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Performance Management Practice in British Airways: Literature Review

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This main purpose of this literature review will be based on four crucial parts regarding performance management practice in British Airways. The first part will discuss the methods of performance management, which will contain both the advantages and limitations whereas the second part will include a brief description of the British Airways and how the company used the methods of performance management (Noe et al., 2017). In addition, the third part will involve a critical discussion based on what is more or less efficient in performance management. In the fourth part, this literature will provide recommendations based on what is less effective for British Airways so they can avoid it and adopt better strategies for making performance management systems in the future.

Literature Review

Performance Management and Measurement of British Airways

The main purpose of organizational performance management is to control all the resources as well as activities with the purpose to contribute to the performance and to confirm that the organization has no planned drift (Haring and Wiemer, 2016).

Performance management translates organizational goals into achievable objectives making communication between the employer and employee paramount. It promotes self-motivation, recognition and feeds back to create a good working environment (Baron & Armstrong, 2005). Performance appraisal systems have had their ups and downs and unlike the traditional systems, Tamra (2016) argues that performance appraisal does not necessarily lead to improved performance because employers hardly focus on the positives but on what is not going well and this sometimes demotivates a very good worker. This is why new technologies are being developed by major organizations to address this issue.

British airways happens to be the largest airline carrier in mainland UK, which uses the Bravo recognition system (2008) to recognize staff and shareholders for their performance and achievement. This system engages both the staff and manager but there is not enough time for a structured review and managers are not given a clear guideline on how to feedback on what is not going on well. It is argued that negative feedback generates demotivation and possible bad results. Conversely, this shortcoming may give rise to peer- to -peer recognition in the workplace.

Besides the foregoing, new figures about performance appraisal involving cohort HR Managers, Directors, People Managers and Employees (Wilson, 2019, cited in Adams et .al, 2019) still reveal disturbing statistics. More than 70% of employers carry out performance reviews yearly and less than 20% carry it out monthly. Given that, Managers and Directors posit that time is an issue and that the review process is one-sided and subjective to a manager's opinion. However, in British Airways, like in any other company, this problem is a cause for concern But, with new online and electronic appraisal platforms in a place like Talent Management and Cascade most companies, are beginning to put this in practice as it helps save time. This explains why following Wilson's survey (2019) 93% of Managers, Directors and People Managers agreed that PM is a critical issue and needs addressing between the next 12 – 18 months.

Strategic Plan and High-Level Aspirations

The idea of British Airways is to be a most admired airline and mission are to 'To Fly. To Serve'. The most significant strategic plan is discussed below.

Liable Flying for Everyone

British Airways has the main goal, which is to concentrate on three types of pillars like improve the livelihoods and communities, decrease the environmental influence and responsible business and employer. British Airways has been working with the idea to build the world primary facility whereas creating the business with Solena Fuels to convert waste obtained from landfills into the stream fuel (Haring and Wiemer, 2016). This mitigates its waste and atmosphere, air quality effects and commutation.

Tool and Techniques for Performance Measurement

The performance measurement system of British Airways contains the objectives, targets, framework, plans, and measures for the improvement of the corporation. The internal control framework is employed by British Airways with the idea to confirm that the organization preserves it (Haring and Wiemer, 2016).

The Implication of Performance

The term performance is described as the behavior that achieves the results. According to the Brumbach, performance can be measured in both results as well as behavior, whereas behaviors originate from the performer and convert performance from concept to achievement (Metcalf, 2017). Regardless of instruments for results, behaviors are also consequences in their way, can be arbitrated separately from consequences and the product of physical and mental effort used to tasks. Brumbach also realized that due to the importance of behavior, there are more chances of failure or success than outcomes achieved or not and success is not every time optimistic nor failure every time harmful (Metcalf, 2017). This perception of performance takes to the conclusion that during rewarding and assessing the individual's performance, several factors have to be considered involving both inputs (behaviors) and outputs (results).

