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Performance appraisal of campaign volunteers (short essay)

Performance appraisal of campaign volunteers (short essay)

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Published by Blagoj
Political science, campaign management, electioneering.
Political science, campaign management, electioneering.

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Blagoj on Dec 21, 2012
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1
Assessing the efficiency of the party activists and volunteers in politicalcampaigns in Macedonia
Blagoj GjelevskiAbstract
The main goal of this short essay is to analyze the part of human resources management inpolitical campaigns that deals with performance appraisal of the party activists andvolunteers. There are two main types or techniques for assessing the performance of partyactivists: formal or objective and informal or subjective type. With polemic method here willbe estimated the strength of the hypothesis that most efficient method for performanceappraisal of the party activists during political campaigns, in the case of the Macedonianpolitical parties, is the formal and objective type. The paper will be structured in two mainchapters. The first one will elaborate and explain the two models of performance appraisalused mainly by the private companies, and the second one will adjust those techniques(especially the formal one) to the human resources management with political campaigns inMacedonia and will explain the arguments pro and contra using the formal model.
Introduction
Human resources are fundamental segment of each political organization. Theirimportance and utility is especially expressed during elections or political campaign period.The management of human resources in political campaigns is a complex task and requiresefficient organization, with all its components: recruitment, training, motivation andperformance appraisal. Each task or aspect of the management with human resources inpolitical campaigns has its specific rules, characteristics and methods. S
ometimes, if it’s a big
and extensive campaign, all these branches need to be separated, but also connected, witheach having its own leader which is responsible directly to the main campaign manager.However, very often all these tasks are conducted by one team of party supervisors ormanagers.Each of the previously mentioned segments of the management with human resources inpolitical campaigns, also, has its own importance in achieving the final goal, and that iswining the elections. The quality of the recruitment process determines the quality of thepeople in the campaign. Their development seeks good training, and their motivation,whether from ideological reasons or for future material benefit, needs to be maintained andfueled continuously in order the activists to give their best. And the last, but not leastimportant, is the process of assessing the performance and efficiency of the party activistsand the members of the campaign. Effective assessment can recognize the weaknesses, orstrengths, of each particular group or individual, and propose ways for improving theirperformance.
 
2
There are few types or methods for performance appraisal and feedback. There is onedivision that focuses on evaluation based on traits, behaviors or results. Nevertheless, themain division is between formal or objective and informal or subjective methods forassessing performance.
1
These modes and types of performance appraisals derive from thestudies and research in the management with human resources, mainly from the privatecompanies or state institutions. However, they can also have significant usage in themanagement with human resources in political campaigns, especially in the case of Macedonian parties, because they, particularly the bigger ones, use great number of volunteers and party activists during election period. So, the main question that arises here iswhich type or mode of performance appraisal is more effective and suitable for the parties inMacedonia, the formal or the informal one? With mainly polemic method i.e. estimating thestrengths and weaknesses of each one, this short essay will try to argue, and confirm, that theformal and objective type of performance appraisal of party activists is more effective andefficient, than the informal and subjective one.The essay is structured in two main chapters. In the first one, basic explanations andanalyses of both types of performance appraisals are given. And in the second part areelaborated and explained all the arguments for and against the usage of the formal type of performance appraisal in the political campaigns of Macedonian political parties.
I Types of performance appraisal
In the art of Management, the process of performance appraisal has essential place inthe overall management with one organization. The assessment of the performance is animportant link in the chain of management. Usually, it is defined as
a review and discussionof an employee's performance of assigned duties and responsibilities
”.
2
 
Even more
simplified, performance appraisal is the evaluation of employees’ job performance and
contributions to the organization.
3
Closely related concept or assessment tool, also relevant inour case, is the performance feedback. Performance feedback is the
 process through whichmanagers share performance appraisal information with their subordinates, givesubordinates an opportunity to reflect on their own performance, and develop, with them, plans for the future
.
4
Before performance feedback, performance appraisal must take place.As we can see, all these concepts are defined for the need of the private companies mainly, orfor the government agencies. However, that can be adjusted if we only replace the term
employees
with
party activists
or
volunteers
. Then the findings and research made inthis field could be also relevant and useful in our case.As was said before, there are few types of performance appraisal (and feedback) of employees, or in our case party activists. The most important and relevant division is between
1
Jones, Gareth R. and George, Jennifer M.
Contemporary Management (Fifth Edition).
New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008, p.493-500
2
The Official web page of Worcester Polytechnic Institute.
Performance Appraisal Process.
3
Jones, Gareth R. and George, Jennifer M.
Contemporary Management (Fifth Edition).
New York: McGraw-Hill, 2008, p.493
4
Ibid
 
3
formal or objective and informal or subjective type.
Objective appraisals are based on factsand are likely to be numerical-the number of cars sold, the number of meals prepared, the
number of times late…”
5
Managers often use objective appraisals when results are beingappraised because results tend to be easier to quantify than traits or behaviors.
When howworkers perform their jobs is important, however, subjective behavior appraisals are moreappropriate than results appraisals.
 
Subjective appraisals are based on managers’ perceptions of traits, behaviors, or results.
However, because they are based on perceptions, there is always a possibility for inaccurateassessment. Objective appraisals are related to the formal ones, which are
assessments
 
conducted at a set time during the year and based on performance dimensions and measures
that were specified in advance.”
7
On the opposite, the informal ones are
unscheduled appraisals of ongoing progress and areas for improvement 
8
.
Usually the objectiveappraisals have the form of formal and the subjective the form of informal. Sometimes thesemodes of assessing performance are used together, sometimes separately.
II Application of the formal type of performance appraisal in political campaigns
Although the final goal of every political campaign is winning the elections, eachpolitical campaign has its own specific set of tools, organization and short term objectiveswhich determine the type/s of performance appraisals they will use. Before starting with thearguments pro and contra the formal or informal method, it is important to mention few veryimportant assumptions relevant for the Macedonian political parties. Firstly, their campaignsand electoral successes significantly rely on their mass organization and collection of partyactivists and volunteers. And secondly, they appreciate primarily the results achieved bythese activists, than their traits or behaviors. Although traits and behaviors of the volunteersare important to some extent, in the foreground is always the result.
9
 
For achieving thatobjective we claim, that most effective way of performance appraisal and feedback is theformal and objective type.Another confinement will also take place here. In the Electoral Law from 2006 is defined that
 from the date of announcement of the elections until the Election day cannot pass more than90 days, nor less than 70
days.”
10
 
So here will be taken into consideration only that period of the campaign concerning the usage of the techniques for performance appraisal of the partyactivists.As was said before, the formal type of assessing the performance of human resources consistsof numerical measures that provide clearer and more useful picture of the performance of thevolunteers themselves. Adjusting the techniques used by the private companies and from the
5
Ibid, p.495
6
Ibid
7
Ibid, p.499
8
Ibid
9
Party representative of VMRO-DPMNE. Personal interview. 26 Jan. 2012
10
Собрание на Република Македонија.
 
Изборен законик. Сл.Весник на Р.Македонија бр.40 од 31.03.2006
.
 Член
12,
став 4
 

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