Sustainable resilience policies and inter-organisational performance control designs:

Two case studies in Turku with a comparative approach to Stockholm and other large Finnish cities

This project investigates how local governments can increase sustainability of their resilience policies through Smart City projects that are well designed to deliver expected outcomes. I.e. the interest of the project lies in how responsive (flexible) local governments can be in relation to what happens in society and still be efficient, productive, qualitative and sustainable in their outcomes. Focus is on developing and implementing performance measurement/management and control systems that improve accessibility and usefulness of Smart City project information to policies makers and end users seamlessly.  

The project has three stages. First, we use a discourse and content analyses to examine the links between smart collaboration among inter-organisational actors at different levels and performance control mechanisms used to ensure value-for-money of specific public services. I.e. what is going on at present and what has been done in the past? Second, drawing on a theoretical framework of governmentality, we use a critical comparative approach to investigate various ways through which aligning thoughtful resilience policies to well-designed performance control systems can deliver sustainable solutions to specific public service units. I.e. based on what has been done in both practise and research we create a performance management/measurement and control model (framework) Third, we apply and test our smart city resilience and performance control model to the areas of public transportation and social services in the city of Turku and compare the results with the city of Stockholm, as well as other large Finnish city’s.

The project is a collaboration between IKE, Åbo Akademi University, Kristianstad University, University of Tampere. For the coming 2 years (2018-2019) Åbo Akademi University will be managing and co-ordinating the project.

A conceptual framework for analyzing and developing integrated performance management systems

Det här forskningsprojektet syftar till att utveckla forskningen, både teoretiskt och empiriskt, kring performance management systems (PMS, prestationsmätningssystem) i kommunala och andra organisationer. Projektet är ett samarbete mellan IKE, Karolinska institutet och Åbo Akademi. Syftet är att introducera relevansen av PMS-ideal samt funktionella och kontextuella faktorer inom ramen för ett analytiskt ramverk för att analysera organisationers styrning. I projektet utvecklas de befintliga ramverk inom området som tidigare forskning kommit fram till (t ex Broadbent och Loughlin, 2009; Otley och Ferreira, 2009) och vidare görs empiriska tillämpningar av ramverket i både privata och offentliga organisationer.

Hitintills har resultaten visat att det är nödvändigt för organisationer att integrera PMS-ideal samt funktionella och kontextuella faktorer inom ramen för en rimlig analys av organisationers PMS. Detta görs genom att betona vikten av dylika ideal och faktorer samt också de underliggande stödprocesserna. Dessa stödprocesser har visat sig vara baserade på organisatoriska inlärnings- och kommunikationsprocesser i vilka rapporteringen spelar mindre roll än vad som av tradition brukar framhållas. Den föreslagna analysmodellen tycks enligt de hittills genomförda analyserna också vara tillämpbar i både offentliga och privata organisationer. Men fler empiriska analyser kommer genomföras i framtiden inom ramen för detta forskningsprojekt. 

Förhoppningen med projektet är att genom ytterligare tillämpning av analysmodellen kunna bidra till en ökad förståelse för integrerad prestationsmätning. Ramverket ska uppmana användaren att reflektera över grundläggande förhållningssätt till prestationsmätning och hur de kontextuella processerna stöder de funktionella processerna för att främja organisationers PMS-ideal.

Projektet har än så länge utmynnat i en forskningsrapport (Johanson och Almqvist, 2016) inom ramen för NatKom (www.natkom.se) samt ett konferenspapper som presenterades vid EIASM workshop i Nice i september 2017. 

Referenser: 

Broadbent, J. och R. Loughlin (2009) Performance Management Systems: A Conceptual Model, Management Accounting Research vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 283-295.
Ferreira, A. och D. Otley (2009) The Desing and Use of Performance Management Systems: an extended framework for analysis, Management Accounting Research, vol. 20, no. 4, pp. 263-282.
Johanson U. och R. Almqvist (2016) Ramverk för analys av kommunal verksamhetsstyrning, NatKoms rapportserie nr. 34.

Smart city strategies and performance measurement systems

This project illustrates how so called smart strategies can be applied in cities and how these strategies can have an effect on performance measurement systems (PMS). Drawing upon the Foucauldian idea of governmentality, the researchers within the project present the case of Gothenburg in Sweden. The Swedish case is interesting because smart city discourses are becoming more diffused. Large cities continuously strive for innovation, which is both a means of becoming more flexible to new solutions where change can be implemented faster but also a necessity based on the challenges the cities are facing. One overall conclusion from the project is that translating strategy into PMS requires collaboration across organizational boundaries and considerations of financial goals and social and human aspects. Furthermore, our case study has produced practical knowledge, which will support civil servants and politicians involved in sustainable urban development. It highlights the need for collaborative urban network governance where public organizations work with private and non-profit organizations.

The project is a collaboration between IKE, Gothenburg university, Kristianstad University, Lund University and Nord University. 

Publications:

Brorström, Sara, Daniela Argento, Giuseppe Grossi, Anna Tomasson, Roland Almqvist (2018) Translating sustainable and smart city strategies into performance measurement systems, forthcoming in Public Money and Management, vol. 38, no. 3, pp. 193-201.