In of the twentieth century (Rasch, 2004). In

           In today’s competitive businessworld, it is implicit that organisations can only compete with their rivals byinnovation. Organisations can only innovate by managing their human resourceswell. Employees’ performance need to be evaluated for management to beinformed.

Managingemployee performance is a critical focus of human resource activity in anyinstitution. It is generally a norm that performance should be recognised as away of encouragement to the employees to continuously perform better thanexpected. Performance appraisal is considered as a key component in the successof organisations for most of the twentieth century (Rasch, 2004).Inorder to achieve this, management must put in place valid and accurate systemsor mechanisms such as performance appraisal processes to rate performance ofemployees. Employee performance needs to be appraised so that management willbe informed about their employees.

Unfortunately, the number of organisationusing an effective performance appraisal policy is limited (Yalcin, 2002).          Performance appraisal is a key inhuman resource management function which is viewed as a subset of performancemanagement. Rao (2005) explains that performance appraisal is a method ofevaluating the behaviour of employees in the work place; this normally includesboth the quantitative and qualitative aspects of job performance.

It helps toidentify and overcome the problems faced by the employees in their work (Mackeyand Johnson, 2000).             Despite the importanceof performance appraisal, it is however the most difficult and most distastefulhuman resource management task for line managers to perform. Performance appraisal (PA) has been and still is the mostproblematic human resource area and the most avoided or detested human resourcearea for line managers and human resource departments alike (Dessler, 2011).Nurse (2005); states that performance appraisal have the equal probability ofhaving a bad influence on the organisation as well as on employee performance.

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According to Mackey and Johnson (2000),where the performance appraisal improves the work performance and employeesatisfaction, it can also demotivate employees and leaves a bad impression onthe good employees. Most of the employees do not approve of continuousperformance appraisal and also consider it as a burdensome activity (Anderson,2002).          Performance Appraisal process andemployee performance issues have been studied across the globe in both publicand private sector. A lot of organisations in Ghana including the CocoaMarketing Company (Ghana) Limited, have set up performance appraisal systemsover the years to implement proficiency and improvement in jobperformance.            Cocoa Marketing Company Ghana Limitedhas experienced a swift surge in its workforce. From the point of view of anexternal observer; one can hastily infer that such a large workforce requireseffective monitoring to ascertain individual performance.

With the focus ofmost businesses driving towards customer satisfaction, performance appraisalhas become an essential portion of business stability and its significance inthe control of business and effective decision making cannot be exaggerated.Most Organisations place high importance on employee performance because it ismostly employees that have direct contact with the business processes at bothoperational and managerial levels. Grigoroudis and Siskos (2002) states that,uninterrupted enhancement and client orientation is being adopted by mostcompanies as a means of augmenting excellent customer satisfaction.

 Company profile         The Ghana Cocoa Marketing Company was established in the year 1961 as amain subsidiary of the parent company, Ghana Cocoa Board.  The company is the world’s biggest andlargest seller and exporter of premium cocoa beans from its origin. Ghana CocoaMarketing Company (CMC) through its local and international affiliations andnetworks maintain good control over both the domestic supply chain and theinternational buying market. The company’s main functions include, amongothers: the promotion, sale and delivery of Ghana’s Cocoa to both local cocoaprocessors and the international traders and processors. They also support andfinance Ghana’s cocoa sector by facilitating the annual syndicated loanarrangements from lending international banks.

           The Company is committed to innovation inits business processes and collaborates effectively with stakeholders to meetthe social, economic and environmental challenges of today’s businessenvironment. Cocoa Marketing Company (Ghana) maintains a superior qualityspecification of its products thus requires specific technical skills of itsstaff in order to keep them at the forefront of marketing in the internationalarena. To this end, it has become important for the company to maintainemployees’ training, development and performance appraisal systems efficiently.In order to meet specific goals and objectives of the company, policies havebeen targeted towards providing for adequate incentives for value-added contributionsmade by employees. Cocoa Marketing Company (Ghana) conducts performanceappraisals yearly in order to ensure the precise tracking of employeeperformance.  Statement of problem         Cocoa Marketing Company (Ghana) observes the appraisal systems just astheir parent company Ghana Cocoa Board has done over the years.

