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Article
Publication date: 8 January 2018

Harri Laihonen and Sari Mäntylä

The characteristics of new public management and new public governance are well known, but their impact on managerial knowledge needs and the implementation of knowledge…

Abstract

Purpose

The characteristics of new public management and new public governance are well known, but their impact on managerial knowledge needs and the implementation of knowledge management in local government remains unclear. The purpose of this paper is to elaborate the key elements of a public organization’s knowledge strategy and shows how knowledge management can support public management.

Design/methodology/approach

A case study on the application of an action research process was conducted to study how the City of Tampere in Finland aimed to overcome challenges in utilizing performance information by applying the ideas of knowledge management.

Findings

The study suggests that a holistic knowledge management strategy promotes the use of performance information by providing a systematic management framework for gathering and utilizing the information.

Practical implications

Four factors appear critical for strategic knowledge management in local government. First, it should be driven by the city’s strategy. Second, it should be carefully integrated into the general management system. Third, clear processes and responsibilities for refining the data are needed. Fourth, the quality of the data must be guaranteed. The results also emphasize the roles of management culture and continuous performance dialogue.

Originality/value

This paper makes two contributions. First, it extends the analysis of a knowledge management strategy to public management, and second, it provides a practical illustration of the development process, where knowledge was put into prime focus in developing public management.

Details

Journal of Knowledge Management, vol. 22 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1367-3270

Keywords

Content available

Abstract

Details

Measuring Business Excellence, vol. 19 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

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Article
Publication date: 21 May 2018

Tomi Rajala, Harri Laihonen and Petra Haapala

This paper aims to understand performance management as a social phenomenon by investigating the challenges of performance dialogue, a phenomenon where participants…

Abstract

Purpose

This paper aims to understand performance management as a social phenomenon by investigating the challenges of performance dialogue, a phenomenon where participants jointly interpret performance information and discuss it while identifying the actions needed to manage the performance according to this information.

Design/methodology/approach

The research aim is achieved by conducting an interview study. Empirical data were collected by interviewing 30 public managers in three Finnish municipalities and subjecting it to content analysis using inductive category development.

Findings

The research provides empirical evidence from challenges in engaging in performance dialogue. It moreover derives a comprehensive conceptual model categorizing factors inhibiting performance dialogue.

Practical implications

Difficulties in conducting organizational performance dialogues are better explained. The findings support the management of performance dialogue by helping practitioners to identify challenges associated to these dialogues.

Originality/value

This study contributes to current conversations on performance management by showing that performance dialogues are no miracle cure for problems in performance information use. Moreover, the authors demonstrate that complications in performance information use are intertwined in many ways.

Details

Measuring Business Excellence, vol. 22 no. 2
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 10 July 2017

Harri Laihonen and Sari Mäntylä

The literature acknowledges the importance of interpretative processes, discussion, and organizational learning in public performance management, but a knowledge gap…

Abstract

Purpose

The literature acknowledges the importance of interpretative processes, discussion, and organizational learning in public performance management, but a knowledge gap remains concerning the mechanism of performance dialogue. To fill this gap, the purpose of this paper is to study the principles of performance dialogue and collaborative performance management in public administration.

Design/methodology/approach

The study utilizes a longitudinal research setting and analyzes the evolution of performance management practices in one city organization in Finland.

Findings

The study suggests that performance dialogue needs to be integrated with management practices and explains how this can be done. Three guiding principles of performance dialogue and collaborative performance management are derived. These underline the role of “referees of the information game”, a supportive and encouraging environment and a focus on the use of performance information.

Practical implications

Performance information is too often provided as a back-office function, and dialogue with information users is either completely lacking or somehow disturbed. The performance dialogue provides a platform for collaborative sense making and helps managers to better understand the complex phenomena and processes they are responsible for.

Originality/value

The literature dealing specifically with the change from centralized and vertical performance management practices toward decentralized and horizontal practices is still scarce. This paper provides a new perspective on management control and organizational learning in public administration based on performance dialogue.

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. 30 no. 5
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 7 January 2019

Tomi Rajala and Harri Laihonen

The purpose of this paper is to propose a definition for dialogic performance management and investigate the managerial choices that dialogic performance management…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to propose a definition for dialogic performance management and investigate the managerial choices that dialogic performance management necessitates from public managers.

Design/methodology/approach

The research strategy was based on a narrative analysis grounded in relativism and constructivism. Multiple data collection methods were used in this case study to examine a local government in Finland.

