Exploring the Effectiveness of the Performance Management System in an Irish Government Department

Flanagan, Adam (2018) Exploring the Effectiveness of the Performance Management System in an Irish Government Department. Masters thesis, Dublin, National College of Ireland.

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This study seeks to explore the effectiveness of the performance management system currently used throughout the Irish Civil Service, the PMDS. The research will be conducted through a study of the PMDS in one Government Department. Due to the sensitivities around the topic of PMDS and the potential for individuals to be identified the researcher made the decision to keep the name of the organisation in question anonymous. For the purposes of this research the organisation in question will be referred to as Department X.

The overall aim of the research is to discover if the PMDS is an effective tool for increasing organisational and individual performance. The literature on performance management would suggest that when implemented correctly, performance management has the potential to increase organisational performance and drive employee engagement. However, for many years performance management has been the Achilles heel of the Civil Service. A publicised deep routed inability to address underperformance and the public perception of the “job for life “often portrayed the Civil Service in a negative light.

In order to realise the three objectives associated with the research, a mixed methodological approach was employed. The quantitative aspect, the online survey, was associated with the realisation of objectives 1 and 2. As part of the qualitative approach, the researcher utilised face to face interviews and these were concerned with objective 3.

The findings of the study revealed a number of serious issues with the PMDS, including a lack of support from management, an unwillingness for staff to take the process seriously, and a disconnect between the local training & development unit and staff in the Department. It is clear that the new rating scale negotiated between DPER and the Civil Service Unions is tremendously unpopular amongst the majority of those who participated in the research, with many voicing concerns that the new scale could demotivate employees. From a learning and development perspective the picture was a similarly bleak one. It was clear from the responses that not enough emphasis was being placed on learning and development aspect of the PMDS process. There appeared to be a lack of commitment from line managers and from HR to assist employees with realise their learning needs and this was demotivating staff. The role of management comes under intense scrutiny throughout the study and it is clear that there has been a lack of training and support provided to those tasked with facilitating the PMDS process. Although there have been some positive revelations during this study, the findings of the research highlight significant issues with the PMDS and it is clear that it is not an effective tool for increasing individual and organisational performance in its current form.

Item Type: Thesis (Masters)
Subjects: H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management
H Social Sciences > HD Industries. Land use. Labor > HD28 Management. Industrial Management > Human Resource Management > Performance Management
J Political Science > JS Local government Municipal government > Public Sector
Divisions: School of Business > Master of Arts in Human Resource Management
Date Deposited: 24 Oct 2018 14:20
Last Modified: 24 Oct 2018 14:20

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