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Performance measurement driving change : a case from the defence sector

Macbryde, Jillian and Paton, Steve and Grant, Neil and Bayliss, Margaret (2012) Performance measurement driving change : a case from the defence sector. International Journal of Productivity and Performance Management, 61 (5). 462 - 482. ISSN 1741-0401

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Abstract

The purpose of this paper is to present a case study demonstrating the role of performance measurement systems (PMS) in driving strategic transformation. Using a case study approach this paper analyses how Babcock Marine, a service provider to the Ministry of Defence (MoD), is using performance measurement as a catalyst to bring about strategic transformation at Her Majesty's Naval Base – Clyde. Transformation is required to facilitate a new public-private sector contractual and financial relationship. This paper highlights the differences between the use of PMS in static and dynamic (transformational) environments. It proposes that the balanced scorecard is a useful tool to monitor the pace of change and communicate the status of the change. It indicates that during the transformation program care must be taken to ensure that the measures used stay aligned with strategic objectives and that the balanced scorecard does not become cumbersome in terms of number of measures and administrative overhead. Finally it suggests that even in the absence of other critical success factors normally associated with transformation (such as a clear transformation plan and a strong ongoing communication mechanism), the balanced scorecard can provide structure and focus which will help to maintain the pace of change. It therefore demonstrates that the introduction of a performance management system can be complementary to the process of strategic transformation. The paper provides empirical evidence of PMS supporting transformation even in the absence of other critical success factors normally associated with strategic transformation.