Measures Vs. Actions: The Balanced Scorecard in Swedish Law Enforcement

24 Pages Posted: 14 Oct 2007

See all articles by Salvador Carmona

Salvador Carmona

Instituto de Empresa

Anders Grönlund

Stockholm University - School of Business

Date Written: May 28, 2003


Studies of organizational performance have overwhelmingly relied on evidence gathered from private sector firms. Nevertheless, the past several years have witnessed increasing interest in enhancing effectiveness and efficiency in the public sector, in turn generating considerable investment in the deployment of performance metrics in such settings. Though extant evidence provides many perceptive insights into the specifics of performance frameworks in public sector organizations, little is known about the measurement of organizational performance in police work. Our investigation drew upon the deployment of the balanced scorecard in Swedish Law Enforcement, an organization that long ago implemented the new paradigm of policing, which consisted in enhancing the quality of urban life on the mere making of arrests. Results from this investigation concur with other studies indicating that public sector organizations tend to assume a stakeholder perspective on performance measurement. In particular, Swedish Law Enforcement developed aset of measures of external success and internal performance that addressed present, past, and future time dimensions. Implementation of the balanced scorecard in police work, though, raised some problems. Our study details concerns about the aggregation of non-financial performance measures. More importantly, some crucial areas in the new concept of policing (such as community policing) were neglected by the system. Conversely, the system focused on monitoring some easy-to-measure indicators that provided a traditional view of police work while some crucial areas of policing were not measured. This focus ultimately lessened the operational potential of the balanced scorecard system. Our study also puts forward some suggestions for future research in this area.

Keywords: Performance Measurement, Balanced Scorecard, Stakeholder Approach, Public Sector Management, Police

Suggested Citation

Carmona, Salvador and Grönlund, Anders, Measures Vs. Actions: The Balanced Scorecard in Swedish Law Enforcement (May 28, 2003). Instituto de Empresa Business School Working Paper No. WP03-12, Available at SSRN: or

Salvador Carmona (Contact Author)

Instituto de Empresa ( email )

Pinar 15, 1
Madrid, 28006
917451377 (Phone)

Anders Grönlund

Stockholm University - School of Business ( email )

Roslagsvägen 1010
Stockholm, SE-106 91

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