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Performance measurement systems in the Finnish public sector

Hannu Rantanen (Lappeenranta University of Technology, Department of Industrial Engineering and Management, Lahti, Finland)
Harri I. Kulmala (VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland, Tampere, Finland)
Antti Lönnqvist (Tampere University of Technology, Institute of Business Information Management, Tampere, Finland)
Paula Kujansivu (Tampere University of Technology, Institute of Industrial Management, Tampere, Finland)

International Journal of Public Sector Management

ISSN: 0951-3558

Article publication date: 17 July 2007




This paper aims to identify the specific problems faced by the Finnish public sector organizations in designing and implementing performance measurement systems (PMS).


An understanding of the problems is obtained by examining three case organizations in practice. In order to support the analysis of the empirical findings, a review of prior literature on the private and public sector PMSs is carried out.


The design and implementation processes in the Finnish public sector organizations differ significantly from the way they are realized in industrial private sector companies. The four underlying reasons for problems in public sector organizations are the following: there are many stakeholders with conflicting needs; the end products and goals are undefined; there is a lack of property ownership and lacking management skills.

Practical implications

By utilizing the results of the study, PMS design and implementation in the public sector can be carried out by taking into account and avoiding the evident pitfalls introduced in the study.


A large portion of the prior research on public sector PMSs consists of surveys and conceptual studies. This paper describes three case studies and reveals new insights into the specific challenges faced by public sector organizations, especially in designing and implementing PMSs.



Rantanen, H., Kulmala, H.I., Lönnqvist, A. and Kujansivu, P. (2007), "Performance measurement systems in the Finnish public sector", International Journal of Public Sector Management, Vol. 20 No. 5, pp. 415-433.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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