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Performance Improvement in Public Organizations, How to Leverage ICT Investments


  • Martikainen, Olli
  • Autere, Jussi
  • Nurmela, Markku


The research analyses effective ways and means of improving the performance of public sector organizations. Etlatieto and TietoEnator have organized the study on the basis of interviews of key public sector managers in four Nordic countries. Special attention was paid to methods employing information and communications technologies (ICT). The first main result is contained in the conclusion, that performance objectives and methods of improving the public sector productivity are not similar to those in private industries. The justification for several public sector services and organizations comes from providing public goods like rule of law, collective security and social justice or putting limits to opportunistic behaviour. The second main result of the study lies in the assessment, that in public sector the services are often not codifiable. The user of the services assesses their quality based on the expectations and experiences. The third main result is that public sector organizations have underlying structures that make performance improvements more difficult than in private sector. In the private sector, all organizational levels usually get benefits from productivity improvements, but in the public sector incentive structures are not common to all actors. Based on the three basic results obtained the analysis suggests methods that can be used in pursuing higher performance in public sector.

Suggested Citation

  • Martikainen, Olli & Autere, Jussi & Nurmela, Markku, 2006. "Performance Improvement in Public Organizations, How to Leverage ICT Investments," Discussion Papers 1022, The Research Institute of the Finnish Economy.
  • Handle: RePEc:rif:dpaper:1022

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Romer, Paul M, 1986. "Increasing Returns and Long-run Growth," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 94(5), pages 1002-1037, October.
    2. Mika Maliranta & Petri Rouvinen, 2006. "Informational mobility and productivity: Finnish evidence," Economics of Innovation and New Technology, Taylor & Francis Journals, vol. 15(6), pages 605-616.
    3. Nestor E. Terleckyj, 1970. "Measuring Progress Towards Social Goals: Some Possibilities at National and Local Levels," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 16(12), pages 765-778, August.
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    More about this item


    government performance; ICT diffusion; performance improvement;

    JEL classification:

    • H11 - Public Economics - - Structure and Scope of Government - - - Structure and Scope of Government
    • O33 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Technological Change: Choices and Consequences; Diffusion Processes
    • O38 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Innovation; Research and Development; Technological Change; Intellectual Property Rights - - - Government Policy
    • L30 - Industrial Organization - - Nonprofit Organizations and Public Enterprise - - - General

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