Performance Measurement Systems, Middle Managers, and the Fight over Control

University essay from Lunds universitet/Företagsekonomiska institutionen

Abstract: Title: Performance Measurement Systems, Middle Managers, and the Fight over Control Seminar Date: June 2nd, 2023 Course: Business Administration: Bachelor’s degree project in organization. Undergraduate level, 15 credits. Authors: Nicole Kronkvist, Fritjof Jansson and Maja Muscat Scerri Supervisor: Johan Jönsson Five Keywords: Performance Measurement Systems, Expectancy Theory, Middle Managers, Control, Motivation Research Questions: How do managers experience performance measurement systems and the effect it has on motivation? How do managers perceive the control they have over performance measurement systems? Purpose: The aim of this study is to provide a more nuanced understanding surrounding the effect performance measurement systems have on motivation, from a middle managerial perspective. Furthermore, it aims to analyze how the level of control which middle managers possess over performance measurement systems affects motivation. Theoretical Perspective: The theoretical chapter in this study involves a literature review which looks into previous research regarding middle managers, motivation and performance, as well as performance measurement systems. It also presents the expectancy theory as the theoretical framework which will be used to analyze the empirical material. Methodology: A qualitative study has been conducted with semi-structured interviews conducted with 6 employees from the studied organization, and an abductive approach was taken. Empirical Foundation: The empirical part is divided into two parts, first part being middle managerial perception of performance measurement systems, which had both positive and negative results. Second part looks at how control over performance measurement systems affect the middle managers. Conclusion: Healthy competition, feedback loops and salience of numbers were considered to be positive motivational outcomes of the performance measurement systems. The biggest issue with the systems was the lack of control the middle managers had over these, which resulted in unrealistic, stressful and demotivating measurement systems.

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