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Getting disoriented by performance variability: a peek through the looking-glass separating average and extreme outcomes

Author: Cavarretta, Fabrice INSEAD Area: Organisational Behaviour Series: Working Paper ; 2008/04/OB Publisher: Fontainebleau : INSEAD, 2008.Language: EnglishDescription: 35 p.Type of document: INSEAD Working Paper Online Access: Click here Abstract: The exploration-exploitation study (March, 1991) suggested that changes in performance variability may imply that more extremely high outcomes occur simultaneously with decreasing expected outcomes. That mean-variance trade-off has wide theoretical consequences where ignoring variability effects can lead to wrong conclusions. I review the difficulties of a limited focus on performance variability in organisational scholarship. In a constructive manner, I propose a generic approach to address it and illustrate it methodologically. This study contributes to the scholarship of extreme organisational outcomes by providing a rationale to distinguish them from average outcomes.
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The exploration-exploitation study (March, 1991) suggested that changes in performance variability may imply that more extremely high outcomes occur simultaneously with decreasing expected outcomes. That mean-variance trade-off has wide theoretical consequences where ignoring variability effects can lead to wrong conclusions. I review the difficulties of a limited focus on performance variability in organisational scholarship. In a constructive manner, I propose a generic approach to address it and illustrate it methodologically. This study contributes to the scholarship of extreme organisational outcomes by providing a rationale to distinguish them from average outcomes.

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