The Perils of Measuring Performance

The omnipresence of smiley evaluations, rankings, scores, key performance indicators and school grades hardly surprise us anymore. We take their presence and value for granted. But these quantified measures of performance come at a cost, I argue in a recent commentary in Business & Society.

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De Meetmaatschappij in de media

Na zo’n tien jaar onderzoek, honderden schrijfuren en duizenden espresso’s, ligt De Meetmaatschappij nu in de boekhandels als paperback, ebook en luisterboek! In het boek ga ik in op de vraag waarom we toch alles in cijfers willen uitdrukken – van schoolprestaties tot patiënttevredenheid, en van SMART doelen op het werk tot ranglijsten van de beste universiteiten. Daarbij bespreek ik wat deze cijferobsessie met ons en onze maatschappij doet. In deze blog houd ik bij wat er in de media verschijnt over De Meetmaatschappij.

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Remote working, management control changes & employee responses

How did remote working impact management control practices during the COVID crisis, and how did employees respond to these changes? Gianluca Delfino & I address these questions in a recently published paper in Accounting, Auditing and Accountability Journal, drawing on a field study of Italian professional service firms (PSFs). Below, the context of the study and some key findings are highlighted.

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Do experience and gender impact auditors’ moral awareness?

An auditor’s signature signals to key stakeholders whether a firm’s financial information is to be trusted or not. Their ability to recognize inconsistencies and ethical issues is of paramount importance in this process. But what impacts their ability to identify ethical issues? The study in which we address this question was recently accepted for publication in Managerial Auditing Journal, and below we present our key findings.

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How change begets change

Organizations are frequently confronted with environmental shifts and change. In our recent publication (Toldbod and Van der Kolk, forthcoming in the European Accounting Review), we examine how environmental shifts can trigger cascades of management control changes, how this creates incoherence, and how managers can use the incoherence to stimulate organizational dialogue.

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Teaching case autonomous vehicles

Sensor areas for environment observation

Which moral choices does an autonomous car face? And what are the strategic implications for companies that offer products relying on artificial intelligence? My colleague Maya Kumar and I recently published a teaching case at IVEY Publishing about the Audi A8: The world’s first level 3 autonomous vehicle, addressing these and other questions.  Continue reading

Control combinations, organizational values and tensions

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What are the combined effects of different management tools on individuals in an organization? This week, our study addressing this question was published in the academic journal Management Accounting Research. Continue reading