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Drömmar om något bättre: Om managementmodeller, mätningar och människor
Mälardalen University, School of Business.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-7889-2331
2007 (Swedish)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other scientific)
Abstract [en]

For several years I have, from a management control perspective, followed the development and application of several popular management models, for example, the knowledge management, balanced scorecard, and intellectual capital models. This thesis, comprising four papers and an extended covering paper, contributes to the management control field by discussing and problematizing management models and how they describe humans by means of measurement.

This thesis thus does not emphasize the various possibilities for measurement, but rather how measurement is becoming important and what measurement processes might accomplish. Confidence in measurements is great, and the literature often argues for their importance. Furthermore, there is extensive discussion of what factors should be measured and how they should be measured. However, adages such as ‘What gets measured gets managed’ are rarely discussed or problematized.

The dream of better visualizing humans in organizational management models is sometimes expressed in powerful terms, both poetic and dreamlike. If only humans were better visualized, the value-creation process would become more understandable, benefiting everyone and burnishing the image of the good organization. However, it sometimes seems as though this initial dream has become blurred, and measurement per se has tended to overshadow the initial vision. In that case, management models become not just tools, means to attaining the dream, but gradually become ends in themselves.

There seems to be a contradiction between the idea of visualizing humans in organizational management models and the results of these models. Paradoxically, these management models are not necessarily making people visible – as was intended; rather, the risk is that they may actually make people less visible, or even invisible. Humans have become bare numbers, and where there is no feedback to ‘flesh and blood’ (i.e., humans), measurements risk losing their purpose. The question remains whether humans are actually made more visible by the measurements used in ‘new’ management models, or whether organizations risk rendering humans invisible and reducing them to objects.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Ekonomihögskolan , 2007.
Series
Mälardalen University Press Dissertations, ISSN 1651-4238 ; 41
Keywords [sv]
managementmodeller, mätning, människor, balanserat styrkort, intellektuellt kapital, knowledge management, politisk aritmetik
National Category
Business Administration
Research subject
Industriell ekonomi och organisation
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-177ISBN: 978-91-85485-39-0 (print)OAI: oai:DiVA.org:mdh-177DiVA, id: diva2:120615
Public defence
2007-03-09, Milos, Mälardalens högskola, Västerås, 13:15
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2007-02-01 Created: 2007-02-01 Last updated: 2018-04-23
List of papers
1. A critical review of knowledge management as a management tool
Open this publication in new window or tab >>A critical review of knowledge management as a management tool
2000 (English)In: Journal of knowledge management, ISSN 1367-3270, Vol. 4, no 3, p. 204-216Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Over the past several years there have been intensive discussions about the importance of knowledge management within our society. The management of knowledge is promoted as an important and necessary factor for organisational survival and maintenance of competitive strength. To remain at the forefront organisations need a good capacity to retain, develop, organise, and utilise their employees’ capabilities. Knowledge and the management of knowledge appear to be regarded as increasingly important features for organisational survival. Explores knowledge management with respect to its content, its definition and domain in theory and practice, its use and implications, and to point out some problems inherent in the concept. The main contribution of this paper is an extensive literature survey on knowledge management.

National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4064 (URN)10.1108/13673270010350002 (DOI)
Available from: 2007-02-01 Created: 2007-02-01 Last updated: 2018-04-23Bibliographically approved
2. Measuring to Understand Intangible Performance Drivers
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Measuring to Understand Intangible Performance Drivers
2001 (English)In: European Accounting Review, ISSN 0963-8180, Vol. 10, no 3, p. 407-437Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present qualitative study explores what eleven Swedish organizations have system- atically worked at to increase the understanding of the importance of intangibles as performance drivers. The present analysis is accomplished using a combination of evolutionary theory, knowledge-based theory and organizational learning. The results indicate that assets in an accounting sense seem to be of less interest than perceptions of activities that enable future performance. These ‘enablers’ are often customer and employee perceptions of individual, organizational and relational competence. The way for the Ž rms to ascertain a continuous organizational learning process with respect to the value creation chain is to measure intangibles as well as to maintain organizational routines that ensure the transformation of measurement results into action.

National Category
Business Administration
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4065 (URN)10.1080/09638180126791 (DOI)
Available from: 2007-02-01 Created: 2007-02-01 Last updated: 2018-04-23Bibliographically approved
3. Mobilizing Change through the Management Control of Intangibles
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mobilizing Change through the Management Control of Intangibles
2001 (English)In: Accounting, Organization and Society, ISSN 0361-3682, Vol. 26, no 7/8, p. 715-733Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

This qualitative study explores the management control of intangibles in three Swedish companies. The present analysis is discussed in terms of four theoretical perspectives, namely, evolutionary, action, organizational learning and structuration theory. The results indicate that such enablers of performance as customer and employee perceptions of individuals and organizational and relational competence are the key attributes that firms address. Equally important, however, are different routines that facilitate learning and the transformation of knowledge into action. Routines additional to surveys include statistical analysis, benchmarking, dialogues, salary bonuses, and contracts.

National Category
Social Sciences
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4066 (URN)10.1016/S0361-3682(01)00024-1 (DOI)000170710800008 ()
Available from: 2007-02-01 Created: 2007-02-01 Last updated: 2018-04-23Bibliographically approved
4. Is political arithmetic still alive?
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Is political arithmetic still alive?
(English)In: Critical Perspectives on AccountingArticle in journal (Refereed) Submitted
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:mdh:diva-4067 (URN)
Available from: 2007-02-01 Created: 2007-02-01 Last updated: 2018-04-23Bibliographically approved

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