The Impact of Culture on Performance Appraisal Reforms in Africa: The Case of Uganda’s Civil Service

  •  Gerald Kagambirwe Karyeija    


This article explores the impact of administrative culture on performance appraisal reforms in Uganda’s civil service. Data gathered from 147 questionnaires, 29 interviews and various documents indicates that administrative culture sabotages the actual conduct of performance appraisals and undermines its institutionalization. The study supports the use of power distance and uncertainty avoidance. The additional dimensions of political (neutrality) biasness and ethnicity are a highly relevant addition to the literature on administrative culture and its linkage to instruments of management. Thus, for the successful introduction of performance appraisals, culture matters because the performance appraisal is imposed from abroad and requires a compatible host administrative culture in order to take root. In this case, the host administrative culture was not compatible in many respects with the values underlying the appraisal reforms. Although the Ugandan government introduced appraisal reforms, incompatibility between the values embedded in the appraisal and the host administrative culture watered down the reform.

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