Performance is the yardstick by which the quality of individual and collective human effort is assessed. Everywhere, performance shapes the lives of people and organizations according to its logic and demands. The quest for performance has spread to societies worldwide; it has become of central importance for our perception of our activities and our understanding of the world. Such importance calls for reflection within the context of organizations. First, all important social processes are strongly affected by organizations. Second, performance holds a commanding position in organizations.
In Stories of Achievements, Herve Corvellec explains performance as a matter of telling, recounting, and communicating an organization's actions or the results of those actions. He describes how organizations work with the notion of performance and examines its connections with efficiency and competition. Corvellec begins with an assessment of management literature, discussing the various ways different professions define performance. What is considered to be performance in one profession may be at odds with its definition in another. The author examines what performance means in the world of sports, and provides a look at performance throughout sports history. He then draws parallels between sports and organizations, detailing similarities and differences between performance and the notions of competitions, measurement and hierarchy.
This study covers particular aspects of the notion of performance�linguistic, semantic, theoretical, logical, historical, and narrative. Drawing on various methodologies, each chapter represents a smaller study of how performance is manifested in a particular context. Together, they provide a general presentation of how the notion of performance is used in organizations, where it comes from, and what is meant by performance in general managerial discourse. Stories of Achievements will be engrossing reading for management, accounting, and organization professionals, as well as sociologists interested in the study of economic organizations.