Whether carried out by external consultants or internally, evaluation of business activity frequently relies on the use of criteria that arise from industry norms, benchmarking or other sources outside the organization. The research presented in this paper questions the utility of measures that use such criteria. Based on the authors' research, we show how reliance on predetermined criteria can simultaneously ossify the evaluation process and alienate the organizational community being evaluated. We aim to show how systems theory can provide a means to address the shortcomings of contemporary evaluation practice. Techniques that enable systems concepts to be operationalized in the work setting are described and the results of their use are discussed. By challenging the dominance of rational economic evaluation criteria, the paper provides an agenda for change for managers, evaluators and researchers.
Determining value in organizations : myths, norms, facts and values.Faculty Publications
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
Creative Commons LicenseCreative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0
Citation InformationHebel, M. and Davis, C. J. (2005), Determining value in organizations : myths, norms, facts and values. Systems Research and Behavioral Science, 22: 525-536. doi: 10.1002/sres.686