ABSTRACT

We describe the context wherein a Fortune 500 company's performance measurement model (PMM) has endured and evolved over a 15-year period. The PMM's tenure and continued importance refute the alleged faddish nature of PMMs such as the Balanced Scorecard, at least in this case, and allow identification of factors that add to theory about PMM longevity. We use a behavioral-economic framework and qualitative and quantitative data to examine the mechanisms behind this successful PMM. Aspects of the way the PMM is designed and implemented appear to enable the company using the PMM to exploit or mitigate common behavioral heuristics and biases in decision-making. The PMM helps manage cognitive load in a way that is consistent with the company's priorities, and it manages biases by allowing the company to frame performance information in ways that nudge managers toward strategically important results and risks. The behavioral-economic connection might be a reason why this PMM, and perhaps others, endures. Thus, this study adds to and presents preliminary empirical support for testable behavioral-economic PMM theory.

Data Availability: Use of all data collected for this study is regulated by a strict nondisclosure agreement, which requires the researchers to protect the company's identity and its proprietary information.

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