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Utformning och användning av kommunala verksamhetsmått

Design and use of municipal performance measures
Publiceringsår: 1997
Språk: Svenska
Sidor: 336
Publikation/Tidskrift/Serie: Lund Studies in Economics and Management
Dokumenttyp: Doktorsavhandling
Förlag: Lund University Press, P.O. Box 141, S-221 00 LUND,


The purpose of this study is to develop a frame of reference within which formal control system performance measures can be described and their design and use can be analyzed for control systems in municipalities. From a cybernetic control approach measures are used as instruments to plan and gain feedback from employee actions, and adjust them to the internal and external environment of which they are a part. From a so-called institutional perspective we see the criticism that the formal control system is not adjusted to the environment, but rather formed by the environment. Instead of influence employee behavior, the measures are used to grant legitimacy and thereby ensure the existence of the organization. The empirical data is gathered from four municipal engineering departments and has been collected through document studies and interviews.

The performance measurements are divided into four sub-measurements, which describe the various parts of the departments’ resource transformation (resource, activity, result and social indicators measurement). The thesis frame of reference stated that measures can have either an intended or an assigned use. When the measurement has an intended use, it is included in the formal control system’s planning and feedback activities, and is used as a point of reference in four areas: budgeting, rewards, defining responsibility and external comparisons. When the measurement is given an assigned use, it deals with the environment’s demands for appropriate action. This assigned use are divided into five areas: identity creation, legitimacy creation, myths, power and conflict.

The intended uses were fairly similar between the departments and were centralized and coincided with the departments’ formal feedback meetings. The departments’ assigned use of measures was both offensive and defensive, and was used to handle both internal and external relations. It is possible to state, from a contingency-based approach, that the measure design and use was affected by factors internal and external to the departments.

The analyses of the departments’ efforts at measurement clarified two dimensions of the formal control system: the signal and translation dimensions. The fact that the organizational levels which designed and used measures requested data from the levels that did not use these measures constituted a clear signal regarding the importance of taking account of the demanded data in their activities. The section heads worked interactively with the control system and were well equipped to understand the signals transmitted through the system. This translation dimension’s purpose is to ensure that individuals working within different control systems with differing terminology can adequately inform and understand each other. It is the position of this study that the existence of the signal and translation dimensions calls for further thought before one states that the formal control system is not used and does not affect employee behavior.


Crafoordsalen, School of Economics and Management.
  • Lars Lindkvist (Professor)


  • Business Administration
  • performance measures
  • municipal
  • design
  • use
  • intended
  • assigned
  • cybernetic
  • Management of enterprises
  • institutional.
  • formal control systems
  • Företagsledning
  • management


  • ISSN: 0284-5075
  • ISBN: 91-7966-444-X
  • ISRN: LUSADG/SAEK-97/1038 SE

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