Task performance and contextual performance differ in the following ways:

A. Task performance varies across jobs, whereas contextual performance is

similar across jobs.

B. Task performance is likely to be role prescribed, whereas contextual

performance is not.

C. Task performance requires skills and abilities; contextual performance

requires personality.



Copyright © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall



Part II: System Implementation_____________________________________________________________



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Contextual performance should be carefully defined because it is often more

subjective and subject to bias compared to measuring task performance.



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A system that emphasizes only the measurement of traits will face the following

challenges:

A. Traits are not under the control of individuals, and even if they try, they may

not be able to change them.

B. Employees may see the system as unfair (because of the above statement).

C. The fact that an employee possesses a certain trait does not mean that the trait

will translate into the desired behaviors and results.



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Voice behavior emphasizes:

A. Raising constructive challenges with the goal to improve rather than merely

criticize.

B. Challenging the status quo in a positive way.

C. Making innovative suggestions for change when others, including an

employee’s supervisor, disagree



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It is important to consider cultural differences when defining and measuring

performance because they are contextual factors that will affect how

organizational members’ added value is measured and perceived. For example,

organizations in the United States tend to value behaviors that are individualistic

in nature and that demonstrate individual achievement, self-reliance, competition,

and disengaged emotional styles. In such organizations, individuals from groups

that align themselves with collectivistic values may view these behaviors as

negative, and their behaviors may be perceived as dependent, lacking sufficient

commitment, and weak in initiative.



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The behavior approach is most appropriate under the following conditions:

A. The link between behaviors and results is not obvious.

B. Outcomes occur in the distant future.

C. Poor results are due to causes beyond the performer’s control.



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Adopting a results approach to measuring performance is most appropriate in the

following three job examples:

A. Professional basketball players’ offensive performance is well measured by

their free throw shooting percentage.

B. The performance of a postal delivery worker can be measured using the

results approach: whether the mail is delivered to every customer within a

particular time frame.

C. The results approach is appropriate for measuring an artist’s performance such

as by the public response to their exhibit and profits made from pieces sold.

Answers will vary, but they should encompass three or all of the following

circumstances.

A. Workers are skilled in the needed behaviors.



Copyright © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall



Chapter 4



B. Behaviors and results are obviously related.

C. Results show consistent improvement over time.

D. There are many ways to do the job right.



Copyright © 2013 Pearson Education, Inc. publishing as Prentice Hall



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