New Member from Hong Kong

Robert Wright (
Fri, 15 Aug 1997 18:14:50 +0800

Dear PCP Group Members,

Just a note to say that I have signed up to learn more about PCP and R.G.T.

My Background:
My name is Robert Wright.
I am currently pursuing my Doctoral dissertation with the School of
Business, The University of Hong Kong. I am just completing my 2nd year in
the programe and anticipate that the "fun" is just begining!!!! :-))

I am an Australian (Burmese born) with about 12 years of international human
resources managment experience. Most of this experience has been in the Asia
Pacific Region with my base being in Hong Kong for the past 7 years. I use
to work for Cathay Pacific Airways Limited, responsible for the company's
Performance Management System world-wide covering in excess of 15,000 staff.
My life long ambition to pursue a doctorate came 2 years ago. And here I am!
Life has a funny way of saying things... :-)

My research interest is currently investigating Employee Performance
Appraisal SYSTEM effectiveness / ineffectiveness using Kelly's (1955 / 1991)
Repertory Grid Technique.

Since being introduced to PCP, I have been overwhelmed (in a positive way)
with the rigour,objectivity and systematic nature of this great methodology.
In my readings of the uses and abuses of the Rep.Grid, I have not come
across any research in the area of evaluating a "system of something". And
so, in my current Ph.D., I am using Kelly's R.G.T. to evaluate the
effectiveness employee appraisal systems.

My Repertory Grid Question:
Presently, after one pilot test after another (3 in total), I still haven't
been able to "WORD MY ELEMENTS" in such a way so that they appear to be
comparing APPLES WITH APPLES; rather they apear to be apples with organes -
as they presently are.

For example, in evaluating the effectiveness of an appraisal system
(performance management system), the main elements within my domain would be:
E1: Performance Appraisal (PA) training
E2: PA annual interview
E3: PA communication (including notes and guidelines, brochures)
E4: PA progress reveiws (done informally throughout the year)
E5: PA standards & critieria used to appraise performance
E6: Link to recognition of good performance
E7: Self-appraisal
E8: PA form design
E9: PA objective / work goal setting

(these 9 elements fundamentally represent the typical employee performance
appraisal system)

But my concern is, during my Pilot test Repertory Grid Interviews, the
respondents had great difficulty in comparing say E2, E5 & E8 (E2=PA annual
interview; E5=stds & criteria; E8=PA form).

Onc interviewee objected with great frustration, stating that I was forcing
him to compare between a piece of paper with what I actually do in the

The more I thought about this, the more I realised that my elements may not
be apples and apples!

I feel confident that the 9 elements do make up the framework - or the four
corners - of an appraisaly system. And to appropriately evaluate the
effectiveness of any appraisal system, I needed to include these elements.
But I can see what some of the respondents are saying. IT IS DIFFICULT TO

So my QUESTION IS: Then how can I evaluate a "system" of performance
(remember that Kelly emphasised that elements must be either ALL people, or
ALL events, or ALL situations, or ALL objects ...
I suspect that my problem is with the "wording of my elements".

Can any one provide me with some insights into what I am doing wrong or not
doing right?

Many thanks for taking the time to read about my concern.
Sincerely yours,
Hong Kong

Citicorp Doctoral Program
The School of Business
The University of Hong Kong
Pokfulam Road, Hong kong

Fax (852) 2858-5614
Tel.: (852) 2859-1020 Dept. Secretary
Pager #: 790-3-9958 (to be used only when in Hong Kong)