A Sociohistorical Perspective on Performance Assessment
This chapter discusses the Marxist analysis of work organizations as it has been elaborated by a new generation of industrial sociologists. It argues that situations of workers differ so fundamentally from those of managers that entirely different analytic approaches are required and reviews the Marxist literature on organizations. The chapter describes the authors own research as a way of illustrating the Marxist approach. It concludes with some speculations about the relationship between managerial ideology and performance assessment. Employee evaluation and performance appraisal are crucial, if elusive, aspects of all organizational practice. The significance of performance evaluation is that it ties together many of the key concepts of organizational psychology, including productivity, motivation, evaluation, feedback, the work ethic, and distributive justice. Students of performance assessment often ignore important questions involving the appropriate unit of analysis.