Much research has been directed towards women in management over the past 20 years. Results show that, despite progress being made towards gender equality as to career opportunities, there are still real differences between the sexes in career development and entry to top management levels. Contemporary thinking (Evetts, 1993) suggests that gender‐related research should focus on the development of women’s career prospects in terms of promotion once organizational or professional entry has been established. In line with this, the study reported in this paper (n = 846) was designed to examine and evaluate the potential and actual gender differences in the perception of appraisal systems and career development. Using a closed questionnaire measuring relevant demographic variables and ensuring control of others (educational background, salary, age, tenure, gender, hierarchy level) a number of motivational and attitudinal variables (needs for achievement, control, organizational, job and career satisfaction, organizational commitment) were identified as being relevant to self, peer and manager appraisal processes. Results suggested that gender differences in the reported evaluation of such systems may be detected. Gender variances were found in the cognitive bases of employee work‐oriented attitudes and these were reflected through measures of perceptions of the utility and relevance of formal organizational appraisal systems. Overall, the results indicated that females and males use different information bases when evaluating performance appraisal systems.
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