Project Management

Why Corporate Leaders Won't Abolish Performance Reviews

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Executive Summary

Performance reviews, in which bosses look for weaknesses and pretend to speak objectively for the company, while subordinates grin and bear it, misapply the hierarchical structure that is necessary in any organization. They ensure that the relationship is about power and subordination, making candor all but impossible, and defensiveness the behavior of choice for stressed employees. Why do managers accept this ritual? Why do they say they want candor in the workplace, but refuse to change the most obvious impediment to such truth telling? And why do they uncritically accept the notion that there is but one truth - the manager's?

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