University of Technology Sydney

21072 Performance Management: Theory and Practice

Warning: The information on this page is indicative. The subject outline for a particular session, location and mode of offering is the authoritative source of all information about the subject for that offering. Required texts, recommended texts and references in particular are likely to change. Students will be provided with a subject outline once they enrol in the subject.

Subject handbook information prior to 2024 is available in the Archives.

UTS: Business
Credit points: 6 cp

Subject level: Undergraduate

Result type: Grade and marks

There are course requisites for this subject. See access conditions.


This subject examines the role and nature of performance management systems in contemporary organisations. The needs and expectations of both organisations and individuals are explored and the sources of performance difficulties identified. The business requirement to align individual and organisational goals is examined and the implications for each stage of the human resource management process is analysed. Approaches to performance management and enhancement are examined and critically evaluated. The subject examines the roles of HRM specialists, line managers and individual employees/contractors in identifying essential job functions and relating them to the organisation's goals, developing appropriate performance standards, providing needed feedback about performance, developing and enhancing performance as well as dealing with performance problems.

Subject learning objectives (SLOs)

Upon successful completion of this subject students should be able to:
1. Identify the major determinants and general purposes of individual and team performance
2. Evaluate the major approaches to performance management and the specific techniques used to develop, deliver and evaluated effective performance management systems
3. Identify potential causes of poor performance along with the needs and expectations of both organisations and individuals in the work setting
4. Explain the strategies available to train performance raters at all levels in the mechanics of performance management and in the art of giving feedback

Contribution to the development of graduate attributes

This subject introduces students to the theory and practices utilised to manage the performance of employees in profit and not-for-profit organisations. It establishes the nature and function of the various components of a strategic performance management system and practices (such as 360 performance, pay-for-performance, etc.). It also exposes students to performance management skills such as effective listening and giving feedback.

This subject contributes specifically to introduce the following Program Learning Objective(s):

  • Synthesise knowledge of the rights, values and perspectives of Indigenous people with socially responsible business practice (3.2)

Teaching and learning strategies

The subject is presented in seminar format. Essential principles are presented and analysed and students are lead through practical application exercises.

Content (topics)

  • Setting the scene: HRM and performance management
  • Work motivation
  • Defining and measuring work performance
  • Performance reviews
  • Managing poor performance and giving difficult feedback
  • Managing underperformance
  • Ethical considerations for performance management
  • Training and coaching performance raters


Assessment task 1: Essay (Individual)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1 and 2

Weight: 40%

1200 words

Assessment task 2: Quizzes (Individual)*


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1 and 2

Weight: 30%

15 questions for each quiz (part A and Part B)


*Note: Late submission of the assessment task will not be marked and awarded a mark of zero.

Assessment task 3: Assignment (Group)


This addresses subject learning objective(s):

1, 2, 3 and 4

Weight: 30%

2 pages

Minimum requirements

Students must achieve at least 50% of the subject’s total marks.

Recommended texts

Ashdown, L. 2018, Performance Management : A Practical Introduction, 2nd ed., Kogan Page Ltd, London, United Kingdom

ISBN10 0749483377. Login to the UTS Library to access the online electronic version.


Aguinis, H. 2012 Performance Management (3rd Edition), Pearson Education Limited: New Jersey. ISBN: 013255638

Cokins, G. (2009) Performance Management: Integrating strategy execution, methodologies, risk, and analytics, John Wiley & Sons, New Jersey. ISBN: 0470449985

Hutchinson, S. (2013) Performance Management Theory and Practice, Chartered Institute of Personnel & Development, London. ISBN: 1843983052

Leonard, E.C. (2013) Supervision: Concepts and Practices of Management, 12th Edition, Cengage Learning, Canada. ISBN: 1111969795

Buckingham M, & Goodall A, Reinventing Performance Management, HBR, April, 2015

Ewenstein B. et al. Ahead of the Curve: The future of Performance Management, McKinsey Quarterly, May 2016.