The determination of performance management defines the aims and identified outcomes in order to achieve the aims in which managers and staff are dedicated to obtaining the identified outcomes. According to past studies, those corporations that used performance management in terms of monetary and non-fiscal features earns more than those organizations that do not use performance management in their company (Kearney, 2018). However, the acknowledgment of performance management along with its styles for existing organizations is necessary for terms of guaranteeing and deciding its aggressive advantage in a continuous modifying atmosphere of industry

Principles of Performance Management

In 2004, Armstrong and Baron in their research recognized the few principles of performance management, which are stated as achievement based on what the organization is and wants to be in its performance values, it is essential to emphasize on growth, not wage, concentrate on fluctuating behavior instead of paperwork (Arakal and Mampilly, 2016). Moreover, obtain such solutions that work for the business and involved in only those things, which will get an observable development. As demonstrated by Michael Armstrong and Stephen Taylor (2016), the performance management system usually has fourfold determinations such as strategic communication, building relationships, employee development Airways, and evaluation of the employee. It is necessary to be based on the known principle but operates flexibly as well and driven by organization values and principles. In addition, it is not a system, it is all about people are managed and performance management is what managers do in order to retain the performance, which is a natural process of management (Arakal and Mampilly, 2016).

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Advantages of Performance Management

The advantages of performance management are described in many ways such as performance-based conversations, targeted different staff, encouragement to staff, rewards staff for a job well done, under-performers eliminated and identified, allows for employee growth and documented history of employee performance (Jia and Wang, 2019). A process of performance management services managers to discuss issues regarding the performance with workers whereas it is the dependable coaching that marks employee development and changed behaviors. All the workers are on a journey of growth and it is the corporation's accountability for organizing them for improved responsiveness. If this process works, an effective performance management system could assist to identify opportunities related to employee development. In addition, when bonuses are tied to the process of performance appraisal, staff can easily see a straight relationship between financial rewards and performance (Jia and Wang, 2019). This process encourages and motivates workers to perform better at higher levels.

Disadvantages of Performance Management

There are four main disadvantages of performance management like biases, inconsistent messages, discouragement and time-consuming. It is suggested that manager should spend almost 1 hour on each employee in writing his performance appraisal and based on the volume of people being appraised, it may take hours to write the performance management of the department as well as with employees to review their performance appraisal (Noe, et al., 2017). The current changes to performance management systems made by Microsoft are the use of Artificial Intelligence (AI) which is having a huge impression in learning and recruitment as well as it is one a significant invention in technology.

Microsoft is using this technology to draw out themes by huge numbers of qualitative information being collected through conversations, goals, and feedback. British Airways is lacking from this technology like AI in employee's performance management can improve decisions making the process of workers. This can also provide unbiased information which will help to make decisions like which employee should be promoted and who needs awareness to make better performance whilst opposing work bias. In terms of performance management, Tesco is another company that is highly concerned regarding the better performance of the employees. Tesco has recently initiated the changes to improve its system by regular coaching conservations because they know the importance of genuine performance gains (Cappelli and Tavis, 2016).

Moreover, Tesco is also familiar repeated feedbacks which must be accompanied through regular coaching conversations during which employee and manager reflect on the feedback which has been provided by using it to highlight areas and discover strengths for development (Cappelli and Tavis, 2016). British Airways can also use the initiative taken by Tesco as such conversations let their employees develop and address in terms of professional and personal development. In addition, performance management trend in the direction of coaching conversations whereas continuous learning has been the trend through raising recognition of the growing power.

Overview of British Airways

According to Irwin, the style of performance management within the British Airline is integrated into organizations at many places to attain the organization's issues of the organization whereas at the same time achieving the related objectives (Mone and London, 2018). British Airways and its dissimilar principles of integration focus on performance management to achieve several elements. These elements are like the combination of separate necessities with British Airways to create exceptional performance, growth of Human Resources and compensation in order to acquire a comprehensive way of directing staff. However, the systems of performance management focus to create a mutual thought regarding the things that need to be acquired in British Airways. British Airways has started an equilibrium arrangement of fiscal and non-fiscal symbols of performance to enhance the performance management of its position. British Airways has some key performance indicators such as economic, operation margin and operations.


