Outcome-based Performance Management Systems: Experiences from the Danish and Swedish Tax Agencies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

Abstract

This chapter focuses on the use of outcome-based performance management systems within public administration. It reports two qualitative case studies from respectively the Danish Tax and Customs Administration and the Swedish Tax Agency. Both of these administrations use outcome-based performance management systems to steer subsets of their administrative work. The chapter shows that the systems respond to broader demands for accounting for outcomes, yet, the systems also operate in very different ways. The Danish case shows a quantitative system which measures on a daily basis, the Swedish case shows a qualitative system which measures on a four to five-year basis. What is striking about both cases is that they balance meeting the demands for accounting for diffuse outcomes, with developing measurements that ‘fit’ local contingent concerns. While much of the current research on performance management systems in public administration is critical and stresses the downsides of such systems, this chapter shows that these systems should not always be assumed to be connected to gaming, strategic behaviour and/or reductionism. Instead, the performance management systems can be seen as attempts to reconcile and make ends meet in ‘post-bureaucratic’ organisations that are increasingly expected to account for rather diffuse and abstract outcomes and expected at the same time to steer and prioritise daily administrative work.
This chapter focuses on the use of outcome-based performance management systems within public administration. It reports two qualitative case studies from respectively the Danish Tax and Customs Administration and the Swedish Tax Agency. Both of these administrations use outcome-based performance management systems to steer subsets of their administrative work. The chapter shows that the systems respond to broader demands for accounting for outcomes, yet, the systems also operate in very different ways. The Danish case shows a quantitative system which measures on a daily basis, the Swedish case shows a qualitative system which measures on a four to five-year basis. What is striking about both cases is that they balance meeting the demands for accounting for diffuse outcomes, with developing measurements that ‘fit’ local contingent concerns. While much of the current research on performance management systems in public administration is critical and stresses the downsides of such systems, this chapter shows that these systems should not always be assumed to be connected to gaming, strategic behaviour and/or reductionism. Instead, the performance management systems can be seen as attempts to reconcile and make ends meet in ‘post-bureaucratic’ organisations that are increasingly expected to account for rather diffuse and abstract outcomes and expected at the same time to steer and prioritise daily administrative work.
LanguageEnglish
Title of host publicationBureaucracy and Society in Transition
EditorsHaldor Byrkjeflot, Fredrik Engelstad
Place of PublicationBingley
PublisherEmerald Group Publishing
Date2018
Pages89-107
ISBN (Print)9781787432840
ISBN (Electronic)9781787432833
DOIs
StatePublished - 2018
SeriesComparative Social Research
Volume33
ISSN0195-6310

Keywords

  • Outcomes
  • Performance management systems
  • Public administration
  • Tax administration
  • Denmark
  • Sweden

Cite this

Boll, K. (2018). Outcome-based Performance Management Systems: Experiences from the Danish and Swedish Tax Agencies. In H. Byrkjeflot, & F. Engelstad (Eds.), Bureaucracy and Society in Transition (pp. 89-107). Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing. Comparative Social Research, Vol.. 33, DOI: 10.1108/S0195-631020180000033009
Boll, Karen. / Outcome-based Performance Management Systems : Experiences from the Danish and Swedish Tax Agencies. Bureaucracy and Society in Transition. editor / Haldor Byrkjeflot ; Fredrik Engelstad. Bingley : Emerald Group Publishing, 2018. pp. 89-107 (Comparative Social Research, ???volume??? 33).
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Boll, K 2018, Outcome-based Performance Management Systems: Experiences from the Danish and Swedish Tax Agencies. in H Byrkjeflot & F Engelstad (eds), Bureaucracy and Society in Transition. Emerald Group Publishing, Bingley, Comparative Social Research, vol. 33, pp. 89-107. DOI: 10.1108/S0195-631020180000033009

Outcome-based Performance Management Systems : Experiences from the Danish and Swedish Tax Agencies. / Boll, Karen.

Bureaucracy and Society in Transition. ed. / Haldor Byrkjeflot; Fredrik Engelstad. Bingley : Emerald Group Publishing, 2018. p. 89-107.

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapterResearchpeer-review

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Boll K. Outcome-based Performance Management Systems: Experiences from the Danish and Swedish Tax Agencies. In Byrkjeflot H, Engelstad F, editors, Bureaucracy and Society in Transition. Bingley: Emerald Group Publishing. 2018. p. 89-107. (Comparative Social Research, Vol. 33). Available from, DOI: 10.1108/S0195-631020180000033009