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Exploring strategy‐misaligned performance measurement

Panupak Pongatichat (The Office of the Civil Service Commission, Royal Thai Government, Nonthaburi, Thailand)
Robert Johnston (Warwick Business School, University of Warwick, Coventry, UK)

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management

ISSN: 1741-0401

Article publication date: 7 March 2008




The objective of this paper is to explore the possibility that some degree of misalignment between performance measures and strategy, far from being counterproductive, could indeed have some benefits. The research question underpinning this paper is what the benefits are of misalignment between performance measurement and strategy.


This paper is based on the results of a four‐year empirical study into performance management. The four research sites were central government agencies that should be adept at managing realignment of performance measures, as government strategy is often the subject of frequent change. Data were collected from 30 semi‐structured interviews and from documentation.


It could be contended that alignment deterioration, in both private and public organisations, is a natural phenomenon resulting from either continuous changes in the external environment and/or frequent, or at least occasional, changes in the internal environment. It could further be suggested that in some cases these misalignments might not be accidental but understood and created by the managers. All the senior managers interviewed understood that their measures ought to align with strategy.

Research limitations/implications

The paper has several limitations including the limited number of organisations studied and the number of interviews conducted. The paper raises several questions for further research.

Practical implications

Several questions are posed for managers as to how they might deal with opportunities from the misalignment of performance measures and strategy.


A substantial body of knowledge has developed over the last 20 years on performance measurement and management in both the private and public sectors, though the majority of material is concerned with private sector applications. This review of the performance management literature has identified over 400 papers and texts, just under a quarter of which (92/425) are set in a public sector context.



Pongatichat, P. and Johnston, R. (2008), "Exploring strategy‐misaligned performance measurement", International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, Vol. 57 No. 3, pp. 207-222.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2008, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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