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2023/2024  KAN-CSAAO1006U  Performance Management

English Title
Performance Management

Course information

Language English
Course ECTS 7.5 ECTS
Type Mandatory
Level Full Degree Master
Duration One Quarter
Start time of the course Third Quarter
Timetable Course schedule will be posted at calendar.cbs.dk
Study board
Study Board for cand.merc. and CSAA (CSAA)
Course coordinator
  • Allan Hansen - Department of Operations Management (OM)
Main academic disciplines
  • Human resource management
  • Business psychology
  • Economics
Teaching methods
  • Face-to-face teaching
Last updated on 02-06-2023

Relevant links

Learning objectives
  • Explain, structure and combine the various concepts, issues and models related to performance information and firm value creation introduced at the course.
  • Identify and analyse design problems related to performance management systems and processes in organizations by using the concepts and models from the course.
  • Critically reflect upon various design solutions proposed by theories and models applied at the course in terms of their value and relevance in specific organizational settings.
Prerequisites for registering for the exam (activities during the teaching period)
Number of compulsory activities which must be approved (see section 13 of the Programme Regulations): 1
Compulsory home assignments
The student must get 1 out of 2 assignments/activities approved in order to attend the ordinary exam.

1. Multiple choice test: After the first half of the course a mandatory multiple-choice test is administered. The purpose of the test is to provide students with an overview of which key topics and ways of reasoning they master and which not. More specifically, the multiple-choice primarily test examines students’ capabilities with respect to (i) knowledge and (ii) comprehension for the topics covered in the course. This helps students to better prepare for the final exam.

2. Written home assignment: The students are asked in groups to write an essay based on an assignment given by the instructor at the last part of the course. Each group receives a 20 minutes feedback by the course instructor based on the instructor’s assessment of the essay. The assignment helps students to prepare for the final exam.

Students will not have extra opportunities to get the required number of compulsory activities approved prior to the ordinary exam. If a student has not received approval of the required number of compulsory activities or has been ill, the student cannot participate in the ordinary exam.
If a student prior to the retake is still missing approval for the required number of compulsory activities and meets the pre-conditions set out in the program regulations, an extra assignment is possible.

The extra assignment is a 10 page home assignment that will cover the required number of compulsory activities. If approved, the student will be able to attend retake.
Performance Management:
Exam ECTS 7,5
Examination form Oral exam
Individual or group exam Individual exam
Duration 20 min. per student, including examiners' discussion of grade, and informing plus explaining the grade
Preparation time With the listed preparation time: 20 Minutes
Grading scale 7-point grading scale
Examiner(s) Internal examiner and external examiner
Exam period Summer
Aids Open book: all written and electronic aids
The student is allowed to bring to the preparation room: Simple writing and drawing utensils, laptop/tablet as a reference book (NB: there are no electric outlets available), any calculator, books including translation dictionaries, compendiums, notes. PLEASE NOTE: Students are not allowed to communicate with others during the preparation time.
Make-up exam/re-exam
Same examination form as the ordinary exam
Description of the exam procedure

The student draws an exam question and prepares approximately 20 minutes for the exam.

Course content, structure and pedagogical approach


The aim of the course is to strengthen the student’s competence to analyse and design performance management systems and processes useful for aligning, engaging, and developing the commercial organization’s workforce. By advancing the students’ knowledge of the roles of performance measurement, goal setting, feedback, evaluations, and compensation, new tools to improve coordination and motivation of the commercial organization are provided.


Course content

The course outlines a framework for analysing and developing performance management systems and processes in a cross-disciplinary perspective. The course departs from organizational economics  (e.g. agency and transaction costs economics) but adds psychological and sociological theory in order to better understand and improve performance information system and process design for informing, incentivizing, conditioning, and documenting key customer and commercial processes in the firm.


Key topics addressed at the course are:

  • The purposes of performance information in organizations and the value-creating effects.
  • Key design choices related to performance evaluation in organizations (choice of performance measures as well as performance target setting).
  • Fundamentals around financial incentive provision in organizations (incl. bonuses, sales provision, promotion opportunities etc.).
  • Goal setting and feedback process design.
  • Intrinsic and extrinsic motivation.
  • Performance culture.
  • Control versus trust.
Description of the teaching methods
Theoretical dialog lectures are mixed with case discussions. The lectures introduce concepts and models decisive for understanding performance management issues and outline their theoretical assumptions. Through cases and exercises students train the application of concepts, theories, and models in order to design value creating performance management and incentive systems in organizations.

The teaching methods is through debate, case studies, and a constant dialog between theory and practice.
Feedback during the teaching period
The students will get the opportunity participate in two feedback sessions (the multiple choice test and an essay assignment) to give students a better overview of whether they are following the expected learning curve. In addition, during dialog lectures and case discussions students will get continuous feedback readgarding their understanding of the topics. At the end of the course a review and Q&A session is planned.
Student workload
Teaching 33 hours
Preparation 123 hours
Exam 50 hours
Expected literature

DeNisi, A. S., & Smith, C. E. (2014). Performance Appraisal, Performance Management, and Firm-Level Performance: A Review, a Proposed Model, and New Directions for Future Research. Academy of Management Annals, 8(1), 127–179


Cappelli, P., Travis, A., & Tavis, A. (2016). The Performance Management Revolution. Harvard Business Review, (October)


Gibbons, R., & Roberts, J. (2013). Economics of incentives in organizations. In R. Gibbons & J. Roberts (Eds.), The Handbook of Organizational Economics (pp. 56–99). Princeton University Press.

Last updated on 02-06-2023