British Airways has to keep a powerful and stable monetary performance to return its shareholders and for the future of their business (Mone and London, 2018).

Operation Margin

British Airways has set a goal of receiving over 10% of operational margin progressively in the future financial years whereas, in 2007/08, British Airways has successfully achieved its goal of 8% operational cost (Airways, 2017). Regardless of change monetary situations and rising fuel costs in the latter 7 months, the business plan of the organization has reinforced to acquire the set purpose for 2007-08 (Airways, 2017).


It has been always necessary for British Airways to execute its performance with a passion to satisfy the expectation of customers and to function the corporation cost-effectively. The business strategy of British Airways has emphasized on five crucial aspects of operational performance. However, retaining the time in departure is a quite feeds measure of operational performance in terms of all the five aspects of operational performance (Haring and Wiemer, 2016). Keeping the time helps in smooth working as compared to the rest of the methods as well as it is an essential feature in affecting the decision of customers in recommending British Airways to others.

Critical Discussion

According to Kang and Shen (2017), there are several components that belong to effective performance management of British Airways such as goal setting, which means the goal should be understood as well as meaningful. This component also demands the employees too should have perspective in recognizing why these specific goals are important but if the set goals are not clear, it can take to poor performance management as compared to challenging and specific goals. In case if the goal looks not specific or too easy, then the employee will not be enough motivated to attain it. As stated by Mone and London (2018), the second behavior component for British Airways will be employee recognition, which demands an effective performance management system must arrange rewards and recognition for the employees.

This approach will help employees of the British Airways to be feel appreciated and valued for the work they perform but this will lead to some drawbacks like poor team culture, unsatisfying performance results, reduced employee enablement and increased turnover rates (Haring and Wiemer, 2016). Moreover, relying too much on paper is one of those things that makes performance management uninspiring and ineffective but these day's businesses are an acknowledgment that the pen-and-paper system turns is facing out. Nowadays, technology is even further simpler, affordable and available ever before. However, another component making performance management effective is employee development due to which no motivated top performer desires to endure for the long-term in a company without developing and honing skills (Mone and London, 2018). Therefore, development and advancement are essential to workers and not to show organizations leads to an advantage when their employees are more capable and skilled.


The advantages of performance management can be understood quite evidently. The recommendations for British Airways to improve performance management are creating real-life conversations because as business owners and manager, it is familiar in every business that communication is crucial. In terms of performance, conversations are important to applying transformation and want to be the motivating strength at the time of creating a change. However, this will produce processes that are even more effective for British Airways to influence workers to deliver their best performance. Moreover, recognizing accountability is another suggestion for British Airways, which demands to take a step back and evaluate themselves because focusing on how employees are performing is not necessary all the time. This process will help to see the improvement all over the board not only with the employees. Therefore, looking particularly on how things are running and taking notes from them can provide a new vision on what a company can do to increase performance and manage better as well as to advance both the company and employees. They should be motivated, dedicated to the values and aims of British Airways as well as should be organized for changes and to facilitate the passengers.


From the above literature review, it can be concluded that effective performance management is relatively important to business and will be beneficial for British Airways because this will help them arrange their systems, resources, and employees to meet their strategic objectives through both informal and formal processes. Moreover, getting the right performance management will also help British Airways to become tough competitive machines. Performance management will also allow British Airways to identifying areas of improvement as well as to provide positive feedback. Therefore, they must adopt three stages of employee development such as coaching, corrective action, and termination in order to have better performance management.

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Performance Management Practice in British Airways: Literature Review. (2022, July 14). Edubirdie. Retrieved December 6, 2023, from
“Performance Management Practice in British Airways: Literature Review.” Edubirdie, 14 Jul. 2022,
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