The Tyranny of Metrics

The Tyranny of Metrics

Jerry Z. Muller

The attempt to measure performance—while pocked with pitfalls, as we will see—is intrinsically desirable. If what is actually measured is a reasonable proxy for what is intended to be measured, and if it is combined with judgment, then measurement can help practitioners to assess their own performance, both for individuals and for organizations. But problems arise when such measures become the criteria used to reward and punish—when metrics become the basis of pay-for-performance or ratings.

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