An Evaluation of Performance Appraisals in the U.S. and China and Recommendations for Multinational Businesses

Yi Zhao


Researchshows that performance appraisal (PA) is a review and evaluation of how well anemployee has carried out their responsibilities during their work. The goal isto provide supervisors with the information they need to facilitate theemployees’ career success. The five main purposes in PA evaluation are documentation,development, administrative pay, administrative promotion and subordinateexpression10. These five purposes are differently viewed regardingexpectation and actual practice in the U.S. and China. But previous research ofPA lacks the deep analysis of what led to those differences between the twocountries. This research paper concentrates on the similarities and differencesthat exist in PA between the U.S. and China. More specifically, this researchwill explore the differences, standards, expectations, and measures of PA inthe U.S. and China. A review of PA documents and analysis of the PA process forpublic sector employees in the two countries identifies the differences in PA.Principal agency theory, stewardship theory and cultural dimensions will helpmanagers understand differences in PA between the U.S. and China. There will bean integration of assumptions of the principal and agent relationship regardingpeople’s economic behavior, as well as some items from the Hofstede’s culturaldimensions theory. The research results from the public sector document reviewwill provide suitable suggestions for managers in multinational businesses inthe U.S. and China. Significance of this research is as follows: first, thenumber of multinational businesses is dramatically increasing. Managerialeffectiveness in a global economy requires an understanding of culturaldifferences in human resource practices such as PA. It is necessary to know howhuman resource strategies differ among countries, so that the cultural gap willbe eliminated to best motivate employees and to increase the team cooperationspirit. Second, the PA research results will definitely help employees improveself-cognition and consciousness of the future global harmonious workingenvironment requirements. Recommendations for constructing efficient PAstandards will help the U.S. and China achieve great progress in development ofmultinational business cooperation.


Human Resources, Performance Appraisal, Multinational Business

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