There is ongoing discourse in management circles that the potential of performance appraisal to increase levels of employee motivation is impeded by inefficiencies in the system. These inefficiencies have been largely linked to line manager involvement in the implementation process. This study investigates the impact of performance appraisal implementation on employee motivation. The study was qualitative, and involved interviews with three line managers in Nigerian banks. Results showed that whilst there are inefficiencies in the system which are sometimes engineered by line managers, the involvement of managers also has a significant effect in motivating employees to higher performance. The results also showed that there is a gulf between HR managers and line managers in implementing performance appraisal and this is partly responsible for the errors caused by line managers. Consequently, it is recommended that organisations promote collaboration between HR managers and line managers towards enhancing the effectiveness of the system.