Conforming or transforming? How organizations respond to multiple rankings

Neil Pollock, Luciana D'Adderio, Robin Williams

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The dominant theme within extant research on performance and ranking conceptualises the organisational response to a ranking as one where it responds by ‘conforming’ to the measure (Korberger and Carter 2010, Scott and Orlikowski 2012, Shore and Wright 2015). This process of ‘reactivity’ (Espeland and Sauder 2007), however, is not always possible, especially in the complex and rapidly - changing settings described in this paper. In cer tain contexts organisations are typically surrounded by multiple measures, raising the question as to which they should align. Drawing on an ethnographic study across a number of sites, we show how some organisations instead of conforming to a single measu re are ‘transforming’ to respond to the challenge of multiple rankings, by constructing and elaborating new forms of expertise, knowledge and connection with rankers. Unlike prior research that presents organisations as constrained by systems of measuring (which we name ‘reactive conformance’), we examine how they are becoming more proactive towards this challenge (described as ‘reflexive transformation’). Specifically, building on themes from accounting and the ‘sociology of worth', we present evidence tha t organisations exercise greater choice than expected about which rankings they respond to, shape their ranked positions, as well as wield influence over assessment criteria and the wider evaluative ecosystem.
LanguageEnglish
JournalAccounting, Organizations and Society
Early online date20 Nov 2017
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 20 Nov 2017

Fingerprint

ranking
Organizations
assessment criteria
Sociology
Research
Names
Ecosystem
sociology
expertise
Ranking
performance
evidence

Keywords

  • multiple rankings
  • economy perfomance measurement
  • economy environment

Cite this

@article{1cda95030ee546899cb8a61e48fe80b0,
title = "Conforming or transforming? How organizations respond to multiple rankings",
abstract = "The dominant theme within extant research on performance and ranking conceptualises the organisational response to a ranking as one where it responds by ‘conforming’ to the measure (Korberger and Carter 2010, Scott and Orlikowski 2012, Shore and Wright 2015). This process of ‘reactivity’ (Espeland and Sauder 2007), however, is not always possible, especially in the complex and rapidly - changing settings described in this paper. In cer tain contexts organisations are typically surrounded by multiple measures, raising the question as to which they should align. Drawing on an ethnographic study across a number of sites, we show how some organisations instead of conforming to a single measu re are ‘transforming’ to respond to the challenge of multiple rankings, by constructing and elaborating new forms of expertise, knowledge and connection with rankers. Unlike prior research that presents organisations as constrained by systems of measuring (which we name ‘reactive conformance’), we examine how they are becoming more proactive towards this challenge (described as ‘reflexive transformation’). Specifically, building on themes from accounting and the ‘sociology of worth', we present evidence tha t organisations exercise greater choice than expected about which rankings they respond to, shape their ranked positions, as well as wield influence over assessment criteria and the wider evaluative ecosystem.",
keywords = "multiple rankings, economy perfomance measurement, economy environment",
author = "Neil Pollock and Luciana D'Adderio and Robin Williams",
year = "2017",
month = "11",
day = "20",
doi = "10.1016/j.aos.2017.11.003",
language = "English",
journal = "Accounting, Organizations and Society",
issn = "0361-3682",

}

Conforming or transforming? How organizations respond to multiple rankings. / Pollock, Neil; D'Adderio, Luciana; Williams, Robin.

In: Accounting, Organizations and Society, 20.11.2017.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

TY - JOUR

T1 - Conforming or transforming? How organizations respond to multiple rankings

AU - Pollock, Neil

AU - D'Adderio, Luciana

AU - Williams, Robin

PY - 2017/11/20

Y1 - 2017/11/20

N2 - The dominant theme within extant research on performance and ranking conceptualises the organisational response to a ranking as one where it responds by ‘conforming’ to the measure (Korberger and Carter 2010, Scott and Orlikowski 2012, Shore and Wright 2015). This process of ‘reactivity’ (Espeland and Sauder 2007), however, is not always possible, especially in the complex and rapidly - changing settings described in this paper. In cer tain contexts organisations are typically surrounded by multiple measures, raising the question as to which they should align. Drawing on an ethnographic study across a number of sites, we show how some organisations instead of conforming to a single measu re are ‘transforming’ to respond to the challenge of multiple rankings, by constructing and elaborating new forms of expertise, knowledge and connection with rankers. Unlike prior research that presents organisations as constrained by systems of measuring (which we name ‘reactive conformance’), we examine how they are becoming more proactive towards this challenge (described as ‘reflexive transformation’). Specifically, building on themes from accounting and the ‘sociology of worth', we present evidence tha t organisations exercise greater choice than expected about which rankings they respond to, shape their ranked positions, as well as wield influence over assessment criteria and the wider evaluative ecosystem.

AB - The dominant theme within extant research on performance and ranking conceptualises the organisational response to a ranking as one where it responds by ‘conforming’ to the measure (Korberger and Carter 2010, Scott and Orlikowski 2012, Shore and Wright 2015). This process of ‘reactivity’ (Espeland and Sauder 2007), however, is not always possible, especially in the complex and rapidly - changing settings described in this paper. In cer tain contexts organisations are typically surrounded by multiple measures, raising the question as to which they should align. Drawing on an ethnographic study across a number of sites, we show how some organisations instead of conforming to a single measu re are ‘transforming’ to respond to the challenge of multiple rankings, by constructing and elaborating new forms of expertise, knowledge and connection with rankers. Unlike prior research that presents organisations as constrained by systems of measuring (which we name ‘reactive conformance’), we examine how they are becoming more proactive towards this challenge (described as ‘reflexive transformation’). Specifically, building on themes from accounting and the ‘sociology of worth', we present evidence tha t organisations exercise greater choice than expected about which rankings they respond to, shape their ranked positions, as well as wield influence over assessment criteria and the wider evaluative ecosystem.

KW - multiple rankings

KW - economy perfomance measurement

KW - economy environment

UR - http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/journal/03613682

U2 - 10.1016/j.aos.2017.11.003

DO - 10.1016/j.aos.2017.11.003

M3 - Article

JO - Accounting, Organizations and Society

T2 - Accounting, Organizations and Society

JF - Accounting, Organizations and Society

SN - 0361-3682

ER -