Findings

The paper proposes a definition and provides practical illustrations of the concept of dialogic performance management. The empirical findings are a set of managerial choices used to orchestrate dialogic performance management.

Practical implications

The concept of dialogic performance management encourages practitioners to ask themselves whether their current performance management practices are based on managerial monologues, rather than dialogues that incorporate staff into the performance management. The results also show that managerial choices shape the form of dialogic performance management.

Originality/value

The previous accounting and performance management literature has not examined the managerial choices that are used to shape dialogic performance management. In this research, the authors identify these types of managerial choices in the case organisation. The research is valuable because only after explicating managerial choices can one start to examine why dialogic performance management either fails or succeeds when public managers orchestrate it.

Details

Baltic Journal of Management, vol. 14 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1746-5265

Keywords

Content available
Article
Publication date: 10 February 2021

Tomi Rajala, Harri Laihonen and Petra Kokko

Fragmentation can inhibit joint goals and performance measures. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate the level of fragmentation between public, private…

Abstract

Purpose

Fragmentation can inhibit joint goals and performance measures. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to investigate the level of fragmentation between public, private and third sectors in a hybrid organization's performance management systems and the effects of this fragmentation to propose hypotheses and new research methods for future studies.

Design/methodology/approach

The inductive research design was based on a mixed method approach. As empirical data, a survey, interviews and documents were used in this case study examining a hybrid organization called Welfare Alliance.

Findings

The results showed low-level fragmentation in the performance management system of the hybrid. Although the level of fragmentation was low-level, it affected the hybrid's ability to implement joint performance goals and measures. Performance management practices suffered as a consequence.

Originality/value

As a theoretical contribution to research addressing performance management in hybrids, the study proposes new concepts and theoretical hypotheses concerning fragmented performance management systems in hybrids. These theoretical hypotheses propose how performance goals and measures can become fragmented because they isolate service production units and activities from each other. The proposed hypotheses for future studies also attempt to provide explanations for how fragmentation can spread from one management function to another (i.e. from goal setting to performance measurement).

Details

International Journal of Public Sector Management, vol. ahead-of-print no. ahead-of-print
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-3558

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 9 November 2012

Jussi Myllärniemi, Harri Laihonen, Henri Karppinen and Kaisa Seppänen

The purpose of the study is to develop understanding about the role of information and knowledge in healthcare processes and thereby create a basis for practices that

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of the study is to develop understanding about the role of information and knowledge in healthcare processes and thereby create a basis for practices that would better support the actual service provision. This paper seeks to model and analyze the service processes of two case settings: laboratory and radiology units of a Finnish regional healthcare system.

Design/methodology/approach

The main actors, their knowledge needs, current knowledge practices and bottlenecks in knowledge flows were recognized. The paper combines conceptual analysis and empirical findings. The empirical data were collected in the autumn of 2010 and consist of 32 thematic interviews in two units of a healthcare organization in Finland. The themes of the interviews are related to current knowledge practices and processes.

Findings

The paper exemplifies an approach that provides a systematic basis for analyzing different aspects of knowledge management in healthcare processes. The approach provides valuable insights for analyzing knowledge‐based foundations of health services and it is expected that this analysis helps elaborate the practical knowledge processes of healthcare organizations.

Originality/value

The paper approaches health information management from the viewpoint of knowledge management discourse and highlights the importance of knowledge‐based value creation. Instead of mere information transfer or delivery the paper emphasizes the knowledge‐in‐use perspective. Despite the essential role of knowledge assets, the development efforts have mainly concentrated on solving local problems with context specific technical solutions.

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Article
Publication date: 7 January 2014

Pirjo Syysnummi and Harri Laihonen

The purpose of this paper is to report top management's view of knowledge management in an educational organization. The paper also recognizes the main knowledge-based…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to report top management's view of knowledge management in an educational organization. The paper also recognizes the main knowledge-based development areas. The aim of this paper is to bridge a knowledge gap regarding managerial processes that support teachers in their diverse knowledge tasks; gathering, creating, sharing and explicating knowledge.

Design/methodology/approach

A qualitative case approach was applied to uncover the knowledge processes of a vocational education organization in Finland. The empirical data were gathered in two phases. First, the existing knowledge needs of management team members were mapped by an e-mail enquiry. Second, a group interview was held with the same management team. Interview themes were derived from the literature and from the first empirical phase. The interview data are discussed and analyzed in light of the knowledge-based management literature.

