This article explores administrative culture and examines its impact on performance
appraisal reforms in Uganda’s civil service. It reveals that Uganda’s bureaucracy
is characterised by large power distance, strong uncertainty avoidance, high
ethnicity adherence and political neutrality. Research findings indicate that these
cultural variables influence the performance appraisal by sabotaging its actual
implementation and undermining its institutionalisation. The study supports the
use of power distance and uncertainty avoidance by various scholars to analyse
the linkage between administrative culture and instruments of management. The
additional dimensions of political (neutrality) biasness and ethnicity pursued are
highly relevant additions to the literature.
It is argued that for the successful introduction of performance appraisals, culture
matters. Although the Ugandan government introduced appraisal reforms,
incompatibility between the values embedded in the appraisal and the host
administrative culture watered down the reform.