uu.seUppsala University Publications
Change search
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Relevance of using indicators: a move from the question of if to the question of how
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Business Studies.
2007 (Swedish)Conference paper (Other academic)
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
National Category
Economics and Business
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-96515OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-96515DiVA: diva2:171115
Conference paper presented at the 30th Annual Congress of the European Accounting Association, Lisbon, Portugal, 24-27 of April
Available from: 2007-11-27 Created: 2007-11-27 Last updated: 2013-09-13Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Indicators in Action: Development, Use and Consequences
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Indicators in Action: Development, Use and Consequences
2007 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

The increased attention to performance measurements is evident in both private and public sector organizations and among both academics and practitioners. Although there is a strong belief in the possibilities of using measurements for managing organizations, both academics and practitioners have questioned measurements potential. This thesis takes part in debating the potentiality of performance measurements by attending to the development, use and consequences of non-financial indicators that are considered a specific form of performance measurements.

When investigating the development of indicators, it became evident that several of the new indicators developed proved to be reformulations of non-financial measurements already used within the organizations before the development work. What had changed was primarily the meaning ascribed to the measurements. As a consequence of this ‘re-cycling’ of measurements, it is concluded that the meaning given to specific non-financial indicators change over time. The present investigation also reveals that three shifting rationales are informing the development of indicators. This finding contributes with insights into the construction of indicators and how the link between indicators and action are conceived and established in a development process.

A main finding of the investigation concerns how indicators are used. In contrast to previous studies, the results show that indicators can have a negative impact on performance unless the indicators are used in a sophisticated way. Based on these results it is argued that it is insufficient to attend solely to if indicators are used, i.e. greater attention needs to be paid to the question of how they are used. The investigation also presents evidence suggesting that the often used adage “what gets measured gets managed” needs to be revised. It is argued that measuring is not a means to activate the organization per se. Rather, measurements support those issues that are already mobilized within the organization.

In conclusion, this investigation suggests that the potentiality of indicators depends on the meaning ascribed to indicators, how indicators are assumed to link to action, how indicators are used and how indicators are related to other organizational activities.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Företagsekonomiska institutionen, 2007. 53 p.
Doctoral thesis / Företagsekonomiska institutionen, Uppsala universitet, ISSN 1103-8454 ; 132
Business studies, Performance measurements, non-financial, human resources, development, use, consequences, public sector, Företagsekonomi
urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-8336 (URN)
Public defence
2007-12-19, Hörsal 2, Ekonomikum, Kyrkogårdsgatan 10, Uppsala, 13:15
Available from: 2007-11-27 Created: 2007-11-27Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text

By organisation
Department of Business Studies
Economics and Business

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar
The number of downloads is the sum of all downloads of full texts. It may include eg previous versions that are now no longer available

Total: 219 hits
ReferencesLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link