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The impact of performance management on the results of a non-profit organization

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Purpose ‐ In recent years many organizations have implemented performance management because this technique leads to better organizational results as reported in many articles and case studies. However, often the reported improvement relates to qualitative performance and there is little solid empirical evidence of the actual effects performance management has on the quantitative results of organizations. This article aims to describe the results of a study that explored the quantitative impact of performance management on the results of a non-profit organization. Design/methodology/approach ‐ Quantitative performance data of the organization, before and after the introduction of performance management, were collected and linked to key activities and events that occurred in the organization during and after the implementation. Findings ‐ The research shows that several key activities related to the introduction of performance management have an impact on the results of an organization although not always in an expected positive way. Research limitations/implications ‐ A research limitation is that it is always difficult to isolate the effects of a particular event on the overall results of an organization. Although the effects of other events have been taken into account, it cannot be ruled out that unlisted events and factors are in play. Practical implications ‐ The results support managers who want to introduce performance management to improve the results of their non-profit organisation. At the same time, the research indicates that introducing and using performance management needs continuous attention of management in order to become and stay successful in the long run. Originality/value ‐ This article contributes to the literature as it is one of the few longitudinal research studies into the effects of performance management, specifically in non-profit organizations.

Keywords: Effects; Longitudinal; Non-profit; Non-profit organizations; Performance management; Quantitative performance

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: November 1, 2011

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