Strategic performance management: a balanced approach to performance management issues in local government

Louise Kloot, John Martin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

245 Citations (Scopus)


The drive for reform in the public sector worldwide has focussed attention on the measurement of performance in public sector organizations. This is particularly true in local government. Local government has traditionally been concerned with measuring the delivery of primary objectives, or results, at the expense of secondary objectives, or the determinants of organizational performance. Current strategic management literature suggests that there should be a strong linkage between strategic plans and performance measures.Kaplan and Norton's (1992) balanced scorecard and Fitzgeraldet al. 's (1991) results and determinants framework can provide this linkage. This paper reports on research into performance management systems in local government using the four dimensions of the balanced scorecard: financial, community, internal business processes and innovation and learning. It shows how the focus in this system of local government has been on the results of council work, ie. financial performance and to a lesser extent on how the community views performance. Local government performance measurement pays much less attention to the determinants, or means of achieving long-term, sustained organizational improvement in internal business processes, and innovation and learning. Whilst these issues are recognized as important, there are few measurement processes in place to manage performance in these areas. Strategic performance management demands an approach that recognizes the importance of a focus on both results and the means of achieving these results. This paper highlights a suggested framework for strategic and balanced local government performance measurement.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)231-251
Number of pages21
JournalManagement Accounting Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2000
Externally publishedYes


Dive into the research topics of 'Strategic performance management: a balanced approach to performance management issues in local government'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this