   Since the establishment of Cocoa MarketingCompany (Ghana), there has been little academic study to establish theinfluence of performance appraisal process on employee performance at CocoaMarketing Company (Ghana). There has been argument that the appraisal processof Cocoa Marketing Company (Ghana) has an influence on the performance ofstaff. While people are of the view that it has a positive view on employees,others are of the opposite view. It is for this reason that this study sets outto investigate on the influence the performance appraisal process has onemployees of Cocoa Marketing Company of Ghana. Findingsfrom this research work are targeted at helping the management of CocoaMarketing Company (Ghana) as well as other organisations to assess thesignificance of performance appraisal on employee assessment and the differentways through which enhancement can be established. Objectives of the studyThis study will be guided by the followingobjectives.

  The study will;1.     Identifythe existing performance appraisal process at Cocoa Marketing Company (Ghana).2.     Identifythe benefits of performance appraisal process at Cocoa Marketing Company(Ghana).3.     Assessthe influence of performance appraisal on the performance of staff at CocoaMarketing Company (Ghana).

4.     Examinethe challenges of Performance Appraisal process at Cocoa Marketing Company(Ghana).5.     Makerecommendations on how to improve performance appraisal processes at CocoaMarketing Company (Ghana).

    Researchquestions1.     What isthe existing performance appraisal process at Cocoa Marketing Company (Ghana)?2.     What arethe benefits of the existing appraisal system to staff at Cocoa MarketingCompany (Ghana)?3.     What isthe extent of influence the existing performance appraisal process has onemployee performance in Cocoa Marketing Company (Ghana)?4.     What arethe challenges faced by the management and employees of Cocoa Marketing Company(Ghana) in the implementation of the performance appraisal process?5.     What arethe practical measures to improve the performance appraisal process at CocoaMarketing Company (Ghana)? Significance of study         The study is relevant because it will present an all-inclusive model formanagement to evaluate staff.  Besides itwill help identify flaws and put in place mechanisms to help improve the systemand held employees build confidence in the process.  The research will help management of publicsector and similar institutions to identify inefficiencies of their respectiveappraisal processes and how they can improve on their system in order to be aneffective enhancement tool for employee performance.

Moreover, it could help the HR to use appraisal tofind loopholes and use findings to improve on future policies.  Lastly, this study could help students doingsimilar research to simplify and work on reviews and use it as a step forfurther research. Scope of the study           Due to the large geographical spreadof Cocoa Marketing Company (Ghana) staff and consequent cost, only staff in theAccra branch of Cocoa Marketing Company (Ghana) will be involve in this study.Again, only the junior staffs in the company will be use in this study.

Nevertheless, it is expected that since staff in the Cocoa Marketing Company(Ghana) face almost the same problems concerning performance appraisal processthroughout the country; the findings from this location can be used forgeneralisation. Organisationof study         The study is organised into five main chapters. Chapter one is the mainintroductory chapter. It introduces the dissertation’s background of the study,statement of problem, objectives of the study, research questions, significanceof study, scope of the study and organisation of the study.Chapter two is the main literature reviewed forthe research. It consists of the relevant literature including key debates,concepts and theories of the subject under study.

Chapter three discusses themethodology, target population and research sample, data collection instrumentand method of data collection and method of data analysis while Chapter fourcovers findings and analysis of the dissertation. It discusses and analysesdata collected in a systematic way to answer the research questions and achievethe aim of this study. Chapter five is the concluding part of the dissertation.It summarises the dissertation conclusion, recommendation and contribution madeby the dissertation to existing knowledge.