`Its emphasis on performance measurement affords rare insights into some innovative techniques. Moreover, institutional and other theories are deployed to explore the reasons for innovation.... The book should be a prized resource for postgraduate students who seek a deeper understanding of social enterprise measurement and management practices. It covers extremely and topical issues, while the case studies offer a perspective on the complexities of real social enterprises' - Prometheus `Recent years have seen the voluntary and social enterprise sectors embark on a tentative love affair with performance measurement. We should, it seems, be measuring, monitoring and reporting our performance for a variety of reasons - accountability, continuous improvement and self-motivation, to name a few. But has anyone stopped to consider the realities if implementing the range of tools on the market? Author Rob Paton does just this' - Voluntary Sector Managing and Measuring Social Enterprises examines the question of what happens when performance improvement techniques originating in the private sector are applied to public and nonprofit organizations. Managing and Measuring Social Enterprises looks critically at a range of performance measurements and improvement methods, including: · Outcome measurement · Using financial ratios for performance comparison · Social audit · Process benchmarking · Externally accredited standards (like `Investors in People' and ISO 9000) · Diagnostic models and other tools from the quality movements · `Balanced scorecards' Rob Paton offers a measured critique of the naïve realism and rhetorical excesses of the performance management movement but also shows why many of its critics are unduly pessimistic. Through a combination of theory and research, the book provides practical guidance to the problem of performance management outside of the private sector. This is an essential text for those interested in public and social enterprises, particularly MBA and Masters students in public administration/public management and non-profit management.
Chapter 3: Taking Measures – Lessons from the Literature
Taking Measures – Lessons from the Literature
As the previous chapter showed, nonprofits now operate in an environment permeated by expectations of measurement. The reasons usually offered for preferring measurement-based performance management are:
- Defining performance explicitly, and specifying the level expected, demands greater focus and clarity – it reduces the scope for obfuscation, ambiguity and misunderstanding.
- Measures can summarise the important aspects of a complex situation making it easier to spot where and when expectations are not being realised
- Measurement expresses and encourages an approach to decision-making (including recognition and reward) based on facts and analysis, rather than anecdotes and opinion, not to mention wishful thinking and self-serving claims.
- Measurement can assist learning by allowing greater comparability – over time and between units ...