1. bookVolume 8 (2015): Issue 2 (December 2015)
    Issue Title: Towards Meaningful Measurement: Performance Management at the Crossroads of Internal Efficiency and Social Impacts, Issue Editors: Juraj Nemec, Gyorgy Hajnal Wouter van Dooren Jarmo Vakkuri Aleksander Aristovnik
Journal Details
First Published
03 Aug 2009
Publication timeframe
2 times per year
Open Access

When will we ever learn ?

Published Online: 29 Jan 2016
Volume & Issue: Volume 8 (2015) - Issue 2 (December 2015) - Issue Title: Towards Meaningful Measurement: Performance Management at the Crossroads of Internal Efficiency and Social Impacts, Issue Editors: Juraj Nemec, Gyorgy Hajnal Wouter van Dooren Jarmo Vakkuri Aleksander Aristovnik
Page range: 149 - 170
Journal Details
First Published
03 Aug 2009
Publication timeframe
2 times per year

This paper puts forward the argument that Performance Measurement Systems (PMSs) foster rational, self-interested behaviour and vested values at all levels within organisations, which weakens moral barriers preventing fraud, fabrication of data and bribery. It argues that the longer a PMS is in operation, the greater the probability that rational self-interested behaviour in conflict with fundamental values and goals will be consolidated, aggravated and disseminated within organisations that operate within public welfare policy. If implemented, common incentives aimed at counteracting undesirable behaviour aggravate and speed up this process rather than reversing it. In a worst-case scenario, PMSs are the first step toward corruption, even though PMSs have been implemented with the good intention of improving public policy and strengthening accountability.


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