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The importance of performance information in Flemish municipal councils

Bénédicte Buylen UGent and Johan Christiaens UGent (2010) Accounting, Auditing and Management in Public Sector Reforms, 6th International conference, Papers.
abstract
This paper explores the status of performance information in a local political setting. The NPM discourse assigns a new steering role to politicians as strategic decision makers. Logically, this should lead to an increased use of performance information. However, we notice that this is not automatically the case. There is a discrepancy between the intended and the actual use of performance information. Some explanation might be found in the fact that political and economic rationality generate divergent objectives. Politicians have a different perspective on performance information than the one implied in the New Public Management (NPM) model. We attempt to set a state of the art of performance information use by local politicians within the municipal council. The research builds on empirical findings regarding the reference to performance information in the political debate and attempts to evidence the presupposed patterns of use. The institutional framework is used in searching answers for the discrepancy between intended and actual use of performance related documents. Institutional theory and ter Bogt’s and Van Helden’s framework for studying organizational change might provide a basis to explore and analyse the reasons for using NPM like instruments in public sector organizations (ter Bogt, 2008a: 217). Data are collected from the Flemish municipal councils' official reports, as we intend to study the use of performance information in a true political setting. We analyse the extent to which politicians refer to performance information during the councils’ meetings. An index construct makes archival data operational to our analysis. Previous research has simultaneously come to sceptical and optimistic conclusions about the acceptance and use of performance information by local politicians. Our preliminary findings suggest an important variety in the reference to performance information during the councils' debate.
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
conference
publication status
unpublished
subject
keyword
New Public Management, performance information, local government
in
Accounting, Auditing and Management in Public Sector Reforms, 6th International conference, Papers
pages
22 pages
conference name
6th International conference on Accounting, Auditing and Management in Public Sector Reforms
conference location
Copenhagen, Denmark
conference start
2010-09-01
conference end
2010-09-03
language
English
UGent publication?
yes
classification
C1
copyright statement
I have retained and own the full copyright for this publication
id
1181174
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-1181174
date created
2011-03-02 17:16:58
date last changed
2011-03-09 15:18:16
@inproceedings{1181174,
  abstract     = {This paper explores the status of performance information in a local political setting. The NPM discourse assigns a new steering role to politicians as strategic decision makers. Logically, this should lead to an increased use of performance information. However, we notice that this is not automatically the case. There is a discrepancy between the intended and the actual use of performance information.
Some explanation might be found in the fact that political and economic rationality generate divergent objectives. Politicians have a different perspective on performance information than the one implied in the New Public Management (NPM) model. We attempt to set a state of the art of performance information use by local politicians within the municipal council. The research builds on empirical findings regarding the reference to performance information in the political debate and attempts to evidence the presupposed patterns of use. The institutional framework is used in searching answers for the discrepancy between intended and actual use of performance related documents. Institutional theory and ter Bogt{\textquoteright}s and Van Helden{\textquoteright}s framework for studying organizational change might provide a basis to explore and analyse the reasons for using NPM like instruments in public sector organizations (ter Bogt, 2008a: 217).
Data are collected from the Flemish municipal councils' official reports, as we intend to study the use of performance information in a true political setting. We analyse the extent to which politicians refer to performance information during the councils{\textquoteright} meetings. An index construct makes archival data operational to our analysis. Previous research has simultaneously come to sceptical and optimistic conclusions about the acceptance and use of performance information by local politicians. Our preliminary findings suggest an important variety in the reference to performance information during the councils' debate.},
  author       = {Buylen, B{\'e}n{\'e}dicte and Christiaens, Johan},
  booktitle    = {Accounting, Auditing and Management in Public Sector Reforms, 6th International conference, Papers},
  keyword      = {New Public Management,performance information,local government},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Copenhagen, Denmark},
  pages        = {22},
  title        = {The importance of performance information in Flemish municipal councils},
  year         = {2010},
}

Chicago
Buylen, Bénédicte, and Johan Christiaens. 2010. “The Importance of Performance Information in Flemish Municipal Councils.” In Accounting, Auditing and Management in Public Sector Reforms, 6th International Conference, Papers.
APA
Buylen, B., & Christiaens, J. (2010). The importance of performance information in Flemish municipal councils. Accounting, Auditing and Management in Public Sector Reforms, 6th International conference, Papers. Presented at the 6th International conference on Accounting, Auditing and Management in Public Sector Reforms.
Vancouver
1.
Buylen B, Christiaens J. The importance of performance information in Flemish municipal councils. Accounting, Auditing and Management in Public Sector Reforms, 6th International conference, Papers. 2010.
MLA
Buylen, Bénédicte, and Johan Christiaens. “The Importance of Performance Information in Flemish Municipal Councils.” Accounting, Auditing and Management in Public Sector Reforms, 6th International Conference, Papers. 2010. Print.