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Employee performance appraisal system development in the National Library and Archives of Iran (NLAI): soft operational research approach

Babak Zendehdel Nobari (Planning and Development Department, National Library and Archives of Iran, Tehran, Iran)
Aryan Gholipour (Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran)
Elham Ebrahimi (Institute for Humanities and Cultural Studies, Tehran, Iran)
Ali Shoja (Faculty of Management, University of Tehran, Tehran, Iran)

Performance Measurement and Metrics

ISSN: 1467-8047

Article publication date: 15 June 2021

Issue publication date: 16 August 2021

622

Abstract

Purpose

The performance evaluation process is a key step in any management system and constitutes the basis for continuous improvement. Resistance to change is considered as a critical factor in any change management project; so, development of employee performance appraisal systems like all of the change management projects has always faced many challenges. This study seeks to illustrate the two-year experience (2018–2020) and lessons learned by developing an employee performance appraisal system in the National Library and Archives of Iran (NLAI) as a cultural public sector organization.

Design/methodology/approach

This study was carried out by using soft operational research (OR) approaches, using a novel combination of two methods, soft system methodology (SSM) and importance performance analysis (IPA). For this purpose, at the beginning, with the help of the SSM approach, the challenges of implementation was identified, then, using the opinions and experiences of the system's stakeholders, improvement actions were defined and prioritized using the IPA method.

Findings

The research findings showed that “coaching development,” “optimizing the forced distribution rating system (FDRS)” and “customizing the system” are the most important improvement actions.

Originality/value

The research has bridged the gap between research and practice in the field of employee performance appraisal system in national libraries.

Keywords

Acknowledgements

The authors would like to thank the honorable Director General of the National Library and Archives of Iran (NLAI), “Ashraf Boroujerdi” and Deputy Director, “Mozaffar Pasdar Shirazi” for their continued support in implementing the performance appraisal system. The authors also thank the NLAI’s Planning and Development Department staff for their efforts in implementing the project, and finally, the comments of all NLAI’s managers and experts who helped improve the performance appraisal system should be appreciated.

Citation

Zendehdel Nobari, B., Gholipour, A., Ebrahimi, E. and Shoja, A. (2021), "Employee performance appraisal system development in the National Library and Archives of Iran (NLAI): soft operational research approach", Performance Measurement and Metrics, Vol. 22 No. 2, pp. 117-136. https://doi.org/10.1108/PMM-09-2020-0050

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2021, Emerald Publishing Limited

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