Performance management is operationalized both by HRM and by management control. In this latter field, there has been a general claim for a radical change over the past fifteen years (new methods, new vocabulary). However, closer inspection of these methods/words reveals that, in spite of their novelty, there is still continuation with the traditional way of managing performance. Moreover, in spite of its denial, new performance management control corresponds to a reinforcement of control. This reinforcement of control happens in firms where simultaneously there is an increased demand for autonomy, creativity and initiative. This paper analyses this juxtapositions as a double bind (Watzlawick et al., 1967, Bateson, 1972/1980) which can be detrimental to employees, organizations and society. This opens up research as well as practical perspectives.
ANCELIN-BOURGUIGNON, A. (2001). Performance Management: Towards a Reinforcement of the Double Bind Conformity-autonomy.