Situation: Performance appraisal is always a challenge for managers, because there are different ways in which we can evaluate performance. Additionally, most managers dislike giving constructive feedback that may be taken negatively by employees; however, appraisal is important to increasing productivity and creating high-performance work teams. With this in mind, there are ethical considerations in the development of performance appraisal systems. Gilbert (2016) addresses the challenges associated with lying and truth-telling in performance appraisal. Consider the following situation: Suppose that the employee being evaluated is a sixty-four-year-old woman who has announced her intention to retire next year. You have been her supervisor for one year, and you judge that her performance is below standard, but not bad enough at present to require termination. When you review her personnel file, you find that her previous supervisor rated her as satisfactory for each of the last three years. People who have been in the unit for a long time assure you that her performance has not changed this year. One final item of relevance is that she does not take criticism well. In fact, she tends to respond to criticism with tears and hostility. Should you rate her as satisfactory, as your predecessor did for the last three years, or should you rate her as below standard and endure the difficult interview that is sure to follow, with very little hope that her performance will improve before she retires? (p.134). Guidance: Identify and evaluate the ethical components of this situation. Approach the situation using an ethical theory as a foundation for your views. The question about the impact of cultural context becomes something that you should consider. Respond to the following dilemma: Consider the impact of truth-telling and lying and your responsibility to your employees and the organization as a manager in this situation.
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