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Leveraging Information Technology for Effective Performance Appraisal in the Nigerian Public Service
The paper explores the utility of information technology in facilitating effective performance appraisal in the public service sector of Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy and most populous nation. Save for recent developments such as TSA (Treasury Single Account), IPPIS (Integrated Personnel and Payroll Information System), and GIFMIS (Government Integrated Financial Management Information System), the Nigerian Public Service remains largely manual in its operations. Poor service delivery in performance appraisal - evaluating employees and checking what they have done, or not done, what they have done poorly or well, and where improvement is needed – is sometimes associated with job dissatisfaction and under-performance. As a possible solution, the paper proposes information technology-based performance appraisal approach within an integrated Systems-Goal-Setting theoretical framework. The study was based on published materials and focal group discussions with selected stakeholders from across the country. It is explained how a robust performance appraisal is a priceless tool for strategy execution and leadership effectiveness. A technology-based employee appraisal model is illustrated in simple cases using a spreadsheet package on a 5-level rating scale. The feasibility and relative simplicity of IT-based performance appraisal approach is elucidated. Some major challenges including phobia for the numeric and general reluctance to embrace technology-change in performance appraisal practice are highlighted. The implications for staff training and development and scope for future research are covered.
Performance Appraisal Information System (PAIS), Performance Contract, Results-Based Management (RBM), Office Productivity Computing, Strategic Performance Management System (SPMS).
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