This PhD thesis presents a comprehensive study on developing a performance management framework designed
using a sampled top-tier law firm in Nigeria. This research aims to address the unique challenges and requirements of
managing, evaluating, and reporting on employee performance within a law firm, ultimately contributing to improving
organizational efficiency and employee growth.
The thesis begins with a description of the issue followed by a thorough analysis of the existing literature on
performance management, focusing on its theoretical fundamentals and standard practices in various industries. Special
attention is given to the distinctive characteristics of law firms, incorporating their cultural context, strategic preferences,
and professional expectations. Combining this knowledge develops a theoretical framework for the subsequent empirical
The research methodology is a qualitative approach to gathering data from interviews with partners, managers, and
employees, providing valuable insights into the current performance management practices, challenges faced, and areas
for improvement. The quantitative aspect relates to the collation and computation of performance measures to establish
the parameters for relevant reporting.
Based on the findings from the data analysis, a performance management framework tailored precisely for top-tier
law firms is proposed. The framework takes into consideration the various methodologies identified in the literature
review and empirical research, addressing key concerns such as strategic congruence, context congruence, thoroughness,
practicality, meaningfulness, specificity, identification of effective and ineffective performance, reliability, validity,
acceptability and fairness, openness, correctability, standardization, and ethicality.
The framework proposed provides law firms with a structured and comprehensive approach to evaluating and
managing employee performance, aligning individual objectives with organizational/ team goals, promoting a culture of
fairness and accountability, and enabling continuous improvement and development. The framework is expected to
enhance law firms' performance outcomes, employee engagement, and organizational effectiveness.
This PhD thesis significantly contributes to the field of performance management in the legal industry by offering a
tailored framework that addresses law firms' specific challenges and requirements. It provides valuable insights and
practical recommendations for law firm leaders, managers, and human resources professionals, aiding them in
implementing a performance management system that supports achieving strategic objectives while promoting employee
growth and success.