Competing logics in evaluating employee performance: Building compromises through conventions

Julia Brandl, Arjan Kozica


Recent interest in institutional complexity has raised the question how organizations manage rival institutional logics. In this paper we argue that organizations can embed compromises between institutional logics in conventions that impart information how organization members should align competing logics. Using the case of performance appraisal reform in a German public sector organization, we illustrate how a convention aligns accountability and professional logic and show how the compromise between these competing logics is established over time. By introducing the concept of convention, we provide an alternative to research that studies coexistence of logics in organizations as a result of organization members with different identities.


institutional complexity; performance appraisal system; conventions


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