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Measuring and Managing Performance in Organizations by Robert D. Austin, Timothy Lister, Tom DeMarco

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Chapter Thirteen. Purely Informational Measurement

“Where we go astray is when we start trying to measure people. If we could figure out how to decouple [the] measurement system [from motivation] so it is truly just [measuring] things, . . . if we could figure out how to do that, then I think it would be tremendously successful. I don’t know the answer to that. I wish I did. I’d sure give it away.”

In the above quote, Tilford wishes for a practical distinction to parallel the conceptual difference between motivational and informational uses of measurement. If the decoupling could be achieved, there would be obvious benefits. Information conveyed by an agent who is not worried about how the information will affect his future rewards might provide ...

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