This conceptual work critically examines how employees in multinational corporations (MNCs) receive performance management (PM) systems. Employee acceptance of the PM system across MNCs' subsidiaries is critical for PM effectiveness. Furthermore, the context plays a significant role in determining employee acceptance of the PM, and this varies widely across borders. The paper uses the lens of reciprocity theory to propose a conceptual PM framework to advance employee acceptability of PM. Four key steps in the framework assess the acceptability of PM at different stages, ensuring the PM system evolves and improves with each stage. These steps include analysing the context of the subsidiary, developing and applying management actions that reflect the goals of the MNC, its subsidiaries and individual employees and embedding the customised PM process across the MNC to foster trust and the perception of fairness. The framework's value for practitioners is to increase employees' probability of accepting the PM. We conclude that multinationals must pay more attention to the PM context across their borders, particularly the cultural context.

Original languageEnglish
JournalEuropean Management Review
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - Feb 2024


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