Performance Family Sustainability

Updated: Aug 10, 2019

Introducing the Basics of Performance Family Sustainability


Sustaining our future


More and more companies are using what's called a performance management system. Stanford University, for example, uses a performance management system to providing their employees with approaches, processes and tools to be the best employees that they can be. Likewise, the performance family sustainability system is characterized by providing families with the approaches, processes and tools they need to be the best families they can be.

Performance management systems are specifically characterized by feedback between leaders and employees. Zinger (2017) reports that when performance management systems are done well, there are positive outcomes. Other performance standards establish ongoing communication loops where performance is maintained on the basis of results (quality, quantity, timeliness).

Leading organizations today have devoted a great deal of their research and practice to understanding and improving the performance of families in legal trials. All of us who have participated in a family sustainability groups are united in our observance of unsustainable performances and the various differences in family sustainability performances. Variations that are crucial to other organizations and communities struggling to survive in competitive environments. 

Before we get into the basics of performance family sustainability, we'll first consider what's called criterion measurement. A criteria (singular) is an evaluative standards like a yardstick we can use for measuring success or failure.




Dr. Voyles (2019) explains that there are ultimate criteria and actual criteria. Ultimate criterion (plural) encompasses all the aspects of performance that define success. Constructs that we develop as a goal to shoot for in measuring ultimate performance success. Thorndike (1949) describes ultimate criterion as very complex and not really accessible. We can never completely define and measure every aspect of performance.

Actual criterion, on the other hand, is the best real-world representation of the ultimate criterion Dr. Voyles (2019). We develop actual criteria to compare or overlap with the ultimate criterion as much as possible. This includes only those elements of the ultimate criterion that we intend to measure.


Relevant links

Based on extensive research with army enlisted personnel, Campbell developed a basic model for job performance which we can use to consider family performance (Campbell, 1990; Campbell, McHenry, & Wise, 1990). He proposes three determinants of performance: declarative knowledge, procedural (likeness), and motivation. By determinants of performance, he means the basic building blocks.

Campbell and his colleagues have proposed a model of work performance which can also be used as a model of family performance. Performance is behavior. In its ideal form, it is something that people actually do and that can be observed and measured. In many families, of course, the behavior is empathizing, thinking, planning, or problem solving and cannot actually be observed. Instead, it can only be described with the help of those in the family.

Families, organizations, society, and psychology deals with various behaviors. In the case of work psychology, this means behavior of workers, work performance, etc. In the case of families, this means behavior of basic home performance like cooking, cleaning, and empathy. Work psychology considers the following variables as an example to measuring performance:

- Time to complete a project

-  Number of products produced

-  Total days absent

-  Total value of sales


Family psychology considers the following variables to measure performance:

- Time spent together

- Number of meals eaten together

- Number of missed meals

- Total days per year apart

- Rating those feelings of being together

- Rating those feelings of being apart


Basic Model of Performance Family Sustainability

Landy & Conte (2013) teach that positive psychology is a new lane in virtually all areas of psychology. And this is logical because without stable conditions, how could anyone unstable ever get know where to go? Likewise, without formal family sustainability conditions, then how can any family who is going through a trial ever know where to go? 

One positive criterion is what's called family citizenship behavior (FCB). FCBs are those behaviors known for going above and beyond what is expected. Behaviors like seeing a single mother without food in the home for her children and bringing her groceries. Helpful behaviors such as offering to help a co-parent who is up against some deadline. FCBs can be assessed and measured and then used for overall FCBs.


Causes & Correlations of Citizenship Behavior

As often happens when a new concept or construct emerges, a good deal of research appears related to the causes and correlations. Hunt (2002) found that in very structured jobs, for example, where employees are expected to follow rigid rules, citizenship behaviors likely do as much harm as good. It appears that "initiative" might actually backfire on those who offer a more complete view.

Borman, Penner, Allen, and Motowidlo (2001) found evidence for a positive relationship between conscientiousness and citizenship behavior.

Witt, Kacmar, Carlson, and Zivnuska (2002) studied the relationship between negative organizational "politics" (e.g., a tendency to agree with superiors for the sake of going along, the role of unpopular but good ideas) and citizenship behavior. They found that the more negative the political environment, the less likely it was that citizenship behavior would appear.    

This sample of research, currently in its infancy, shows a fascinating view of effective performance and how it can be achieved.


Counterproductive Family Behavior (CFB)

The elephant in the room when it comes to family citizenship behavior (FCB) is counterproductive family behavior (CFB). We previously considered the "sunny side" of performance. But there is a lightless side of performance.

CFBs are such things as absence, sabotage, taking advantage of, and other unsustainable behaviors. Behaviors done for self-gain and are destructive to the whole unit.

Let's look at two common CFBs: dishonesty and sabotage.

Dishonesty like theft is a major issue in many communities, particularly in retail businesses. Dishonesty can also involve theft of time or dishonest coercion and communications.

Sabotage is defined as "the intention to damage, disrupt, or subvert." Counterproductive behaviors can be thought of as magnets pulling the group apart. There are many dissatisfied community members, yet very few of them resort to sabotage (Landy & Conte, 2013).

Treatments for CFBs