TUTCRIS - Tampereen teknillinen yliopisto


Performance Measurement for Managing Welfare Services



KustantajaTampere University of Technology
ISBN (elektroninen)978-952-15-3851-3
ISBN (painettu)978-952-15-3829-2
TilaJulkaistu - 4 marraskuuta 2016
OKM-julkaisutyyppiG5 Artikkeliväitöskirja


NimiTampere University of Technology. Publication
ISSN (painettu)1459-2045


Performance management of welfare services is a topical issue at the moment. Because of the major structural developments in society, versatile knowledge and new tools are needed to support the performance development and management of welfare services. This research aims to find out how the performance of welfare services can be measured and managed at different levels within a welfare service system. To achieve this goal, research questions in this dissertation examine the current state of performance measurement and management in Finnish welfare service organisations, how identified challenges related to managing and measuring performance in welfare service organisations can be overcome, and how performance management can be supported by the means of measurement in the welfare service system. The theoretical part of the research builds on different research streams focusing on performance measurement and management in welfare services.

This research can be characterized as a qualitative multiple case study. Research questions are studied through six research articles applying various research methods. Interviews and action research were the main methods employed. The empirical material of the research consists of data collected in six separate research projects related to performance measurement in welfare services at different levels of the service system. Altogether, 22 public, private and non-profit organisations operating in the welfare service sector participated the research. The most of participants provide social services.

This study contributes to prior research by providing a more holistic view of performance management and measurement by structuring performance measurement tasks at different levels within the welfare service system. This research suggests and applies practical performance measurement frameworks at different levels of the welfare service system. This research indicates that different aspects related to performance and performance management are focused as the level of analysis moves from organisations to the service system. In welfare service organisations, the focus is on the outcomes that the organisation seeks to provide to its clients and on the resources and processes needed to achieve those outcomes. As intangible aspects of the service provision are focused in welfare services, this research suggests intellectual capital management as an applicable perspective in managing performance in welfare service organisations. At the service system level, the focus shifts towards the longer-term effects on clients created by many organisations, thus extending performance measurement activities beyond the limits of just one organisation. At the service system level, the foremost managerial task relates to ensuring cost-effective service provision, which entails measuring the impacts of different service options and managing the effectiveness of service provision. This research suggests that impact measurement at the service system level should entail measuring the qualitative impacts created to clients and also measuring the quantitative and financial impacts to the service system. According to this research, the operationalization of concepts related to performance, user participation and outside support are focal factors that facilitate performance measurement efforts in welfare services, regardless of the level of analysis.

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