Performance Management – an Article Review

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This paper reviews Rakesh Khurana and Nohria Nitin's seminal article "It's Time to Make Management a True Profession," in which the authors make strong suggestions for revamping how management sees itself and is seen from the outside. The review highlights the authors' call for an ethical code among managers similar to the codes of conduct found in other professions. The review also shows the minimal requirements for an MBA, and recommends that business graduates pass an exam based on ethics before graduation. The reviewer challenges some of the ideas presented in the article, citing a lack of empirical evidence and also pointing out the weaknesses of comparing a business education to that of law or medicine.

The paper states that "Traditionally, performance management has been thought of in terms of securing a sound 'bottom line' for a business. According to one management guru: "Simply put, performance management includes activities to ensure that goals are consistently being met in an effective and efficient manner. Performance management can focus on performance of the organization, a department, processes to build a product or service, employees, etc" (McNamara 1997). However, according to the Harvard Business Review's October 2008 issue, in the wake of the seismically shaken, constantly changing current business climate, conventional wisdom has been shifted to take into consideration ethics as well as money when evaluating organizational performance. Unsound ethical practices regarding mortgages and credit lending are at the heart of the modern economic meltdown. Thus, argue Rakesh Khurana and Nitin Nohria: "To regain society's trust, we believe that business leaders must embrace a way of looking at their role that goes beyond their responsibility to the shareholder to include a civic and personal commitment to their duty as institutional custodians. In other words, it is time that management finally became a profession."
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