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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 Institute for Empirical Research in Economics - University of Zurich in its series IEW - Working Papers with number 302.

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Date of creation: Sep 2006
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Handle: RePEc:zur:iewwpx:302

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

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  1. Tilman Brück & Andreas Stephan, 2006. "Do Eurozone Countries Cheat with their Budget Deficit Forecasts?," Kyklos, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 59(1), pages 3-15, 02.
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Cited by:
  1. 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.
  2. 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).
  3. Marcella Corsi & Carlo D'Ippoliti & Federico Lucidi, 2011. "On the Evaluation of Economic Research: the Case of Italy," DULBEA Working Papers 11-04, ULB -- Universite Libre de Bruxelles.

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