Higher Education

, Volume 40, Issue 3, pp 277-292

First online:

Performance indicators as conceptual technologies

  • Bob BarnetsonAffiliated withAlberta Colleges & Institutes Faculties Association Email author 
  • , Marc CutrightAffiliated withThe Johns Hopkins University

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This paper posits that performance indicators (PIs)are conceptual technologies that shape what issuesacademics think about and how academics think aboutthose issues by embedding normative assumptions intothe selection and structure of those indicators.Exploring the assumptions embedded in Alberta's(Canada) PIs yields an initial typology of assumptionsthat academics can apply to performance indicators inhigher education to understand, refine or criticallychallenge their introduction.

Canada conceptual technology critical theory higher education institutional effectiveness performance indicators performance funding resource allocation