How managers, academics and students use performance information under conditions of conflicting institutional logics and ambiguity
: A case study of a Swedish university

  • Mattias Sandgren

    Student thesis: Master, one year


    A “new public sector” arose during 1980-1990s because of the pressure to utilize public funds more efficiently. The change is commonly known as New Public Management (NPM) and initiated a change towards private sector accounting technology, logics and a series of other management tools. The aim is increased transparency, accountability and performance. The universities are not exempt from the change. The measuring of performance and the use of performance information are ambiguous as universities have an intertwined net of actors with separate interests to accommodate. The actors subscribe to different institutional logics to further complicate the matter. The study explores how managers, academics and students use performance information under conditions of conflicting institutional logics and ambiguity.

    The empirics were collected via 12 interviews at Kristianstad University. The respondents included four managers, four academics and four students. The results indicate that performance measurements are used as an indication of performance rather than actual performance. Moreover, the managers subscribe to managerial logic, the academics subscribe to managerial- and academic logic and the students subscribe to service logic. There were only a few signs of ambiguity in the performance measuring and use of performance information. In short, the managers use performance information to evaluate course performance and to allocate resources. The academics use performance information as a means of improving individual and organizational performance. The students use performance information to improve course-quality, prepare for courses and to gauge where they can receive the best educational service possible.

    Date of Award2017-Jun-22
    Original languageEnglish
    SupervisorGiuseppe Grossi (Supervisor), Andreas Jansson (Examiner) & Timurs Umans (Examiner)

    Educational program

    • Degree of Bachelor of Science in Business and Economics

    Courses and Subjects

    • Accounting and auditing

    University credits

    • 15 HE credits

    Swedish Standard Keywords

    • Business Administration (50202)


    • public sector
    • management control systems
    • university sector
    • higher education
    • performance information
    • institutional logic
    • ambiguity
    • decision-making

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