IDEAS home Printed from
   My bibliography  Save this paper

The Role of Performance Measure Characteristics in the Design of Incentive Systems: An Empirical Analysis


  • Moers F



In this paper, I derive three general performance measure characteristics from the literature that are theoretically related to the use of performance measures, i.e., (1) the impact that a manager has on performance (sensitivity), (2) the impact that uncontrollable factors have on performance (controllability), and (3) the degree to which the performance measure is objective and verifiable (measurement accuracy). I empirically examine the effect of information asymmetry and the performance measure characteristics on the use of three types of performance measures. Furthermore, I examine how two types of uncertainty, i.e., task uncertainty and environmental uncertainty, affect information asymmetry and performance measure characteristics. The major finding of this study is that sensitivity is positively related to the use of all three types of performance measures, while measurement accuracy is positively related to two out of these three types of performance measures. Controllability, on the other hand, does not have the proposed positive effect on any of the performance measures examined. These results suggest that sensitivity and measurement accuracy play an important role in designing incentive systems, while controllability seems to play no role.

Suggested Citation

  • Moers F, 2000. "The Role of Performance Measure Characteristics in the Design of Incentive Systems: An Empirical Analysis," Research Memorandum 020, Maastricht University, Maastricht Research School of Economics of Technology and Organization (METEOR).
  • Handle: RePEc:unm:umamet:2000020

    Download full text from publisher

    File URL:
    Download Restriction: no

    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Venky Nagar, "undated". "Organizational Design Choices in Retail Banking," Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research Working Papers 09-99, Wharton School Rodney L. White Center for Financial Research.
    2. Govindarajan, V. & Gupta, Anil K., 1985. "Linking control systems to business unit strategy: impact on performance," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 10(1), pages 51-66, January.
    3. repec:bla:joares:v:23:y:1985:i:2:p:502-512 is not listed on IDEAS
    4. Sloan, Richard G., 1993. "Accounting earnings and top executive compensation," Journal of Accounting and Economics, Elsevier, vol. 16(1-3), pages 55-100, April.
    5. Gordon, Lawrence A. & Narayanan, V. K., 1984. "Management accounting systems, perceived environmental uncertainty and organization structure: An empirical investigation," Accounting, Organizations and Society, Elsevier, vol. 9(1), pages 33-47, January.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)


    Citations are extracted by the CitEc Project, subscribe to its RSS feed for this item.

    Cited by:

    1. Rose, Timothy & Manley, Karen, 2011. "Motivation toward financial incentive goals on construction projects," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 64(7), pages 765-773, July.

    More about this item


    accounting and auditing ;


    Access and download statistics


    All material on this site has been provided by the respective publishers and authors. You can help correct errors and omissions. When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:unm:umamet:2000020. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Leonne Portz). General contact details of provider: .

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If CitEc recognized a reference but did not link an item in RePEc to it, you can help with this form .

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your RePEc Author Service profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    IDEAS is a RePEc service hosted by the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis . RePEc uses bibliographic data supplied by the respective publishers.