Skip to main content

Research Repository

Advanced Search

The role of performance appraisal in employees' motivation in the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC)

Alsnaideh, Fahad M.


Fahad M. Alsnaideh


Carole, 1966 Elliott

Kevin Orr


Performance appraisal (PA) is widely used across the world to evaluate and motivate individuals’ performance in order to increase organisational productivity. This study explores the role of performance appraisal in employees’ motivation at the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) to fill a gap in the previous literature. The first objective of this study is to explore the effectiveness of the performance appraisal system in the company from the employees’ point of view. The second objective is to explore to what extent the employees are motivated in the company. The last objective is to explore to what extent performance appraisal impacts the employees’ motivation.

A qualitative methodology was used for collecting data through semi-structured interviews to provide in-depth understanding of the considered phenomena. Interviews were conducted with 40 employees in SEC who had worked with the company more than 4 years. In addition, official company documents were analysed and observations noted during the interview process. Thematic analysis was employed to indentify the major themes in the findings, using the inductive approach of Miles and Huberman (1994).

With regard to the first objective of the study the findings show that generally the performance appraisal system in SEC is considered ineffective by the employees due to issues such as low level of employees’ participation in the PA process, lack of PA feedback, lack of employees’ acceptance of PA in SEC, and low levels of fairness in the PA process. The second objective of the study is addressed by considering two aspects, context and content factors. The findings regarding context factors such as job security, working conditions, pay, relationships in the workplace, and company policies, show that the employees were generally satisfied with those factors but they considered them as basic needs for completion of their jobs. However, some participants were dissatisfied with some of those factors, such as working conditions and company policies. In terms of content factors, such as recognition, work itself, the opportunity of growth, responsibility, advancement and achievement, the findings show that the participants believed those factors played an integral part in their level of motivation. However, the employees’ views regarding some of those factors were mixed. For instance, the technical employees were motivated by the work itself, such as challenge, responsibility and innovation, and they considered it as a source of motivation. Conversely, administrative employees saw the routine nature of their job as decreasing their level of motivation. With regard to the last objective of this study, the findings show that the participants strongly believed that performance appraisal has an integral role in their level of motivation. However, they mentioned three issues that should be satisfied if the company wants to use performance appraisal as a motivation mechanism: the PA should be fair, the rater should provide the ratees with regular feedback on PA, and the PA should be linked directly to the reward system in the company.

The current study contributes to knowledge at both the academic and practical level. The main academic contribution is that by examining performance appraisal and motivation in SEC to provide an enhanced understanding of HRM in the Saudi context. Also, the study has answered the questions raised by a previous study conducted by Idris (2007) in SEC. At the practical level, the study has highlighted some recommendations for top management to increase their awareness of the importance of PA in regard to employees’ motivation, to improve the productivity of the organisation.


Alsnaideh, F. M. (2013). The role of performance appraisal in employees' motivation in the Saudi Electricity Company (SEC). (Thesis). University of Hull. Retrieved from

Thesis Type Thesis
Deposit Date Oct 2, 2018
Publicly Available Date Feb 23, 2023
Keywords Business
Public URL
Additional Information Business School, The University of Hull
Award Date Jan 1, 2013


Thesis (1.8 Mb)

Copyright Statement
© 2013 Alsnaideh, Fahad M. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.

Downloadable Citations