Performance Management and the COVID-19 Pandemic: Framework for an Agile Performance Management System for the South African Higher Education Institution
Keywords:Coronavirus pandemic; university; innovative performance management system; pitfalls of performance management
The main objective of this article is to shed some light on one of the burning questions in the South African university on how to manage people's performance in disruptive times. There is a shortage of scholarly work exploring PM during the COVID-19 in the university. Most of the extant studies examined PM before universities were forced to use Remote Emergency Teaching and Learning (RETL), the remote and hybrid work model. This article attempts to achieve its main objective by first re-examining the weaknesses of the traditional PM systems during disruptive times and developing an innovative performance management system to bridge the gap. An Agile performance management system framework for South African Higher Education Institution (HEI) was developed in light of the pitfalls of the PM systems and other relevant literature. The proposed Agile, Continuous Performance Management framework calls for an agile mind-set and the development of new competencies, which include manager-as-coach and compassionate leadership. This article is valuable as it does not only fill this gap by bringing together the pitfalls of PM during the COVID-19 in a South African HEI. It also calls for strategic change and reconceptualisation of PM to provide a strategic way forward.
Aguinis, H. (2019). Performance management for dummies. Upper Saddle River, NJ: John Wiley and Sons.
Aguinis, H., & Burgi-Tian, J. (2021). Talent management challenges during COVID-19 and beyond: Performance management to the rescue, Business Research Quarterly, 24(3) 233–240
Aguinis, H., & Burgi-Tian, J. (2021b). Measuring performance during crises and beyond: The Performance Promoter Score. Business Horizons, 64(1), 149–160.
Aguinis, H., Joo, H., & Gottfredson, R. K. (2011). Why we hate performance management and why we should love it. Business Horizons, 54(6), 503–507.
Armstrong, P and Owen, C (2020) Performance Management during the COVID-19 Crisis: An Opportunity for Transformation, HR Tech247 https://hrtech247.com/performance-management-during-the-covid-19-crisis-an-opportunity-for-transformation/
Brown, T.C., O'Kane, P., Mazumdar, B and McCracken, M(2019). Performance Management: A Scoping Review of the Literature and an Agenda for Future Research, Human Resource Development Review, 18(1) 47–82.
Chandel, M.N(2016).Performance Management - Brief History and Development, https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/performance-management-brief-history-development-chandel
Chowdhury, S and Williams, O. (2020) Individual performance management in the COVID-19 world, McKinsey Organization Blog
Du Plessis M, Jansen van Vuuren CD, Simons A, Frantz J, Roman N and Andipatin M (2022) South African Higher Education Institutions at the Beginning of the Covid-19 Pandemic: Sense-Making and Lessons Learnt. Frontiers in education, 6:1-17
Gallo, A (2021). Managers, Compassion and Accountability Aren't Mutually Exclusive, Harvard Business Review. https://businessmirror.com.ph/2021/08/30/managers-compassion-and-accountability-arent-mutually-exclusive/
Kakkar, S., Dash, S., Vohra, N., and Saha, S. (2020). Engaging employees through effective performance management: An empirical examination. Benchmarking: An International Journal, 27(5), 1843–1860. DOI:10.1108/bij-10-2019-0440
Kanyangale, M and Zvarevashe, M. (2013). From the Lens of an Appraisee Manager: Influence of Performance Metrics on Management level Employees in a Professional Services Firm in South Africa. African Journal of Business Management, Vol.7 (31):3052-3062. ISSN 1993-8233
Kele, K. and Mzileni, P., 2021, ‘Higher education leadership responses applied in two South African comprehensive universities during the COVID-19 pandemic: A critical discourse analysis’, Transformation in Higher Education 6(0), a114.
Korn Ferry, 2021). Performance Management A bold new perspective on how individuals, teams and organisations excel, file:///C:/Users/User/Desktop/Performance_Management_Executive_Summary%20Korn%20Ferry%202021.pdf
Lawack, V (2020). UWC has resilience by the bucketful, Mail&Guardian, 7 May
Lawton-Misra and Pretorius, T(2021). Leading with heart: academic leadership during the COVID-19 crisis, South African Journal of Psychology, 51(2):205–2014.
Ledford, E.G & Schneider,B(2018).Performance Feedback Culture Drives Business Impact, Institute for Corporate Productivity (i4cp) and the Center for Effective Organizations (CEO). file:///C:/Users/User/Desktop/University%20of%20Minnesta%20Short%20courses/Performance-Feedback-Culture-Drives-Business-Performance-i4cp-CEO-002-1.pdf
Lues, R ., Padayachee, A and Jager,H (2020).Universities of technology in the post-COVID-19 landscape, https://www.universityworldnews.com/post.php?story=20200713153430109
Masitera, E., 2020, ‘Towards a humane community: The search for disability justice in higher education through African moral thinking’, Transformation in Higher Education 5(0), a85. https://doi.org/10.4102/the.v5i0.85
Menon, K and Motala, S(2021). Pandemic Leadership in Higher Education: New Horizons, Risks and Complexities, Education as Change, 25:1-19.
Mortensen, M and Gardner, H.K(2022) Leaders Don’t Have to Choose Between Compassion and Performance, Harvard Business Review, https://hbr.org/2022/02/leaders-dont-have-to-choose-between-compassion-and-performance.
Mruthyanjaya, R.M, Prasad, KDV., Vaidya,R.W and Muralidhar,B(2020). Evolution of Performance Management Systems and the Impact on Organization's Approach: A Statistical Perspective. International Journal of Management, 11 (5), 2020, 935-947.
Murphy, K. R. (2020). Performance evaluation will not die, but it should. Human Resource Management Journal, 30(1), 13–31
Musakuro R (2022). Talent management practices in a selected South African higher education institution. Problems and Perspectives in Management, 20(1), 532-542. doi:10.21511/ppm.20(1).2022.42
Ngcamu, B.S., (2021). Change Management Strategies as the Nexus of Performance Improvement in African Universities Post-COVID-19 Pandemic. Global Perspectives on Change Management and Leadership in the Post-COVID-19 Era, pp.90-105.
O’Connell, B. (2020). Performance Management Evolves, SHRM
Rath, A (2018).Evolution of Performance Management System: A Review of Literature, International Journal of Creative Research Thoughts (IJCRT) 6(2):874-884
Sigahi, T. F. A. C., Kawasaki, B. C., Bolis, I., & Morioka, S. N. (2021). A systematic review on the impacts of Covid‐19 on work: Contributions and a path forward from the perspectives of ergonomics and psychodynamics of work. Human Factors and Ergonomics in Manufacturing & Service Industries, 1–14
Wigert,B and Barrett, H (2020). Performance Management Must Evolve to survive COVID-19, Gallop workplace,
Zenger, J (2017).The 6 Vital Elements Of Effective Performance Management Systems, Forbes,
Copyright (c) 2022 MacDonald Isaac Kanyangale, Christopher Tarisayi Chikandiwa
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.
The author fully assumes the content originality and the holograph signature makes him responsible in case of trial.