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Measuring & Managing Performance in Organizations

3.92  ·  Rating details ·  178 ratings  ·  21 reviews
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Published November 27th 1996 by John Wiley & Sons (first published June 1st 1996)
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Sep 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
This is a must read for anyone involved with, pondering or subject to measurement. That should include essentially everyone.

Robert Austin brilliantly covers a hard topic in a nuanced way, dispensing stern advice and warnings along the way.
You'll learn about how, and when, measurements will lead to dysfunction, alternative modes and pointers what to do instead.

For those reaching chapter 18 "Societal Implications and Extensions" and wanting a good treatise on the subject instead of a heap of qu
May 04, 2010 rated it really liked it
Measuring and Managing Performance in Organizations is an excellent retort to those that believe "If you can't measure it, you can't manage it" to be gospel. The book breaks down measurement scenarios into two categories: partial and complete supervision. Under complete supervision, every nuance of a worker's productivity is observed and understood by management and therefore measurement is an appropriate tool to increase efficiency and motivate workers. However under partial supervision, which ...more
Nov 09, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read only the most important chapters, per instructions for the fastest read in the book. It can be pretty much summed into "It's extremely difficult, if not impossible, to measure performance in organisations without affecting it negatively." It provides interesting examples of failed metrics and ways people optimise their work to accomplish personal goals and satisfy dysfunctional performance measuring system, sacrificing the organisation's goals along the way.

4 stars for the book because th
Jurgen Appelo
Fantastic book with amazing research. One point off for its boring presentation.
Denis Vasilev
Любопытная книга по измерению продуктивности в организациях. Интересный вывод о наличии пределов эффективности таких измерений. Разбор ситуаций когда измерение может приносить пользу, когда вред. Минус за ненужные экскурсы в теорию агентов, многословие, наукообразность
Tadhg Maccarthy
4.5 stars.
Worth it alone for the focus on the potential for measurement to introduce dysfunction; for example the publically listed market companies that focus on quarterly results.
Muness Castle
Jul 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: dead-tree, mgmt, owned
An excellent read on management that explains the difficulties of managing by measurement and the circumstances under which extrinsic motivation can lead to dysfunction.
Feb 26, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book. Maybe because it offers a backbone to a perspective I've had for a while but didn't know how to defend very well until now. I found the writing clear, and the ideas sensible and supported by arguments, and what seems to be a carefully design interview with 8 experts.

The model presented is worth studying in more depth.
Some points about it: it proposes 3 levels of supervision possible: full, partial, and no supervision.
Partial supervision brings forward the possibilit
Nikos Polyzotis
Feb 14, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Intriguing & quite appealing

The model proposed fits well with the differentiation of extrinsic vs intrinsic motivation. The whole approach is scientific. Facts, former studies and riddled with detailed explanations of what is applicable at a work environment. Truly worth the time spent reading it.
Henrik Berglund Berglund
May 13, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I picked this book up to learn how to measure without causing dysfunction. I have always been wondering how to do that and got a recommendation that this would be a good read...

I really liked Robert D. Austins take on the subject. Using a simple model, he thorougly examinines measurements, traditionals views and dysfunctions caused by these.

He then ends up in a place where there is trust, honesty, good intentions, decentralization, group identity and intrinsic motivation.

In this situation, some
Raman Ohri
Jun 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: work
The book worked for me on two levels.

First, it was an excellent example of how to construct, use, and interpret a model. Like many skills, sounds easy and gets taken for granted, but it is not.

Second, the point of the book is around the consequences of measurement systems. It does a fine job of categorizing systems and approaches and then carefully explains what the model says about each of these situations. I'm admittedly biased - my style and intuition match the conclusions of the book in gene
Aug 26, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: rm
One of the most cogent pieces on measurement I've read to date. A simple, illustrative model helps practitioners think through potential implications of implementing a measurement program. Informational versus motivational, full supervision versus no supervision, measurement versus delegation—all very useful dichotomies for discussing measurement. Highly recommend to all managers, especially those new to management. In addition, highly recommend to senior leaders, who may be more divorced from t ...more
Feb 09, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: management
This book is not an easy read. It has an academic tone so I had to stop a few times and reread the last sentence to get it right. It also doesn't offer a lot of practical advice. But that was not the author's purpose, I believe. He instead provides a rigorous theoretical model for measuring performance. The conclusion should be startling for managers: in most cases where work is complex, driving performance with measurements will be hard, if not impossible. ...more
Rick Austin
Aug 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
Really gets you thinking about the unintended consequences of most measurement programs. I'll not think the same way again and will spend a lot more time on what dysfunctions might be created by a particular type of measurement. ...more
Paul Floyd
Feb 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
The best book I've read in a good while.

It describes my work environment to a T.
Apr 23, 2008 rated it liked it
One Ford manager's primal scream against clumsy incentivisation and crude human performance models. ...more
Ralf Kruse
One of the best books on to understand the challenges with KPIs. Really insightful concepts and examples. While the content is great, the writing style is a bit boring.
Normunds Neimanis
Jul 17, 2015 rated it really liked it
Really a lot of things what not to do and small amount of what to do. Tough very interesting read and revealing of explanation of what is happening in organizations and societies in large scale.
Luis Gonçalves
Aug 03, 2014 rated it liked it
Really great material. Great research. Great book.

I give it three because its written in a such boring way that I could not give a better rating
Derek W.  Wade
Sep 16, 2010 marked it as to-read
Recommended by @estherderby
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: business, non-fiction
Very good despite being dry.
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