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Reactivity and the Dialectics of Performance Measurement: Micropolitics Between Agency and Compliance
Administration & Society  (IF2.69),  Pub Date : 2021-03-26, DOI: 10.1177/00953997211003841
Peter Woelert

This article adds to the recent literature stressing performance measures’ reactivity by offering a conceptualization of the associated micropolitical dynamics and their implications for performance measurement. Using the example of individual actors’ “gaming” responses to the use of research metrics within Australian universities for illustration, this article argues that such responses reflect both passive self-imposition as well as active subversion of performance measures. It is illustrated that this implies that gaming reinforces metrics’ standing and sway over individual and organizational efforts while, at the same time, undermining the foundations from which performance measurement derives its legitimacy in the first place.