A83. Lehr, J. & Rice, R. E. (2005).  How are organizational measures really used?  Quality Management Journal, 1212(3), 39-60.


This study uses multiple theoretical perspectives and multiple methods to understand how organizational measures are used.  Theoretical perspectives include organizational learning, Weickian sense-making, quality management, and critical theory.  Methods include surveys over three time periods, interviews, focus groups, process observation/tracking, and archival materials.  The case site was one unit of an international information services corporation.  The occasion for the assessment of various organizational measures was the implementation of a two systems (a customer service database and a document-imaging system) designed to help the unit meet the explicit contracted performance measures for servicing of corporate telephone calling cards for over 6,000 companies who are customers of a major telephone company.  Results found that 1) a variety of paradoxical uses and consequences of measures arose, 2) there were several “disconnects” or gaps between intentions and consequences of measures, 3) there was considerable variation in the extent to which measurement philosophies and procedures were explicitly presented, and commonly shared, and 4) there was limited efforts to obtain double-loop learning or process improvement about measurement activities themselves. Each theoretical perspective highlighted different aspects of the use and evaluation of organizational measures.

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