The purpose of this qualitative methods case study was to examine the differences and difficulties of delivering a performance appraisal that was developmental in nature from that of a traditional appraisal, as well as to identify the skills/competencies required of store managers and developmental activities needed to make a transition from a traditional performance appraisal to a performance appraisal system that was developmental in nature. Such a change should not be taken lightly by organizations, given that the task of delivering an evaluation varies. Four research questions guided the study. First, what are the differences between a performance appraisal that is developmental in nature and a traditional one? Second, what are the difficulties in utilizing a performance appraisal as a means to developing talent? Third, what competencies/skills are needed by managers to develop successfully a developmental performance appraisal? Fourth, how can the organization for which you work, prepare a manager to deliver a meaningful evaluation that is part of a developmental program? Qualitative data included subject matter expert interviews to collect their perceptions of the performance evaluation process. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with the store managers to determine their perceptions about ways in which performance evaluation should be carried out to ensure proper feedback and continuous improvement. Statistical and content analysis were conducted on the collection information to answer the study's research questions.

The findings of this study did contribute to the literature by pointing to the specific skills that managers need when dealing with developmental appraisal. Furthermore, the time and resource implications to the organization were highlighted, which called for in-depth research on ways in which to either automate or streamline the process, as it could erode organizations’ bottom line. Pertaining to the appraisal tool itself, this study contributed to identifying the need for specific questions and going full circle with timely follow-up discussions with employees in determining the progress made by ensuring their personal and organizational success.

This research aided companies in aligning the talent management process with policies and practices. By investing in a performance appraisal process that was developmental and empowering management to conduct appraisals, feedback, and development of employees, retail companies could achieve even more success as an organization can only be as successful as its employees and managers.

Date of publication

Fall 12-6-2017

Document Type




Persistent identifier


Committee members

Co-Chairs: Jerry Gilley, Ph.D and Judy Sun, Ph.D ; Ann Gilley, Ph.D, Miguel Caldas, Ph.D.


Doctor of Philosophy in Human Resource Development