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Knowledge transfer and performance dialogue in public administration

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Knowledge transfer and performance dialogue in public administration

  1. 1. KNOWLEDGE TRANSFER AND PERFORMANCE DIALOGUE IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION Research director Harri Laihonen, PhD Co-authored with Tomi Rajala (2) and Petra Haapala (3)
  3. 3. AGENDA PURPOSE AND RESEARCH QUESTIONS • The paper studies performance dialogues as knowledge transfer platforms. Theoretically, performance dialogue enables knowledge transfer but in practice, there are several hindrances for the dialogue and knowledge transfer. This paper aims to map these obstacles as a first step to overcome them and improve performance management in public administration. 5Ws What is it? Who should be involved? Where does it take place? When is the time? Why it may not happen?
  4. 4. WHAT IS IT? PERFORMANCE DIALOGUE – A DEFINITION We define basic characteristics of performance dialogue in the following way: • The dialogue focuses on performance • The dialogue builds upon the performance information • The dialogue has more than one participant • The guidelines to engaging in and conducting dialogue needs to be followed • The dialogue has an explicitly stated objective
  5. 5. WHO, WHERE AND WHEN? EVERYONE, EVERYWHERE AND NOW Performance information Decision-making Interpretation and discussion Simple, robots and AI will take care in the future Disagreement on 1) what to do, 2) how to do and/or 3) how to evaluate success Vrt. Van Dooren: Performance information in the public sector (2010) Knowledge management as analytics Knowledge management as a multidimensional approach
  6. 6. WHY NOT? ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK • Literature review: Knowledge transfer + knowledge sharing barriers + dialogic leadership Individual capabilities - Ability, motivation, power Performance dialogue - Features of performance dialogue External factors - Organizational and societal habits, norms and rules
  7. 7. WHY NOT? EMPIRICAL DATA • Empirical data was gathered by interviewing 30 managers in three cities in Finland: Tampere, Turku and Espoo. • The aim of the interviews was to find out managers’ perceptions on the existing practices of performance dialogue and the current strengths and challenges of these practices. Thematic interviews were structured based on the theoretical framework describing performance dialogue as a phenomenon. • Interviews were carried out between November 2016 and March 2017. The interviewed managers represented top-level management of their organizations. Two of the studied organizational contexts were line organizations whereas the third context was a hybrid where 10 different public, private and non-profit organizations operate in the same facilities.
  8. 8. WHY NOT? AS PERCEIVED BY 30 MANAGERS • Lack of IT skills • Ability to understand performance reports • Limited handling capability Individual capabilities • Lack of common language • Transparency of the dialogue • Use on digital platforms • Commitment Performance dialogue • Lack of the needed information • Incompatible information systems • Different practices and cultures • Haste • Political context External factors
  9. 9. SO WHAT? CONTRIBUTION OF THE STUDY • We created two theoretical contributions. 1. We defined performance dialogue as a phenomenon and linked it to the discussion on knowledge transfer. 2. We derived three categories from the earlier literature to conduct content analysis. • These conceptual contributions enable the analysis of individual and external factors affecting knowledge transfer in performance dialogues. • In the empirical part of the study, we validated our framework and gathered managers’ perceptions of the studied phenomenon. • We are now able to explain why performance dialogues appear the way they do and how an individual and organizations can shape the dialogue by determining, for example, its objectives, forums, content or participants.
  10. 10. THANK YOU! • Research director Harri Laihonen • University of Tampere, Faculty of Management