Looks at performance appraisal (PA), which has become an important tool in the overseeing of employees in contemporary society. Notes, however, that little work, has focused on its mediation or actual practice, beyond simple descriptions informing its implementation. First examines the changing nature of employee management under PA, before investigating the contemporary usage of PA regarding its emphasis on the issue of managing and controlling the “images” of performance. Illustrates this with research, gathered from a case study in the Midlands. More specifically, focuses on the requirement on individuals to present the right image/self‐presentation as a means of subordination. Highlights, with the use of a hospital case study, some of these issues in relation to the changes taking place in the public service sector, which faces fundamental transformations to its concept of service. Concludes that, whatever the original intentions of PA were, they have seriously failed, and are superseded by the management of the subjectification of performance.
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