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Performance measurement in welfare services: a survey of Finnish organisations

Virpi Sillanpää (Researcher in the Performance Management Team at Tampere University of Technology, Tampere, Finland)

Measuring Business Excellence

ISSN: 1368-3047

Article publication date: 15 November 2011




This paper aims to identify the focal elements of performance in Finnish welfare service organisations, how performance is measured in welfare services, and what are management needs regarding the development of performance measurement in the sector.


First, the relevant performance management literature of welfare services is reviewed, then interviews with 15 managers of Finnish welfare service organisations in public, nonprofit and for‐profit sectors are reported.


The paper identifies the key elements of performance in Finnish welfare services. The results of the research indicate that Finnish welfare service organisations are relatively active in their performance measurement. Development needs relate to acquiring more systematic performance measurement approaches and new measures for the quality and long‐term effects of services.

Practical implications

Research elaborates the concept of performance in welfare services, thus enabling practitioners to analyse and develop their organisations' performance. The summary of current measurement practices and development needs in current practices serves to develop suitable performance management tools for welfare services.


In welfare services, performance management is a rather complex issue. Research on the topic, especially that on nonprofit, for‐profit and public Finnish welfare service organisations. is meager. This paper provides new information about the issue in Finnish welfare services.



Sillanpää, V. (2011), "Performance measurement in welfare services: a survey of Finnish organisations", Measuring Business Excellence, Vol. 15 No. 4, pp. 62-70.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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