The impact of culture on performance appraisal reforms in Africa : the case of Uganda’s civil service

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Peer-Reviewed Research
  • SDG 17
  • SDG 16
  • Abstract:

    This article explores administrative culture and examines its impact on performance appraisal reforms in Uganda’s civil service. It reveals that Uganda’s bureaucracy is characterised by large power distance, strong uncertainty avoidance, high ethnicity adherence and political neutrality. Research findings indicate that these cultural variables influence the performance appraisal by sabotaging its actual implementation and undermining its institutionalisation. The study supports the use of power distance and uncertainty avoidance by various scholars to analyse the linkage between administrative culture and instruments of management. The additional dimensions of political (neutrality) biasness and ethnicity pursued are highly relevant additions to the literature. It is argued that for the successful introduction of performance appraisals, culture matters. Although the Ugandan government introduced appraisal reforms, incompatibility between the values embedded in the appraisal and the host administrative culture watered down the reform.