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Evaluations: Hidden Costs, Questionable Benefits, and Superior Alternatives

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  • Bruno S. Frey
  • Margit Osterloh

Abstract

Research evaluation is praised as the symbol of modern quality management. We claim firstly, performance evaluations in research have higher costs than normally assumed, because the evaluated persons and institutions systematically change their behavior and develop counter strategies. Moreover, intrinsic work motivation is crowded out and undesired lock-in effects take place. Secondly, the benefits of performance evaluations are questionable. Evaluations provide too little information relevant for decision-making. In addition, they lose importance due to new forms of scientific cooperation on the internet. Thirdly, there exist superior alternatives. They consist in careful selection and supportive process coaching ? and then leave individuals and research institutions to direct themselves.

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Bibliographic Info

Paper provided by Center for Research in Economics, Management and the Arts (CREMA) in its series CREMA Working Paper Series with number 2006-23.

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Date of creation: Aug 2006
Date of revision: Oct 2006
Handle: RePEc:cra:wpaper:2006-23

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Keywords: Evaluation; rankings; hidden costs; multi tasking; intrinsic motivation; control theory; selection;

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  1. Stephan, Andreas & Brück, Tilman, 2005. "Do Eurozone Countries Cheat with their Budget Deficit Forecasts?," Working Paper Series 2005,5, European University Viadrina Frankfurt (Oder), The Postgraduate Research Programme Capital Markets and Finance in the Enlarged Europe.
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Cited by:
  1. Maredia, Mywish K., 2009. "Improving the proof: Evolution of and emerging trends in impact assessment methods and approaches in agricultural development," IFPRI discussion papers 929, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).
  2. Corsi Marcella & D'Ippoliti Carlo & Lucidi Federico, 2011. "On the Evaluation of Economic Research: The Case of Italy," Economia politica, Società editrice il Mulino, issue 3, pages 369-402.
  3. Matthias Meyer & Rüdiger W. Waldkirch & Michael A. Zaggl, 2012. "Relative Performance Measurement of Researchers: The Impact of Data Source Selection," Schmalenbach Business Review (sbr), LMU Munich School of Management, vol. 64(4), pages 308-330, October.

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