Journal of Management Information and Decision Sciences (Print ISSN: 1524-7252; Online ISSN: 1532-5806)


Performance Management and the Pitfalls of Measurements

Author(s): Harry Muller

Evaluating performance factors by means of ‘performance controlling’ is of great importance for the management of operational value creation processes, but it is fraught with major problems of measurability. The present article examines this by reference to the higher education system, where the difficulties and limitations of performance measurements can be graphically described. Firstly, the role of performance controlling in general and its problems in practice are outlined. By reference to higher education, and specifically the areas of teaching and research, it is shown that defining good teaching and good research by using straightforward key ratios is often problematical. It is proposed that even apparently simple indicators and tried and tested approaches can lead to counter-productive incentives for lecturers and professors, and this in turn can lead to significant performance control problems. This is not merely the result of special factors in the further education system, it indicates a fundamental problem of performance controlling. Here, this article demands a more sensitive application of the methods of performance measurement, even in private business and especially in connection with the evaluation and controlling of sustainability.

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