Peter Drucker on controls in business (1)

The Characteristic of Controls

1. Controls can be neither objective nor neutral
… [Mesaurement] is subjective and of necessity biased. It changes both the event and the observer… Events in the social situation acquire value by the fact that they are being singled out for attention by being measured.

Controls in a social institution such as a business are goal-setting and value-setting. They are not objective. They are of necessity moral. The only way to avoid this is to flood the executive with so many controls that the entire system becomes meaningless, becomes mere “noise.”

This means that the basic question is not “How do we control?” but “What do we measure in our control system?”

Peter Drucker – Management – Tasks, Responsibilities, Practices

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