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DEFICIENCIES AND THE PERPETUATION OF POWER: LATENT FUNCTIONS IN MANAGEMENT APPRAISAL

Graham Barlow

Journal of Management Studies, 1989, vol. 26, issue 5, 499-517

Abstract: Institutionalized procedures for management appraisal are considered to be necessary and appropriate devices which contribute to and are supported by rational‐legal ideologies of organization. The operation of such appraisal systems, however, is frequently regarded as deficient. This article discusses three inter‐related propositions. They are that: 1. the rational‐legal procedures of appraisal systems contradict the social processes by means of which dominant organizational power groups emerge, cohere and are perpetuated; 2. management appraisal systems consequently come to operate in ways which manifestly are consistent with a rational‐legal ideology, but which do not constrain the prerogatives of members of dominant power groups to define reality and manage affairs in their own interests; and that 3. this inconsistency fulfils a latent function of perpetuating deficiency in the operation of management appraisal systems.

Date: 1989
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