Journal of Business Ethics

, Volume 45, Issue 1–2, pp 51–63

Ethical Dilemmas in Performance Measurement

  • Inge C. Kerssens-van Drongelen
  • Olaf A.M. Fisscher

DOI: 10.1023/A:1024120428490

Cite this article as:
Kerssens-van Drongelen, I.C. & Fisscher, O.A. Journal of Business Ethics (2003) 45: 51. doi:10.1023/A:1024120428490


In this article we discuss the ethical dilemmas facing performance evaluators and the "evaluatees" whose performances are measured in a business context. The concepts of role morality and common morality are used to develop a framework of behaviors that are normally seen as the moral responsibilities of these actors. This framework is used to analyze, based on four empirical situations, why the implementation of a performance measurement system has not been as effective as expected. It was concluded that, in these four cases, unethical behavior (i.e. deviations from the ethical behaviors identified in the framework) provided, at least to some extent, an explanation for the lower than expected effectiveness of the performance measurement procedures. At the end of the paper we present an agenda for further research through which the framework could be further developed and systematically applied to a broader set of cases.

business ethics common-sense morality moral responsibility performance measurement role morality 

Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • Inge C. Kerssens-van Drongelen
    • 1
  • Olaf A.M. Fisscher
    • 1
  1. 1.School of Business, Public Administration and TechnologyUniversity of TwenteEnschedeThe Netherlands

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