European Business Schools Librarian's Group

Les Cahiers de Recherche,
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No 777: The role of Criticism in the Dynamics of Performance Evaluation Systems

CHIAPELLO Eve () and BOURGUIGNON Annick ()
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BOURGUIGNON Annick: ESSEC Business School

Abstract: 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.

Keywords: Criticism; performance evaluation systems; fairness; objectivity; controllability; legitimacy; bonus

JEL-codes: J24; M12; M40

39 pages, February 1, 2003

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