ArticleThe Role of Performance Referents in Health Services OrganizationsKetchen, David J. Jr.; Palmer, Timothy B.; Gamm, Larry D.Author Information David J. Ketchen, Jr., B.S., Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Management, College of Business, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida. Timothy B. Palmer, B.S., M.B.A., Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Management, Haworth College of Business, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan. Larry D. Gamm, M.A., Ph.D., is Professor of Health Policy and Management, School of Rural Public Health, Texas A&M University Health Science Center, College Station, Texas. The authors acknowledge the research support of the Texas Institute for Health Policy Research as well as the advice of Reuben McDaniel. Health Care Management Review: October 2001 - Volume 26 - Issue 4 - p 19-26 Buy Abstract Health care executives rely on a variety of information sources to evaluate organizational performance. This is because outcomes take on meaning only when compared to referents, or standards of comparison. Although performance referents are widely acknowledged to be important, consideration of their relevance to health services management has been minimal. To address this need, we draw on organizational theories and observations from health services organizations to describe the use of performance referents and to provide insights about the possible effects of performance referent selection on strategic choices and performance. Copyright © 2001 by Aspen Publishers, Inc.