Date of Award

Spring 2023

Degree Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)



Committee Chair

Dr. Heather M. Annulis

Committee Chair School


Committee Member 2

Dr. H. Quincy Brown

Committee Member 2 School


Committee Member 3

Dr. John J. Kmiec Jr.

Committee Member 3 School


Committee Member 4

Dr. Dale L. Lunsford

Committee Member 4 School



The purpose of this study is to explore employees’ perceived fairness and effectiveness of the performance appraisal process and the influence on employee retention. This study is based on a review of existing literature on performance management strategies. Drawing upon equity theory (Adams, 1963), human capital theory (Becker 1962, 1993), organizational justice theory (Greenberg, 1987), and expectancy theory (Vroom, 1964), the researcher explores talent management concepts to reveal the influence of employees’ perceptions of performance appraisals on employee retention. Collectively the theories form a theoretical framework highlighting the importance of Human Capital Development, including the effectiveness of performance appraisals, effective people management, talent development, and employee perceptions in the workplace.

This qualitative study utilizes interpretive phenomenological analysis to reveal employees’ perceived fairness and effectiveness of performance appraisals. The data analysis reveals five themes which are process effectiveness, supervisor relationship, fairness, purpose, and intent to stay. This research may help leaders to improve performance appraisal effectiveness and employee retention. Findings suggest that employees’ perceived value, relationships with supervisors, and justice influence perceptions of the performance appraisal process and retention. Recommendations are offered for leaders and supervisors that influence performance appraisal processes and outcomes within the organization.