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The Role of Criticism in the Dynamics of Performance Evaluation Systems

Drawing on the concept of « trial », developed by French sociologists, this article analyzes the dynamics of employees’ performance evaluation systems, particularly those involving accounting performance measures. A case study is presented as an illustration of our proposal to consider these systems as one of the major trials in the business world, that is, social arrangements organizing the testing of people and resulting in ordering them, and further in consistent social goods allocation. This analysis emphasizes the role of criticism in the dynamics and evolution of performance evaluation systems and enables us to revisit concepts like controllability or objectivity which have been presented for decades as cornerstones of performance evaluation systems either in management control or in human resource management fields.

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Paper provided by ESSEC Research Center, ESSEC Business School in its series ESSEC Working Papers with number DR 03017.

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Length: 68 pages
Date of creation: May 2003
Date of revision:
Handle: RePEc:ebg:essewp:dr-03017
Contact details of provider: Postal: ESSEC Research Center, BP 105, 95021 Cergy, France
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  1. Blakely, Gerald L., 1993. "The Effects of Performance Rating Discrepancies on Supervisors and Subordinates," Organizational Behavior and Human Decision Processes, Elsevier, vol. 54(1), pages 57-80, February.
  2. Meyer, John W., 1986. "Social environments and organizational accounting," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 11(4-5), pages 345-356, July.
  3. Williams, Paul F., 1987. "The legitimate concern with fairness," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 12(2), pages 169-189, March.
  4. Tinker, Anthony M. & Merino, Barbara D. & Neimark, Marilyn Dale, 1982. "The normative origins of positive theories: Ideology and accounting thought," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 7(2), pages 167-200, April.
  5. Richard, Chrystelle & Reix, Robert, 2002. "Contribution à l'analyse de la qualité du processus d'audit : le rôle de la relation entre le directeur financier et le commissaire aux comptes," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/3209, Paris Dauphine University.
  6. Boland, Richard Jr. & Pondy, Louis R., 1983. "Accounting in organizations: A union of natural and rational perspectives," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 8(2-3), pages 223-234, May.
  7. Richardson, Alan J., 1987. "Accounting as a legitimating institution," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 12(4), pages 341-355, June.
  8. Libby, Theresa, 1999. "The influence of voice and explanation on performance in a participative budgeting setting," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 24(2), pages 125-137, April.
  9. Fisher, Joseph & Frederickson, James R. & Peffer, Sean A., 2002. "The effect of information asymmetry on negotiated budgets: an empirical investigation," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 27(1-2), pages 27-43.
  10. Pras, Bernard & Evrard, Yves & Roux, Elyette, 2003. "Market : études et recherches en marketing," Economics Papers from University Paris Dauphine 123456789/654, Paris Dauphine University.
  11. Ansari, Shahid & Euske, K. J., 1987. "Rational, rationalizing, and reifying uses of accounting data in organizations," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 12(6), pages 549-570, October.
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