This paper examines the performance appraisal system that has been implemented in some public service organisations in line with the changes to a more commercialized structure. In an effort to change the behaviours and attitudes of public servants, performance appraisal systems have incorporated the new values and desired behaviours. Although a myriad of studies exist in regards to the new public management and on the topic of performance appraisal systems, there are few critical management studies of the implementation and operation of performance appraisal in the public sector. To date, most critical studies of performance appraisal have concentrated on the private sector. This paper seeks to rectifY the neglect of the public sector in the literature. It does so by proposing a critical discourse analysis as a methodology to establish if performance appraisal systems are used as a tool through which management can influence, control and manage the organisation, change values, norms, behaviours and thus create and/or sustain a particular version of organisational and social reality.