Jeffrey Pfeffer

Measures signal what is deemed important inside companies, because what is measured must be, almost by definition, important—just for the very fact of it being measured. Conversely, what is neglected by measures is, by inference, unimportant. Measures focus people’s attention. Measures typically drive rewards and reinforcement, because performance on measures has consequences for people’s raises, promotions, and job tenure. Therefore, and it should come as no surprise, measures help determine people’s behavior. This is a lesson that comes from the quality movement, and also from social science research in disciplines ranging from organizational behavior to management accounting.

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