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Background Of The Study
Every employee, from top management to the people in the field, must have individual objectives that support organizational goals. Establishing and communicating employees’ objectives and measuring result is critical and can be achieved with the help of a good appraisal system. Such a system will provide managers with the tools to effectively align the goals of their team, and each direct report, with the strategic initiatives of the company. It will help to measure performance of each employee and deliver feedback during the appraisal process that is helpful and constructive (Dulewiz, 1989).
Appraisal system began as simple method of income justification, i.e. appraisal was used to decide whether or not the salary or wage of an individual employee was justified. The process was firmly linked to material outcomes. If an employee’s performance was found to be less than ideal, a cut in pay would follow. On the other hand, if the performance was better than the supervisor’s expectation, a pay rise was in order. Little consideration was given to the developmental possibilities of appraisal. It was felt that a pay cut or raise should provide the only impetus for an employee either to improve performance or continue to perform well as the case may be. Sometimes, this basic system succeeded in getting results that were intended, but more often than not, it failed (Fedor et al, 1989).Pay rates were important but they were not the only element that had impact on employee appraisal. It was found that other issues such as morale and self esteem, could also have a major influence (Daven, 1990). 
As a result, the traditional emphasis on reward outcomes was progressively rejected. The potential usefulness of appraisal as tool for motivation and development was gradually recognized (Fedor et al, 1989).Appraisal, it seems is both inevitable and universal. In the absence of carefully structured system of appraisal, people will tend to judge the work performance of others, including subordinates, naturally, informally and arbitrarily. The human inclination to judge can create serious motivational, ethical and legal problems in the workplace. Without a structured appraisal system, there is a little chance of ensuring that the judgment made will be lawful, objective, fair, defensible and accurate. 
A well structured staff appraisal system can lead to employees’ motivation and increased productivity. This will, therefore, impact positively on corporate performance. Appraisal is one way of reinforcing a legitimate emphasis on employees’ performance but the extent of its implementation in government departments, parastatals and agencies is not known. Hence, this research intends to find out how staff appraisal is being implemented and its effect on corporate performance in Akwa Ibom State Water Company Limited.
In every organisation, the appraisal of staff performance plays a very critical role in the achievement of their corporate goals and objectives. When staffs are regularly appraised, areas of deficiency in terms of motivation, further training and development, redeployment, transfers, promotions, etc are noticed and proper steps are taken to put in place corrective measures. However, it should be noted that the extent to which staff appraisal, could be used to improve productivity is dependent on a number of factors. There factors include work tool, work environment, standard for performance, objectivity and commitment, experience, orientation and pre-disposition of the appraiser.
The extent to which the above factors manifest in Akwa Ibom State Water Company Ltd, Uyo vis-à-vis the appraisal system currently in place in the organization and the extent to which this appraisal system affects corporate performance is not known. This research seeks to find answers to these and related issues.
The general objective of the study is to assess staff appraisal as it relates to corporate performance in Akwa Ibom State Water Company Ltd Other sub-objectives are to:
1.   Examine the nature of staff appraisal system in Akwa Ibom State Water Company Ltd.
2.   Ascertain the appropriateness or otherwise of the appraisal system in the organisation.
3.   Determine the relationship between experience and objectivity of the appraiser and the result of the appraisal.
4.   Examine the effect of staff appraisal on corporate performance in Akwa Ibom State Company Ltd
5.   Identify the problems associated with the staff appraisal system and explore other ways of improving staff performance in the organisation.
    Research Questions
For the purpose of this study, the following research questions were asked.
1.   What is the nature of staff appraisal system and approaches in Akwa Ibom State Water Company Ltd?
2.   How appropriate or otherwise is the appraisal system in the organisation?
3.   Is there any significant relationship between the experience and objectivity of the appraiser and the result of the appraisal in the organisation?
4.   Is there any significant relationship between a well structured appraisal system and corporate performance in Akwa Ibom State Water Company?
5.   What are the problems associated with staff appraisal in the company?
Research Hypothesis
The following hypotheses were formulated for the purpose of this study:
1.   There is no significant relationship between a well structured appraisal system and corporate performance in Akwa Ibom State Water Company Ltd is not appropriate for the organization.
