Social Science Information 58 (2):327-353 (2019)

Recent research has advanced the idea that modern society is replete with numerous measuring activities that evaluate the performance of individuals and organisations. Both the research and the application of such measures suggest that the scrutinised actors will internalise the expectations associated with these measures and adjust their behaviour accordingly. Usually these expectations involve both technical and moral demands aimed at improving the evaluated activities so as to make them more beneficial, efficient, and transparent for the consumer and society in general. However, both research and practice instantaneously equate their widespread presence with their efficacy, i.e. that their implied behaviour-altering capacity is inevitably achieved. This overlooks that the coupling of measurement and behavioural change is mitigated by the sensemaking processes of the examined actors. Using examples from the US hospital sector, this article shows that patients, medical professionals, and hospitals do not simply conform to the expectations created by hospitals rankings but rather show different forms of resistance, such as ignorance or rejection. Thereby, the paper highlights that the conditions under which measures prove inescapable and substantially influence social fields need to be examined more closely.
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories No categories specified
(categorize this paper)
DOI 10.1177/0539018419848994
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Request removal from index
Revision history

Download options

Our Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy     Papers currently archived: 50,342
External links

Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library

References found in this work BETA

The Audit Society: Rituals of Verification.Michael Power - 1999 - British Journal of Educational Studies 47 (1):92-94.
Trust and Power.Niklas Luhmann - 1982 - Studies in Soviet Thought 23 (3):266-270.
Phenomenology and its Application in Medicine.Havi Carel - 2010 - Theoretical Medicine and Bioethics 32 (1):33-46.

View all 14 references / Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

No citations found.

Add more citations

Similar books and articles

What Kind of University Rankings Do We Want?Patrick Loobuyck - 2009 - Ethical Perspectives 16 (2):207-224.
All-Things-Considered,’ ‘Better-Than,’ And Sports Rankings‘.S. Seth Bordner - 2016 - ‘All-Things-Considered,’ ‘Better-Than,’ and Sports Rankings:1-18.
The Moral Responsibility of the Hospital.Richard T. De George - 1982 - Journal of Medicine and Philosophy 7 (1):87-100.
‘All-Things-Considered,’ ‘Better-Than,’ And Sports Rankings.S. Seth Bordner - 2016 - Journal of the Philosophy of Sport 43 (2):215-232.


Added to PP index

Total views
11 ( #755,828 of 2,326,062 )

Recent downloads (6 months)
1 ( #646,834 of 2,326,062 )

How can I increase my downloads?


My notes