Week 5 -hr mgmt- initial post – due by wednesday at 8pm cst

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Forced Distribution Methods—Pros and Cons


Forced distribution methods require that a predetermined percentage of employees be placed into particular performance categories. These methods of performance appraisal are increasingly being used by large corporations, such as Ford and Microsoft.

Post a substantive response of at least 200 words to the Discussion question. Using the course concepts, answer the following questions:

What are the advantages and disadvantages of forced distribution methods of performance appraisal? Are they worth the potential legal and employee relation problems? How effective are they in a unionized environment?

With these thoughts in mind:

Post your response by Day 3.

Read a selection of your colleagues’ postings.



Respond between Day 5 and Day 7 to two or more of your colleagues’ postings in one or more of the following ways:


  • Ask a probing question.

  • Share an insight from having read your colleague’s posting.

  • Offer and support an opinion.

  • Make a suggestion.

  • Expand on your colleague’s posting.

Return to this Discussion in a few days to read the responses to your initial posting. Note what you learned and the insights you gained as a result of the comments your colleagues made.

Be sure to support your work with specific citations from the Learning Resources and any additional sources.



**Forced distribution systems can create challenges for both the employer and employee.  This week you will explore the advantages and disadvantages of these systems.  In posting your response, be sure to address the question of their effectiveness in a unionized environment.



Learning Resources

Please read and view this week’s Learning Resources before you complete the Discussion.


  • Course Text: Walsh, D. J. (2016). Employment law for human resource practice (5th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage Learning. 

    • Chapter 16, “Performance Appraisals, Training, and Development

      Chapter 16 highlights the legal implications of performance management. The two critical aspects of performance management – appraisals and training – are closely linked with promotions, salary increments, bonuses, and better job opportunities and, therefore, are the subject of much debate. The chapter focuses on the challenges and concerns that human resource managers face when applying employment laws to these two aspects.

      Focus on the case Compass Environmental v. OSHRC discusses required training and the OSH Act. Cortez v Wal-Mart Stores is a case that illustrates the problems that arise if performance improvement programs are used as a device to force older employees to quit.

    • Chapter 17, “Privacy on the Job: Information, Monitoring, and Investigations

      Chapter 17 describes employers’ legal limits in case they intrude on their employees’ privacy on the job. The chapter examines laws designed for safeguarding the employees’ privacy. These laws include the Employee Polygraph Protection Act (EPPA) and the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). The chapter also details four different types of torts recognized under common law.

      Focus on  the case Koeppel V. Speirs which focuses on the employee’s right to privacy.   Dietz v Finlay Fine Jewelry is a case that deals with an interesting aspect of conducting interrogations. It illustrates legal problems associated with interrogations not conducted skillfully.



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