Psychology and Policing

By Neil Brewer; Carlene Wilson | Go to book overview
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11 Performance Appraisal

Jeffrey S. Kane

University of North Carolina at Greensboro

H. John Bernardin

Florida Atlantic University

Michael Wiatrowski

Florida Atlantic University

Performance appraisal is regarded as one of the most troubling areas of law enforcement human resource management ( Allen & Mayfield, 1983; Landy & Farr, 1973). Although the vast majority of police organizations use formal systems of appraisal, the majority of those involved in this activity express considerable dissatisfaction with it. This includes not only the people who conduct appraisals, but the people who are evaluated and the administrators of the programs as well. Appraisal systems are rarely able to deliver all of their intended benefits to police organizations. Surveys have revealed widespread dissatisfaction in relatively large agencies, which presumably have the resources to acquire the best appraisal technology available ( Huber, 1983; Landy & Farr, 1973; Walsh, 1986).

Police organizations are constantly searching for better ways to appraise performance (e.g., Allen & Mayfield, 1989; Gianakis, 1992; Whisenand & Rush, 1988). Although we were able to locate a large number of articles published in police journals on the general topic of appraisal, the state of this research lags far behind the state of research and practical recommendations that is available in the general literature on appraisal.

The overall objective of this chapter is to provide recommendations for improving the effectiveness of police performance appraisals. These recommendations include methods for enhancing the development, implementation, and evaluation of police appraisal systems. The basis of most of our recommendations is the vast literature on performance appraisal in general rather than that which has


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Psychology and Policing


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