2.   There is no significant relationship between a well structured appraisal system and corporate performance in Akwa Ibom State Water Company Ltd.
3.   There is no significant relationship between the experience and objectivity of the appraiser and the result of the appraisal in Akwa Ibom State Water Company Ltd.
Scope of the Study
This study on staff appraisal and corporate performance of Akwa Ibom State Water Company Ltd covers only the company. Therefore, the findings and recommendations of this study are limited to or centred on the company (Akwa Ibom State Water Company Ltd).
Limitations of the Study
In the cause of this research work, we had the following limitations:
1.   Inability of the respondents to complete and return the questionnaires on time.
2.   Lack of adequate research and reference materials
3.   Lack of enough financial ability to expand the scope of the research to cover more than one company.
Significance of the Study
This research will contribute significantly in achieving the following:
1.   it will become a reference material for future researches in this area.
2.  it will enhance the understanding of the reading public about the importance of staff appraisal.
3.   The study will become a reference point for the formulation of policies that has to do with staff appraisal.
4.   it will bring to the fore the dangers on a poor staff appraisal system.
Assumptions of the Study
In the study the following assumptions were made:
1.   That the respondents will cooperate in completing questionnaires on time
2.   Possibility of biasness will be zero
3.   Sample will be true representation of the population.
4.   About 80% of the questionnaire will be completed and returned in useable form.
Brief Historical Background of Akwa Ibom Water Company Limited
Akwa Ibom Water Company Ltd was incorporated in August 2001 as a private limited Liability Company under the companies and allied matters act. Prior to this incorporation the establishment was a state parastatal under the name Akwa Ibom State Water Corporation by virtue of Akwa Ibom Edict No.9 of 1st May, 1988. The incorporation came as a result of a series of constitutional change programme sponsored under the African Development bank (ADB) assisted water supply project aimed at ensuring that revenue earning capacity of the company is enhanced.
The company is charge with the responsibilities of controlling and managing all water works in state and to establish, control, manage, extend and develop all water projects to meet the requirements of the general public including agriculture, trade, sanitation and industry.The company has as its mission statement “to provide potable was to urban and semi urban communities in Akwa Ibom State in an efficient manner with a view to achieving continuous self sustenance for the benefit of stakeholders”.
With its headquarters in Uyo and fourteen (14) offices in Abak, Eket, Etinan, Ikot Abasi, Abiakpo, Ibiakpan, Itu, Oron, Ikono, Uyo, Utu Etim Ekpo, Ikot Ekpene, Ukanafun, and Utit Uruan, the company’s main line of business is the production and distribution of potable water to the urban and semi-urban communities in the State.The company has an organisation structure that comprises four departments viz: Managing Director Bureau, Department of Water Engineering, Technical Department and Department of Management Services. Each departmental head reports to the General Manager who in turn reports to the managing director.
Organisation of the Study
This research is organized into five (5) different but interrelated chapters.Chapter one introduces the subject matter and vividly state the problem that necessitates the study. It covers the objectives, hypotheses, significance, research questions, scope, the limitations and assumptions of the study.Chapter two was devoted to the literature that are related and relevant to the study.Chapter three covers research methodology and looked into issues such as research design, reliability of research instrument used, method of data collection, population description sampling and the data analysis methods.Chapter four was concerned with the presentation, analysis and interpretation of data and the test of hypotheses.Finally, chapter five dealt with the summary, conclusion and recommendations of the study.  
Definition of Terms used in the study
1.   Human resources: This refers to all categories of employees, skilled and unskilled workers, supervisors and managers in an organisation.
2.   Training: This is a planned organizational effort or activity concerned with helping an employee to acquire specific and immediate useable skills, knowledge and attribute that will enable him to be more efficient on his present job.
3.   Development: This is a planned activity which is focused on increasing and enlarging the capacity of the employees so that they can effectively handle higher positions in the organisation.
4.   Organisation: This is a group of people who are formally arranged in such a way that they depend upon each other to reach or achieve predetermined objectives.

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