This paper investigates the organizational challenges raised by Big Data and its impact on the business environment with a focus on performance management. We investigate managers’ perceptions, understanding, and attitudes relating to Big Data and its analytics, in terms of opportunities, extent, limitations, challenges, and implications, with specific reference to performance management. The research methodology we adopt is grounded theory: we develop a reflection guide based on research questions covering the impact and challenges of a data-driven culture on business, and the impact on performance management and the decision-making process. The results obtained from senior executives from 21 Romanian companies leads to a conceptual model that distils the major areas arising from the responses and the interrelationships between them. These reveal several key areas of managerial relevance and suggest fruitful action. In particular, we find that the most critical areas requiring intervention lie in the area of awareness and understanding, goal setting, assessing benefits and limitations, learning to trust data, and commitment to an embedded data-driven culture. In addition to changes within organizations themselves, there are also implications for other stakeholders, such as education providers.
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