Key features of appraisal effectiveness

by Eileen Piggot-Irvine


This draft article, from Dr Eileen Piggot-Irvine, gives an overview of performance management and appraisal in New Zealand schools. It outlines a model of principal appraisal that integrates both development and accountability.

The author draws on three studies to develop a series of conclusions about the key features of appraisal effectiveness. One of these looks at how relationships that are based on high trust and openness can lead to problem resolution and improved performance. Some other key features of effectiveness examined include the importance of objectivity, clarity, and depth in objective setting.

The article includes an outline of how training can be targeted at helping appraisers to establish such relationships.

Reflective questions

These reflective questions might guide you in your reading of this article:

  • In the light of this article, examine your own appraisal systems. Critically analyse the best three features and three areas for growth and development.
  • Do your appraisal systems seem transparent? To you? To others?
  • Does your board understand the elements of effective appraisal? How have you communicated its importance?


Piggot-Irvine, E. (n.d.) Key features of appraisal effectiveness. Draft of paper submitted to The International Journal of Educational Management.

Piggot-Irvine, E. (2003, June). Appraisal training focused on what really matters. The International Journal of Educational Management, 17(6), 254–261.

Tags: Appraisal

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