How are frontline managers supported in the performance management process?

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Lee, QY
Wilkinson, A
Townsend, K
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Purpose: Existing research has ignored the perspectives of frontline managers (FLMs) in relation to the support they receive. This study aims to understand the extent to which and how other organisational actors support FLMs in their implementation of performance. Design/methodology/approach: This article used a qualitative method (57 semi-structured interviews) in two Singapore public sector organisations to understand the types of support provided to FLMs. The interviewees came from various levels and the hierarchical sampling frame allowed for comparisons to be made across the cases. Findings: The authors found that the HR department, superiors and peers signalled to FLMs the custom and practice of performance management (PM) that led to the FLMs not prioritising their PM responsibilities. Notably, the focus of the FLMs was on meeting operational needs rather than the PM process. Originality/value: The authors add to the literature by examining the how the support from other organisational actors signalled to FLMs the importance of PM within their work group. This paper also explores how FLMs seek support and the type of support they want in their role.

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Personnel Review

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This author accepted manuscript is deposited under a Creative Commons Attribution Non-commercial 4.0 International (CC BY-NC) licence. This means that anyone may distribute, adapt, and build upon the work for non-commercial purposes, subject to full attribution. If you wish to use this manuscript for commercial purposes, please contact

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This publication has been entered in Griffith Research Online as an advance online version.

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Human resources and industrial relations

Strategy, management and organisational behaviour

Applied and developmental psychology

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Lee, QY; Wilkinson, A; Townsend, K, How are frontline managers supported in the performance management process?, Personnel Review, 2023