This paper focuses on the introduction of new performance measurement system (PMS) for measuring teaching performance in Universities. The adoption of such PMS should prompt significant changes in existing control processes, but the goals of reform do not automatically translate into the desired organisational responses. Given the impact of PMS on management controls, the nature of such ambiguities may be better investigated using a framework that allows management control systems (MCS) to be taken in account. This paper investigates key actors’ perceptions regarding the introduction of PMS through the lens of the levers of control (Simons 1995, 2000). A qualitative analysis is conducted on interviews held with Italian university teaching managers and heads of programmes to examine the ambiguities arising from the implementation of a PMS. Several ambiguities emerge, both within and between the levers analysed, suggesting some reasons for the (partial) ineffectiveness of PMS reforms. In particular, the belief systems lever is crucial in making reforms acceptable, bureaucratic procedures are important in the diagnostic control systems lever, and performance indicators operate as a boundary system lever. Our findings show that administrative and academic actors perceive the interactive control capacity of PMS differently.

(2020). Performance measurement systems in higher education: How levers of control reveal the ambiguities of reforms [journal article - articolo]. In THE BRITISH ACCOUNTING REVIEW. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10446/189206

Performance measurement systems in higher education: How levers of control reveal the ambiguities of reforms

Pilonato, S.;
2020-01-01

Abstract

This paper focuses on the introduction of new performance measurement system (PMS) for measuring teaching performance in Universities. The adoption of such PMS should prompt significant changes in existing control processes, but the goals of reform do not automatically translate into the desired organisational responses. Given the impact of PMS on management controls, the nature of such ambiguities may be better investigated using a framework that allows management control systems (MCS) to be taken in account. This paper investigates key actors’ perceptions regarding the introduction of PMS through the lens of the levers of control (Simons 1995, 2000). A qualitative analysis is conducted on interviews held with Italian university teaching managers and heads of programmes to examine the ambiguities arising from the implementation of a PMS. Several ambiguities emerge, both within and between the levers analysed, suggesting some reasons for the (partial) ineffectiveness of PMS reforms. In particular, the belief systems lever is crucial in making reforms acceptable, bureaucratic procedures are important in the diagnostic control systems lever, and performance indicators operate as a boundary system lever. Our findings show that administrative and academic actors perceive the interactive control capacity of PMS differently.
articolo
2020
Pilonato, Silvia; Monfardini, P.
(2020). Performance measurement systems in higher education: How levers of control reveal the ambiguities of reforms [journal article - articolo]. In THE BRITISH ACCOUNTING REVIEW. Retrieved from http://hdl.handle.net/10446/189206
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