The Push Against Performance Reviews

Few institutional practices are as old, or have been hated as long, as the performance review. Job ratings were used (and criticized) in China, as early as the third century; in the early eighteen-hundreds, the owners of cotton mills in Scotland hung color-coded wooden blocks over employees’ workstations to indicate their merit. The bureaucratic corporate culture of the nineteen-hundreds—the century of cubicles, assembly lines, and Six Sigma—enshrined performance reviews in corporate...

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