University Staff Performance Evaluation Systems, Organizational Learning, and Organizational Identification in Taiwan

Article excerpt

Through accelerating and widespread worldwide web networks and rapidly developing computer technology, learning is no longer constrained within a certain timeframe and space. As part of this trend, higher education institutions are now deemed to be organizations providing services to global economic markets (Deem, 2001). In the era of the knowledge economy, the management of universities is focused more on administrative productivity, including efficiency and effectiveness. As well as paying attention to the changes in the external environment, staff at universities need to scrutinize the professional capabilities within their organizations. In addition to strengthening necessary innovation and learning, emphasizing the core value and distinctive style of an institution and leveraging the quality of human resources would eventually guarantee gain to the university in terms of needed human capital.

The employees within universities are "knowledge workers" who possess a high level of professional knowledge. Thus, knowledge workers are normally very independent and autonomous. To encourage their willingness to contribute to organizations, the underlying organizational identification needs to be built on so that added value can be created (Albert, Ashforth, & Dutton, 2000). In recent years, many researchers have considered organizational identification to be a concept reflecting environmental changes and explaining working motivation and the differences in performance among various levels (Ellemers, Gilder, & Haslam, 2004; Golden-Biddle, & Rao, 1997; Young, 2001).

Other researchers (Barney & Wright, 1998; Colbert, 2004; Ulrich, 1997; Wright & Snell, 1998) have also suggested human resources are core fundamental resources which highlight an organization's competitive advantages. Regardless of whether they are public or private sector organizations, each should give the same amount of emphasis to planning and managing of human resources in order to increase competitiveness, and to develop the potential competency, of the entity. Nevertheless, productivity still might decrease for various reasons. Therefore, organizations need to provide continuous learning to ensure necessary competency is maintained at a certain level of quality. In sum, organizational learning has become a vital factor in organizational and employee survival. Therefore, knowledge workers tend to be concerned about whether or not organizations provide them with suitable learning opportunities.

The main purpose and mission for strategic human resource management is to build performance-orientated systems to cultivate and retain capable employees. In Taiwan, in national compared with privately owned organizations, there are fewer effective performance evaluation systems to keep excellent employees. Organizations need to build up strong commitment and loyalty among employees in order to cultivate and retain these employees. Performance appraisal is associated with workers having shorter expected tenure and greater influence over productivity (Brown & Heywood, 2005). Numerous researchers have concluded that performance evaluation systems positively promote organizational effectiveness (Pettijohn, Parker, Pettijohn, & Kent, 2001). Performance evaluation systems also increase opportunities for learning and growth, and thus cultivate and retain excellent human resources.

PERFORMANCE EVALUATION SYSTEMS

Performance evaluation is defined as "the degree to measure what employees' working behaviors are and how they achieve organizations' goals" (Cascio, 2002, p. 90). Jackson and Schuler (2003) regarded performance evaluation systems as the means to develop employees' skills or to format certain managerial decisions, thereby conducting a process to evaluate employees' behaviors at work. To carry out performance evaluation it is necessary to learn about employees' productivity and the process of monitoring and evaluation frequently varies as a result of observable or nonobservable behaviors related to employees' output (Brown & Heywood, 2005). …