Findings

The results of the study indicate that knowledge management is so closely related to education organizations’ value creation processes that it should be considered an essential part of modern educational management. Based on this notion the paper argues that more emphasis is needed especially on mastering knowledge that relates to the education function and the creation of enabling knowledge structures that support this function.

Practical implications

The paper provides practitioners with a basic understanding about the existing knowledge-based management processes in education organizations. It also turns the focus onto knowledge usage instead of mere information provision. Furthermore, the paper provides a basis for a systematic modeling and development of knowledge integration and coordination in educational organizations.

Originality/value

The paper links knowledge management activities to the value creation processes of education services. Whereas the existing educational management literature seems to consider knowledge management mainly as a support function, the discussion presented here makes it the main focus and argues that for knowledge-intensive education organizations it should form an essential part of their strategic management.

Details

International Journal of Educational Management, vol. 28 no. 1
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 0951-354X

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 13 April 2015

Miikka Palvalin, Maiju Vuolle, Aki Jääskeläinen, Harri Laihonen and Antti Lönnqvist

New Ways of Working (NewWoW) refers to a novel approach for improving the performance of knowledge work. The purpose of this paper is to seek innovative solutions…

Abstract

Purpose

New Ways of Working (NewWoW) refers to a novel approach for improving the performance of knowledge work. The purpose of this paper is to seek innovative solutions concerning facilities, information technology tools and work practices in order to be able to “work smarter, not harder.” In order to develop work practices toward the NewWoW mode there is a need for an analytical management tool that would help assess the status of the organization’s current work practices and demonstrate the impacts of development initiatives. This paper introduces such a tool.

Design/methodology/approach

Constructive research approach was chosen to guide the development of the Smart ways of working (SmartWoW) tool. The tool was designed on the basis of previous knowledge work performance literature as well as on interviews in two knowledge-intensive organizations. The usefulness of the tool was verified by applying it in four organizations.

Findings

SmartWoW is a compact questionnaire tool for analyzing and measuring knowledge work at the individual level. The questionnaire consists of four areas: work environment, personal work practices, well-being at work and productivity. As SmartWoW is a standardized tool its results are comparable between organizations.

Research limitations/implications

SmartWoW was designed a pragmatic managerial tool. It is considered possible that it can be valuable as a research instrument as well but the current limited amount of collected data does not yet facilitate determining its usefulness from that perspective.

Originality/value

This paper makes a contribution to the existing literature on knowledge work measurement and management by introducing an analytical tool which takes into account the NewWoW perspective.

Details

International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, vol. 64 no. 4
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1741-0401

Keywords

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Article
Publication date: 12 August 2014

Harri Laihonen, Aki Jääskeläinen and Sanna Pekkola

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the implications of the networked and open nature of the service business on performance measurement. The literature has…

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this paper is to investigate the implications of the networked and open nature of the service business on performance measurement. The literature has acknowledged that the value of service is increasingly produced by service systems, but solutions for measuring the performance of a service system are still lacking.

Design/methodology/approach

The paper constructs a conceptual framework for capturing performance of a service system by combining ideas from the service management and performance measurement literatures. This framework is then applied in two service systems, one from the public sector and one from the private sector. Two different service systems provide complementary views on the phenomenon of service system performance and call for distinctive measurement solutions. In both cases, interviews, series of workshops and an analysis of documentation of the prevailing measurement systems were conducted when applying the framework.

Findings

The results indicate that the performance measurement of a service system necessitates measurement information from three perspectives: the performance of individual actors, the internal efficiency of a network and the customer-perceived performance of service operations. The paper provides empirical evidence about the design and implementation of performance measurement for a service system. It also provides some guidance to overcome the recognized measurement challenges that relate, for example, to the shared responsibilities, to integration of measurement data and to capturing customer-perceived impacts of services.

Originality/value

The paper provides new understanding about performance measurement practice in a service system. It integrates service-dominant management philosophy into the long tradition of performance measurement, which concentrates excessively on organizational structures. Even though the common balanced performance measurement frameworks include the perspective of a customer, the application of the frameworks is easily side-tracked leading to sub-optimization when several organizations and customers participate in value creation.

Practical implications

Empirical evidence illustrates the practical need for a new perspective on performance measurement of service systems. This can be achieved by shifting the unit of analysis from organizations to customer-perceived performance. The practical performance measurement systems need to balance with the aspects of effectiveness and outcomes of services, the efficiency of the production network and the performance of individual actors.

Details

Measuring Business Excellence, vol. 18 no. 3
Type: Research Article
ISSN: 1368-3047

Keywords

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