This last point you probably already knew. Most boards (or whoever determines senior executives’ compensation schemes) realize they have a limited view of the people who work for them. Even when performance seems easy to measure, because it is unambiguous and objective, there is usually a catch, and the measure will still turn out to be flawed. For example, in IVF (fertility) clinics, the measure of success seems unambiguous and objective: the percentage of pregnancies that result from treatment is a clear and objective performance goal. Yet, research by Mihaela Stan and one of us (Vermeulen) showed that even in this situation, focusing on that metric distorted health-care providers’ behavior to the detriment of clinics’ long-term performance. Clinic managers ended up excluding difficult patients from the treatment (such as women with complex medical conditions) to boost their clinics’ success rates. And over the long-term, these decisions deprived their providers of valuable opportunities for learning – which made them worse off in the long run.
Throughout the European continent, officials and politicians harken back to distant, even fanciful, times of perceived national ethnic purity, despite established immigrant communities in most countries that are there to stay and whose integration as productive members of society is undermined by this hostility from above. There is tragic irony in the anti-refugee policies of some leaders, such as Hungary’s Orbán: Europe welcomed Hungarian refugees from Soviet repression but today Orbán’s government does everything it can to make life miserable for the latest people fleeing war and persecution.