FSD2211 Performance of Municipal Services 2004: Elected Officials

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  • Niiranen, Vuokko (University of Kuopio. Department of Social Policy and Social Psychology)
  • Lumijärvi, Ismo (University of Tampere. Department of Management Studies)
  • Kiljunen, Pentti (Yhdyskuntatutkimus)


balanced scorecard, committees, decision making, development programmes, elected officials, evaluation, job evaluation, local government, local government policy, municipalities, objectives, performance indicators, personnel, personnel management, public officials, quality control, regional policy, strategies, working conditions

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The survey charted the use of the balanced scorecard indicators in measuring the performance of municipal services. The respondents were elected officials in the local and regional authorities participating in the study. Topics included the activity and state of the work community, performance measures, visions, strategies, aims and personnel management.

Relating to the activity and state of work communities in their local or regional authority, the respondents were asked to give their opinions on co-operation, trust, and interaction between management, personnel, elected officials, political groups, political institutions, and different parties. These features were examined by presenting the respondents with statements covering the degree of trust and co-operation between these groups. The respondents gave their opinions on the chances of influencing various matters related to their jobs and decision making, as well as the degree of support received from their superiors and co-workers.

The use of performance measures was charted by asking the respondents whether activities and services were assessed on a regular basis in their work unit, and whether they received enough feedback based on these assessments. In addition, they gave their views on what employees thought about the use of the balanced scorecard indicators, whether employees and elected officials had received enough information on the model, and whether using it had improved performance measures. Further questions covered how the information received from the assessments was being used at that time, how it should be used in the future, whose interests it served at that time, and whose interests it should serve in the future. Some questions pertained to how performance in political decision making was measured in local and regional authorities at present, and how it should be measured in the future.

The importance of visions and strategies was studied at the work unit, sector, and local/regional authority level. The respondents were asked whether any visions or strategies existed at each level, how well they knew these visions and strategies, how much these visions and strategies influenced their work, and whether they had had the chance to participate in defining the content of these visions and strategies.

One topic explored how well the respondents knew the annual targets of work units, whether the targets were clear, whether the respondents had had the chance to participate in defining the targets, and whether the information received from the activities had changed the annual targets.

Views on personnel strategies or personnel development plans in local/regional authorities were examined, as well as their influence on the activities of local/regional authorities. The respondents’ knowledge on personnel reports used in their local/regional authority was charted. They were also asked whether these personnel reports influenced political decision making.

Finally, the respondents were asked whether any personal development discussions were held on a yearly basis in their local/regional authority. They were also presented with statements on briefing for new employees, rewarding employees based on performance measures, defining the objectives, and assessing whether the objectives have been reached.

Background variables included the respondent's gender, age, industry of employment, time served in current elected office, total time served in elected offices in a local/regional authority, and whether R is a member of a local/regional council, government or board.

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