• Summary
  • Contents
  • Subject index

Questioning Performance Measurement: Metrics, Organizations and Power is the first book to interrogate the organizational turn towards performance metrics critically. Performance measurement is used to evaluate a diverse range of activities throughout the private, public and non-governmental sectors. But in an increasingly data driven world, what does it really mean to measure ‘performance’? Taking a sociology of quantification perspective, this book traces the rise of performance measurement, questions its methods and objectivity, and examines the social significance of the flood of numbers through which value is represented and actors are held accountable. An illuminating read for students, scholars and practitioners across Organization Studies, Sociology, Business and Management, Public Policy and Administration.

Magical Numbers: Performance Measurement And Public Goods
Magical Numbers: Performance Measurement And Public Goods

According to Bowland and Fowler, around the turn of the millennium the language of performance had become ‘an almost everyday feature of work in public sector organisations’ (2000: 417), while in 2009 Diefenbach saw the public sector as gripped by a ‘measurement fever’ (200). We are possibly past fever pitch, but PM continues to pervade public sector organizations and government oversight of them. This chapter traces this development. It shows how the promises of PM were adapted to the sphere of public services, then gives some examples of how this has played out in particular sectors such as human services, policing, education and health. By now there is a vast literature ...

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