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Multiple measures, inscription instability and action at a distance: performance measurement practices in the pharmaceutical industry

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  • Dambrin, Claire

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  • Robson, Keith
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    Abstract

    In this paper the authors explore performance measurement practices in pharmaceutical companies with particular reference to the inscribing (or ‘tracing’) of pharmaceutical representatives (‘drug reps’) responsible for the promotion of prescription medications to general practitioners and other healthcare professionals. They draw upon Latour’s sociology of translation to explore the qualities of the inscriptions practiced in French pharmaceutical companies to control drug reps at a distance. Within the context of regulatory constraints upon drug representatives’ activities and the reporting of pharmaceutical prescriptions in France, the authors analyze the inscriptions devices and explore problems of interessement and instability of ‘performance measurement’ inscriptions. The paper concludes with a discussion of the concept of stability and how processes of ambiguity, uncertainty and professional identity may contribute to stabilizing inscriptions and tackling problems of action at a distance.

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    Bibliographic Info

    Paper provided by HEC Paris in its series Les Cahiers de Recherche with number 928.

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    Length: 58 pages
    Date of creation: 01 Mar 2009
    Date of revision:
    Handle: RePEc:ebg:heccah:0928

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    Postal: HEC Paris, 78351 Jouy-en-Josas cedex, France
    Web page: http://www.hec.fr/
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    Related research

    Keywords: performance measurement; pharmaceutical industry;

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