Vol. 19 No. 2 (2015): Journal of Nursing Pensar Enfermagem
Original Articles

Nursing professionals performance appraisal: perception of justice of the ratees

Nuno Miguel Dias Pereira
Enfermeiro, IPO de Lisboa Francisco Gentil, MSc, RN
Viriato Moreira
Professor Coordenador Aposentado, MSc, RN

Published 2015-12-30


  • performance appraisal,
  • nurse’s ratees,
  • perception of justice,
  • organizational justice

How to Cite

Dias Pereira, N. M., & Moreira, V. (2015). Nursing professionals performance appraisal: perception of justice of the ratees. Pensar Enfermagem, 19(2), 18–53. https://doi.org/10.56732/pensarenf.v19i2.107


Performance appraisal is an essential tool in human resource management. Nurses are fundamental in any health organization, so it is crucial to assess their perceptions of justice in relation to their performance appraisal process, since it influences their emotions,
motivations, attitudes and behaviors within the organization, i.e. their overall performance. Thus, the nursing managers (raters) may identify areas for improvement in their performance appraisal, contributing therefore to the improvement of the organizational climate, citizenship and commitment, promoting job satisfaction and motivation for a performance of excellence by their staff nurses (subjects) and, consequently, to a continuous improvement in quality of care.

Objective: With this study we intend to assess the perceptions of justice of the appraised nurses in respect to the performance appraisal process. 

Methodology: A scale was created for assessing perceptions of justice, with ten dimensions, from the scales of Walsh (2003) and Thurston and McNall (2010), based on a construct of organizational justice with four dimensions by Greenberg. Afterwards a descriptive study with a quantitative approach was performed, by applying a questionnaire to 77 appraised nurses, working for a Lisbon health organization as public servants.

Results: Of the ten dimensions the scale measured, only four (assigning raters, seeking appeals, raters show respect, and sensitivity) achieved an on average high degree of agreement. The other six had a lower degree of agreement, namely the transmission of feedback and the accuracy of ratings, which showed the highest degree of disagreement by the appraised nurses, demonstrating high perception of distributive and informational injustice.

Conclusions: This study allowed us to assess the perceptions of justice of the appraised nurses regarding their performance appraisal process. Based on the results obtained, we can infer that there is a high degree of perceived injustice, with consequent demotivation and dissatisfaction, associated with the current appraisal system. This, in turn is mainly due to poor precision of the evaluation, the grades given do not differentiate between performance and merit, the lack of initial goal setting, goals are not consistent or adequately measured, and the adequate and regular transmission of feedback.


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